Preview: Anderson Looks To Halt Djokovic’s Perfect Stretch
This time, when Kevin Anderson faces Novak Djokovic, the South African should have plenty of energy.
View FedEx ATP Head2Head for the following match-ups at the Rolex Shanghai Masters and vote for the players you think will win!
Federer v Nishikori | Djokovic v Anderson | Zverev v Edmund | Coric v Ebden
The last time they played, in the Wimbledon final, two days earlier, Anderson had won the longest Wimbledon semi-final in history, beating American John Isner 26-24 in the fifth set to make his second Grand Slam title match. The 6’8” right-hander admitted to feeling tired against Djokovic and fell in straight sets.
In Shanghai, however, both players have glided into the quarter-finals without dropping a set. Anderson served past Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan and then avenged his Rogers Cup semi-final loss to Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece.
Djokovic remained unbeaten in his FedEx ATP Head2Head series with Frenchman Jeremy Chardy (12-0) and gained revenge against Italian Marco Cecchinato, who beat Djokovic in the Roland Garros quarter-finals. The Serbian has faced only two break points so far in Shanghai, and he has won his past 15 matches, dating back to his titles at the Western & Southern Open and US Open.
— Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole) October 11, 2018
“I’m really pleased with the way I have been using my serve accurately and effectively in the first two matches, which is very important on this kind of surface that’s really quick,” Djokovic said. “I was making [Cecchinato] play always an extra shot. I was aggressive when I needed to be. The second set was perfect, really. I’m really glad to be able to finish the match the way I did.”
Djokovic leads his FedEx ATP Head2Head series with Anderson 6-1, including wins in their past six matchups. But if Anderson is to spring the upset, you have to think Shanghai – some of the quickest conditions on the ATP World Tour – could be the setting for the big-hitting South African, who’s enjoying his best year yet, at age 32.
— ATP World Tour (@ATPWorldTour) October 11, 2018
He is currently in seventh place in the ATP Race To London. The top eight will qualify for the prestigious season finale, to be held 11-18 November at The O2 in London. Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Juan Martin del Potro have already booked their spots. Buy Tickets Now
Elsewhere in the bottom half of the draw, Brit Kyle Edmund will try to reach his maiden ATP World Tour Masters 1000 semi-final when he faces three-time Masters 1000 titlist Alexander Zverev.
The German dismantled #NextGenATP Aussie Alex de Minaur 6-1, 6-4 in only 68 minutes to make the last eight. Edmund also looked sharp while beating Marin Cilic’s conqueror, Nicolas Jarry of Chile, 7-6(5), 6-3.
Zverev leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 3-0, including a straight-sets win earlier this year in Rome.
In the top half, defending champion Federer, after two three-set wins, will meet Japan’s Kei Nishikori, who beat American Sam Querrey to make the quarter-finals. The last time Federer and Nishikori played on hard courts, in the fourth round of the 2017 Australian Open, the Japanese right-hander pushed Federer to five sets.
Federer is looking to win his third Shanghai title this week and hold onto the No. 2 spot in the ATP Rankings. Nishikori, meanwhile, is attempting to make a late push for the Nitto ATP Finals. He is currently in ninth place in the Race with 3,000 points, 535 points behind eighth-placed Dominic Thiem.
The winner of Federer-Nishikori will meet either Croatian Borna Coric or Aussie Matthew Ebden. Coric advanced to the quarter-finals – his third at the Masters 1000 level this year – when Juan Martin del Potro retired with a knee injury after the first set.
Ebden gained one of the biggest wins of his career in the second round, upsetting No. 7 Dominic Thiem before beating Germany’s Peter Gojowczyk to return to the Shanghai quarter-finals for the second time (also 2011).