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Kevin Anderson vs Jared Donaldson Abierto Mexicano Telcel tennis live: Anderson aims for second Acapulco final

Andrew Hendrie in ATP Tour 2 Mar 2018
  • Kevin Anderson vs Jared Donaldson is live from Acapulco not before 6.00pm local time on Friday (12.00am GMT, Saturday)
  • Anderson won their only previous meeting on clay in three sets in Geneva last year
Kevin Anderson (Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images)

World No. 8 Kevin Anderson targets a spot in his second straight ATP World Tour final when he takes on rising American Jared Donaldson in the Abierto Mexicano Telcel semi-finals on Friday.





Kevin Anderson rides a seven-match winning streak into his semi-final showdown with World No. 59 Jared Donaldson in Acapulco on Friday. Anderson is back playing the sort of tennis that saw him advance to his first Grand Slam final at the U.S. Open last summer and is coming off a title victory at the ATP 250 New York Open last week - can the big-serving South African now triumph at ATP 500 level? He will meet a confident opponent in Donaldson, who has progressed into his first ATP 500 semi-final in emphatic fashion without dropping a set - or more than three games in one set. Anderson and Donaldson take to court not before 6.00pm local time on Friday (12.00am GMT, Saturday).

Anderson, who finished runner-up in Acapulco in 2014, has also won through to the Abierto Mexicano Telcel final four without relinquishing a set, backing up his New York Open victory (his first ATP title since 2015) with straight sets triumphs over Radu Albot (6-4 6-3), Adrian Mannarino (6-3 6-4) and Australian Open semi-finalist Hyeon Chung (7-6(5) 6-4) in Thursday’s quarter-finals. Those last two victories are very solid results for Anderson, who continues to prove that hard work and determination to succeed and get the best out of yourself can propel you from a standard ranking of around 20-40 and into the top 10.

The 31-year-old began making moves towards the game’s elite in 2015 when he first cracked the top 10 after making the U.S. Open quarter-finals, but a horror run of injuries to his knee, shoulder, ankle and groin forced Anderson onto the sidelines for extended periods throughout 2016, with his ranking dropping to as low as 70 as a result - while hip problems also saw him miss the Australian Open at the start of 2017. But Anderson gradually worked his way back to top form, and all of his hard work paid dividends at the U.S. Open in September as he reached his first Grand Slam final, beating Sam Querrey and Pablo Carreno Busta along the way. It was a depleted field, but Anderson was the man who stepped up and took advantage, becoming the lowest-ranked U.S. Open finalist since the inception of the rankings in 1973 and also the first South African U.S. Open finalist in the Open Era.


It also must be stated that the only top 10 player Anderson has defeated since 2015 has been Dominic Thiem, which further highlights the depleted nature of the men’s tour at the moment, but naturally - as a result - positions in the top 10 have been up for grabs, and Anderson - unsurprisingly - has been one of the men to put his hand up and step up to the plate. He didn’t have a great end to 2017 following the euphoria of his run at Flushing Meadows, but he’s back to business in 2018, kicking the year off by making the Chennai final, and after a disappointing first round loss to Kyle Edmund at the Australian Open, he’s improved his season record to 10-2 after winning in New York and reaching the semi-finals here in Acapulco.

Jared Donaldson (Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images)
Meanwhile, Jared Donaldson has won back-to-back tour-level matches for the first time since September in Acapulco this week, benefitting from a first round retirement from Nikoloz Basilashvili before crushing Matt Ebden and Feliciano Lopez by identical 6-3 6-1 scorelines to sail into his first ATP 500 semi-final.

One of a large crop of young Americans trying to make that leap into the world’s top 30, Donaldson isn’t really your typical American player - namely a big serve and big forehand who loves hardcourts. Indeed, the 21-year-old made the unusual but smart decision to ditch the standard hardcourt upbringing in America to base himself on the clay of Buenos Aires while in juniors. Clay is obviously a natural service and largely seen as more beneficial and advantageous when learning and improving point construction, along with movement - and in the long run, this will likely do wonders for him.

Donaldson cut his ranking in half last season after starting 2017 ranked 105 in the world. He didn’t win any titles - even at Challenger level - but he did enjoy a number of very solid results at significant tournaments, especially at Masters 1000 level, with Donaldson reaching his first Masters quarter-final in Cincinnati (beating Roberto Bautista Agut along the way), while he made the Round of 16 in Canada (beat Lucas Pouille and Benoit Paire) and Miami (defeated Mischa Zverev and Kyle Edmund). A third round at Wimbledon and a quarter-final in Chengdu also contributed to Donaldson ending the year at No. 54 in the world - and if he didn’t lose his last three matches of the season - and also three matches in Milan at the ATP Next Gen Finals - he could have cracked the top 50.

After early losses in Brisbane, Sydney, the Australian Open, New York and Delray Beach, Donaldson has re-discovered his mojo in Acapulco - but can he score his first top 10 win over Anderson? The pair have met once before, with Anderson winning 6-2 in the third on clay in Geneva last year. Donaldson has truckloads of potential and a great baseline game, but Anderson is unrelenting right now in his pursuit of more success, and it will take a very special performance to beat him at the moment. I’m not quite sure Donaldson has that in him - yet….


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Kevin Anderson vs Jared Donaldson Abierto Mexicano Telcel tennis live: Anderson aims for second Acapulco final

World No. 8 Kevin Anderson targets a spot in his second straight ATP World Tour final when he takes on rising American Jared Donaldson in the Abierto Mexicano Telcel semi-finals on Friday.

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