Kevin Anderson saved a match point and strengthened his Nitto ATP Finals bid on Monday, beating recent China Open champion Nikoloz Basilashvili 4-6, 7-6(6), 6-3 to start the Erste Bank Open 500 in Vienna.
The South African is trying to make his debut at the prestigious season finale, to be held 11-18 November at The O2 in London. Anderson is in seventh place in the ATP Race To London, with 3,765 points, 105 behind sixth-placed Marin Cilic (3,870), who advanced on Monday at the Swiss Indoors Basel. The top eight in the Race on 5 November qualify.
Basilashvili, who reached a career-high No. 23 in the ATP Rankings earlier this month, had a match point at 6/5 in the second-set tie-break. But Anderson won the final three points of the tie-break to force a third set, where he broke in the seventh and ninth games to advance.
The second seed will next meet Austrian wild card Jurgen Melzer, who beat former World No. 3 Milos Raonic 7-6(6), 7-5. The 37-year-old Melzer is playing in his final singles tournament.[ALSO LIKE]
Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics knocked out #NextGenATP wild card Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada 1-6, 6-0, 7-5 in two hours and six minutes. Fucsovics, the Banque Eric Sturdza Geneva Open titlist (d. Gojowczyk) in May, won eight straight games from the start of the second set to 2-0 in the third set.
Russia’s Andrey Rublev, who is in contention for a spot at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan from 6-10 November, overcame American qualifier Denis Kudla 7-6(3), 6-0 in 61 minutes. Rublev is currently in seventh position in the ATP Race To Milan. Sixth seed Borna Coric, the Rolex Shanghai Masters finalist (l. to Djokovic), held off Spain’s Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-7(5), 6-0, 6-4.