CAPE TOWN – South Africa’s unseeded Kevin Anderson made a remarkable fifth-set recovery to score a 6-2 6-4 4-6 3-6 6-3 win over the 22-seeded Serb Dušan Lajovic in a French Open second round (round of 64) clash in Paris on Thursday evening.
Initially, the match was delayed by almost four hours because of early morning rain and subsequently wet playing surfaces. However, once the match started on a near-deserted Court 9, the 34-year-old Anderson produced some vintage touches, much like he showed in his first-round match.
He was off to a flier in the opening two sets which he completed in just over an hour. He broke the younger world No 24 Lajovic (30 years) twice in the opening set for a 6-2 win.
Anderson, a former world 10er but now languishing at 188 on the world rankings after a year of injury setbacks, had to harder in the next set. He had to wait for the 10th before he broke serve to wrap up the set 6-4.
There was an early third-set hiccup for Anderson when he dropped serve in the fourth game, but he fought back to reverse the fortunes in the next game.
2x Slam Finalist @KAndersonATP is flying under the radar this Roland-Garros…
— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) October 1, 2020
After this exchange of breaks, the set remained on even keel until the 10th game when Anderson, rather unexpectedly, dropped serve to surrender the set 6-4.
The fourth set was almost a carbon copy of the third and after Lajovic won 6-3 the fifth set was needed to separate the players.
Anderson played his winning hand late in the final set when he broke Lajovic’s serve and closed out the game for a slot in the third round.
Since 2013, Anderson, a two-time Grand Slam finalist, has reached the fourth round of the French Open four times.
Anderson will now play 13th seed Andrey Rublev of Russia on Saturday.