NYC- Thirty-one years of tennis dreams and opportunity has arrived via Cloud Nine for Realife Founder, Kevin Anderson.
On a beautiful 73 degree evening at the US Open, luckily the roof was open because World #32 Kevin Anderson was coming down from Cloud Nine after his 4-set semi-final victory over Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta. During the emotional descent from the upper levels of Ashe Stadium awaited an interview with ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi.
THE SLOW START
Visibly shaking out his arms and summoning all of his physical, emotional and mental fortitude Kevin searched for his groove during the first 90 minutes of tennis. I mentioned to a few of his University of Illinois college buddies in our viewing box “if he can find a way to get to a tie-breaker and win this second set he will be fine”. Sure enough he did.
Battling his nerves and the steady and athletic Pablo Carreno Busta who’s amazing backhand caused a lot of challenges in the 4-set thriller but none greater than serving for the match at 5-4 in the 4th set. With Kevin clearly in control of the match having won 137 point to Pablo’s 110 all that was left was to serve for a dream come true.
38-SHOTS AND A DEEP BREATH
With nothing to lose and his back against the wall Pablo produced a rally that brought the sold out crowd to a standing ovation. A 38-shot rally would decide the first point concluding when Kevin steered a backhand wide. Pablo was suddenly “en fuego”.
But with great pressure comes great opportunity and when Kevin got even at 30-all it seemed almost inevitable that the gigantic 6’8″ serve would start to produce the dividend Realife Tennis fans were craving. The result was delirium, a victorious climb into the stands and then an interview with ESPN.
In the stands we were emotionally exhausted yet jubilant. We were ready for a Core Tennis Workout we were so pumped up. Kevin’s college friend Steve, who’s been coming to matches all week, was reflective about the experience. “I needed a 45 minute shower at 3am from the other night my neck was so tense.” But on this memorable night for Steve it was nothing a Honey Deuce cocktail couldn’t cure from the concession stand.
It’s off to Sunday’s US Open Final with Kevin’s friend Rafael Nadal.