Tata Open Maharashtra: Anderson to take on Simon in final

Anderson lost the first set 7-6. In the second set, the numbers repeated itself; but this time, it was the 31-year-old from Johannesburg who won 7-6. The third set was a sitter.

Kevin Anderson celebrates his victory over Benoit Paire in Pune on Friday.   -  PTI

Bouncing back from being a set down seems to be the order of the day. After Gilles Simon sprang a surprise — being 6-1 down in the first set — against Marin Cilic in the first semifinal, Kevin Anderson — the big man from South Africa and World No 15 — did an encore to send Benoit Paire home in the second semifinal of the Tata Open Maharashtra at the Balewadi Stadium here today.

Anderson lost the first set 7-6. In the second set, the numbers repeated itself; but this time, it was the 31-year-old from Johannesburg who won 7-6. The third set was a sitter. Paire completely lost the plot and went down 1-6.

“I had a bit of an upper hand in the first set, but it didn’t go as planned. In the second set, during the tie-breaker, I was able to control the points. Paire is a tricky opponent. He moves well and has an amazing backhand. He is also crafty on the court. I am glad I could capitalise on my opportunities,” Anderson reasoned.

READ: Simon stuns Cilic, books maiden final berth

“I wish I could win easier, but this is great preparation for Australia. I feel healthy and I think I did what I needed to do to get to the finals,” he added.

Searching for avenues to improve the game is the medicine for Anderson. “It is a huge positive. When I think about improvement, it allows me to play my best tennis.”

Talking about the final against Gilles Simon, he said: “It is going to be a tough match. He is a great fighter. I will try to enforce my best game as much as possible.”

Results

Singles: G Simon bt M Cilic 1-6, 6-3, 6-2; K Anderson bt B Paire 6-7, 7-6, 6-1; Doubles: R Haase/M Middelkoop bt R Jebavy/J Vesely 6-2, 6-4. Yuki Bhambri/ Divij Sharan lost to Pierre-Hugues Herbert/ Gilles Simon 4-6 6-7 (2).