World No. 8 Kevin Anderson made a successful return to action on Monday, rallying past home favourite Cameron Norrie 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-4 in two hours and 21 minutes to reach the second round of the Fever-Tree Championships.
This is the second seed’s first tournament since Miami three months ago, and just his second event since the Australian Open, as he has been recovering from an elbow injury. The South African won his sixth ATP Tour title to start the season in Pune.
Anderson struck 19 aces and won all but four of his first-serve points (56/60) to get by World No. 49 Norrie, who was looking for his first main draw win at The Queen’s Club on his third attempt. Anderson reached the final at this ATP 500 tournament in 2015.
Early on, the 2018 Nitto ATP Finals qualifier appeared to be understandably rusty, getting broken in his first service game. But Anderson was not broken the rest of the way. The 33-year-old increasingly worked his way into the Brit’s service games, showing good movement and groundstroke play to back up his booming serve, withstanding Norrie’s 12 aces.
Anderson will next play Frenchman Gilles Simon, who battled past British qualifier James Ward 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(2). He will be looking to build form on the grass, a surface on which he has enjoyed plenty of success. Last year, Anderson made his second Grand Slam final by reaching the championship match at Wimbledon.
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Anderson said before competing this week that his elbow injury has not completely prohibited him from training. The South African has had no limitations with his groundstrokes, only his serve.