Kevin Anderson fired 20 aces and took treatment on a finger injury to eliminate 2018 finalist Frances Tiafoe in Monday’s opening round of the Estoril Open.
South Africa’s one-time Wimbledon finalist who has been injury-prone and out of action for much of the last few seasons, was competing in only his sixth match of 2021.
He defeated the American with a 4-6, 7-6(6), 7-6(4) comeback in nearly two and three-quarter hours.
With weather on the Atlantic coast dodgy, drizzle was a problem, with Anderson calling for the trainer when he slipped on a wet line and hurt a finger in the second-set tiebreaker at 2-all.
The No. 105 set up a second-round meeting with another Grand Slam finalist in fourth seeded wild card Kei Nishikori.
Tiafoe lost the 2018 final here to Joao Sousa, celebrated four years ago as the first local to win the Portuguese tournament; Anderson played a semi-final that year against Gilles Muller.
Spain’s eighth seed Alejandro Davidovich, a Monte Carlo quarter-finalist a fortnight ago, beat compatriot Pablo Andujar 6-3, 4-6, 6-1 in another match hitting the two-and-a-half-hour mark.
Main photo:- Kevin Anderson beating Frances Tiafoe in Estoril on his return from injury – by ATPTour.com