Kevin Anderson provides insight as to what French Open feels like from a player’s perspective. This article is featured on Supersport.com as part of Kevin Anderson’s Roland Garros diary.
Monday, 5 June, 2017
Last Saturday on a packed court two at Roland Garros, Kyle Edmund and I pushed each other for three hours and 59 minutes, going all the way to five sets.
It was a physically demanding match, requiring each of us to push through levels of discomfort.
I got off to a good start, creating a few break point opportunities early on in the first set. However, I was unable to convert them. I ended up losing a close tie-breaker (8/6), which was understandably frustrating.
Sometimes in tennis you can more or less outperform your opponent, but still lose a set simply by losing the wrong points. For me, winning the next set was very important because there is a big difference between being locked at one set a piece as opposed to being down two sets to love. Like the first, set two was also decided by a tie-breaker, however, this time I was the victor (7/4).
Similar to set one, I created more opportunities in the third, but couldn’t convert. Kyle took his chance at five games all to break me and I went down two sets to one. However, I took my early chance in the fourth set and ran away with it.
I was relieved to finally convert one of the many break point opportunities I had generated throughout the match. From there on, I was able to play more freely in the fourth set, with one break already under my belt, and it showed as I closed it out 6-1.
I knew the fifth set would be a battle. In general, I felt as though I did a very good job in terms of dealing with my emotions. I had created quite a few opportunities, but hadn’t capitalized on them. This can certainly prove frustrating. However, I kept my focus and eventually capitalized and broke to go up 5-4 in the decider. I served it out to secure my spot among the tournament’s final 16 men.
I felt really good winning the match for two reasons. Firstly, it was a battle and well-fought match and secondly, because it guaranteed my participation in the second week of a slam for the first time since the 2015 US Open.
My day yesterday was spent doing recovery work. I had a light practice, and then the rest of the day was spent doing treatment and relaxing.
I know my matches at the French Open only get tougher now. My next opponent, Marin Cilic, is a grand slam champion, having won the US Open. The Croat is a very tough and consistent player. However, as always, my focus is on my game and treating today as any other tennis match.
I play in the third match today on Court Suzanne Lenglen and I’m going to give it everything I’ve got.