Kevin Anderson won his first match back on the ATP Tour when he beat Gabriel Diallo 6-3, 6-2 in Newport.
The 37-year-old South African-born player announced his official retirement from tennis in May 2022, but he ended the showdown in his usual way: with powerful serving.
He will play Gijs Brouwer of the Netherlands in the next round later today.
“It’s only been a few months since I decided to resume my tennis journey and I don’t know where it will all end now,” said Anderson.
The former world number five player has a good understanding with the organizers of the Newport tournament and he gained access to the ATP2050 action as promoter choice.
“A few days ago I had my first session on a grass court in two years and I am very satisfied that I was able to adapt so quickly.”
— International Tennis Hall of Fame (@TennisHalloFame) July 19, 2023
According to Anderson, a conversation with Roger Federer gave his comeback plans a definite boost.
“A friend and I decided to hit a few tennis balls at the local court in Delray Beach, when Roger stopped by,” he said in an interview with ATP.com.
The Swiss tennis legend visited his agent, Tony Godsick, in the US.
Anderson admitted that he was initially a little nervous to talk to the winner of 20 Grand Slam titles, but as the conversation progressed, he became more and more at ease.
“It was fascinating to listen to him. He is probably the best player yet – especially if you talk about his pure stroke play – and it was an incredible experience to get his input.”
According to Anderson, he wants to become wiser as a player as his new career chapter progresses.
“There will be a lot of new experiences and challenges coming my way and I want to learn as much as possible from them. This is undoubtedly the key on the road to success.”
— ATP Tour (@atptour) July 18, 2023