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TENNIS: Anderson Wins ATP-500 Vienna Open, Secures ATP Finals Ticket
The South African saw off Kei Nishikori in straight sets, beating the Japanese 6-3, 7-6 (7/3) in the Vienna final on Sunday.
Kevin Anderson became the first singles player from South Africa in over two decades to qualify for the end-of-season ATP Finals on the strength of defeating Kei Nishikori, who has now lost 9 finals in a row.
Anderson, who was beaten in the final of the Wimbledon this year saw off the Japanese fifth seed to join Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Juan Martin del Potro, Roger Federer and Alexander Zverev in London next month.
The identity of the last two ticket holders will be determined at the Paris Masters starting Monday, with Nishikori still in with a shout of making the elite eight-player cast list.
The last South African singles player to make it to the season-closing showpiece was Wayne Ferreira in 1995.
Anderson’s success in Vienna was the biggest of his career to figure in the ATP Top 10 for the first time.
“It has been a huge goal of mine all year to make it to London. I have said that right from the beginning,” the second seed said. “To finally put my name there feels fantastic.”
This was his fifth final of the year and his second title after the inaugural New York Open in February.
New York and the 32-year-old’s previous three career wins came in Johannesburg, Delray Beach and Winston-Salem were all at World Tour 250-level.