Home win for Anderson
Kevin Anderson battled back from a set down to beat Somdev Devvarman and claim his maiden ATP Tour title at the SA Tennis Open.
Last Updated: 06/02/11 7:18pm
Home favourite Kevin Anderson battled back from a set down to beat Somdev Devvarman and claim his maiden ATP Tour title at the SA Tennis Open.
The lively Johannesburg crowd cheered the local boy to a hard-fought 4-6 6-3 6-2 victory in a match that was interrupted by rain.
Anderson's success makes him the first South African to win a top-tier ATP tournament since Wesley Moodie triumphed in Tokyo in 2005.
It was also the third time during the week that the fourth seed, who sent down 11 aces in the final, had rallied after losing the first set.
"I will never forget today," the world No.59 said. "To win your first ATP title in front of your own people is truly fantastic.
"The rain delay helped ease my nerves. I knew it was crucial to hold my own serve and get a crack at his. Somdev is a great player because it is tough playing South Africans here with the altitude and crowd in their favour."
It was Devvarman who made the stronger start as he looked to beat a fourth South African in the event - he had already eliminated Raven Klaasen, Rik de Voest and Izak van der Merwe en route to his second final.
The Indian registered a break of serve in the third game before play was suspended for more than an hour by rain.
Although his opponent immediately hit back when the action resumed, Devvarman edged ahead again on his way to taking the opening set.
Anderson was more forceful in the second set which he won in 27 minutes and then gained a crucial break in the fifth game of the decider.
Devvarman - who had lost in Chennai in his other final appearance - had a chance to respond straight away, but wasted three break-point chances.
"I know the crowd were backing him, but they also applauded me and I felt at home," he said afterwards.