Claims Five-Set Thriller in Second Round of US Open
Advances to face 38th-ranked Gasquet
Courtesy: Illinois Athletics
NEW YORK - In a match that lasted just under four hours, former Illini Kevin Anderson came out victorious Thursday night to keep his run in the US Open alive. Anderson, ranked No. 77 in the world, defeated 26th-seeded and world No. 28 Thomaz Bellucci, 6-7(4), 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 7-6(2) to advance to the third round.
With the win, the South Africa native becomes the first Illini to reach the round of 32 at a Grand Slam since Amer Delic accomplished the feat at the 2009 Australian Open. Anderson made first-round appearances at the three earlier Grand Slams this year, but had never reached the main draw of the US Open in two previous attempts in 2008 and 2009.
Anderson will next face world No. 38 Richard Gasquet, who upset sixth-seeded Nikolay Davydenko in straight sets on Thursday, 6-3, 6-4, 6-2. Gasquet ranked as high as No. 7 in 2007 after reaching the semifinals at Wimbledon and has reached the round of 16 twice in his career at the US Open.
In doubles, Anderson and fellow former Illini Rajeev Ram both advanced to the second round with their respective teammates. Anderson and Victor Hanescu topped seventh-seeded Jurgen Melzer and Philipp Petzschner, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (1), while Ram and Bobby Reynolds defeated Stephen Huss and Andre Sa, 6-3, 6-3. The tandems will meet in the round of 16 should both advance with second-round wins. Anderson and Hanescu will square off later today against Florian Mayer and Rogier Wassen.