SA’s Anderson bows out at ATP event in Melbourne

South Africa’s Kevin Anderson in action at the Great Ocean Road Open at Melbourne Park. (Photo by Jonathan DiMaggio/Getty Images)

South African tennis ace Kevin Anderson lost his third round match to Russian Karen Khachanov at the Great Ocean Road Open ATP event in Melbourne on Friday.

Khachanov, the second seed, beat Anderson 6-3, 7-6 (7/5) to advance to the quarter-finals.

The event is one of two ATP 250-level tournaments currently being played in Melbourne as preparation for next week’s Australian Open.

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It was Anderson’s second ATP Tour match against world No 20 Khachanov, with the South African having won their previous encounter 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 at the Miami Masters in 2018.

Anderson, the current world No 82, had notched two wins earlier in the week, beating Spanish veteran Feliciano Lopez 6-4, 7-5 and German world No 128 Cedrik-Marcel Stebe 6-4, 6-2.

Meanwhile at the other ATP 250 event, the Murray River Open, Anderson’s compatriot Lloyd Harris bowed out in the first round on Monday when he lost to Belarusian Egor Gerasimov in straight sets, 6-3, 7-5.

Harris and Anderson will now shift their focus to the year’s first Grand Slam starting at Melbourne Park next Monday (8 February).

The biggest names in the game, including Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, are playing the ATP Cup teams event, which is also taking place in Melbourne this week.

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