Fixture: Kevin Anderson vs Dennis Novak
Date: 26 October 2020
Tournament: Erste Bank Open 2020
Round: First round (Round of 32)
Venue: Vienna, Austria
Category: ATP 500
Surface: Indoor hardcourt
Prize money: €1,409,510
Match timing: 2 pm local time, 6.30 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - ESPN / Tennis Channel | India - Sony ESPN
Kevin Anderson vs Dennis Novak preview
34-year-old Kevin Anderson is a former World No. 5 and a two-time Grand Slam finalist, having been the runner-up at US Open 2017 and Wimbledon 2018. Many others might have called it a day after undergoing multiple surgeries on their knee, but the 6'8" Anderson believes retirement is still a few years away for him; the South African still hopes to win a Grand Slam.
The likes of Roger Federer and Feliciano Lopez are still around at the age of 39. Anderson, ranked No. 111 and recently elected President of the ATP Player Council, could well follow in their footsteps if he manages to remain healthy.
Anderson will face a local favorite - Dennis Novak - in the first round at Vienna. Novak is currently ranked No. 91 in the world, after peaking at No. 85 a few months ago.
The Austrian, who is also playing doubles with countryman Dominic Thiem at the tournament, has been grinding his way through the lower tiers of the professional tennis circuit. He broke into the top 100 for the first time in January, at the age of 26.
Kevin Anderson vs Dennis Novak head-to-head
This will be the first meeting between the two players, so their head-to-head currently stands at 0-0.
Kevin Anderson vs Dennis Novak prediction
Kevin Anderson's biggest concern has been lack of consistency over the past couple of seasons due to his injuries. The South African played only five events last year - and none after Wimbledon.
This year, during the pandemic-affected season, he has posted a mediocre 6-8 record, underlined by a third-round finish at the French Open.
Dennis Novak certainly has more match practice, having posted a 14-12 record ( including qualifying) in 2020. He has now become a regular on the ATP tour events after nine years of paying his dues on the ITF and ATP Challenger circuit.
That said, the Austrian lacks a big weapon in his game, and is more of a counterpuncher who moves very well across the court. If Anderson can put in a high number of first serves and hold his serve easily, he should be able to put pressure on the Novak serve and create opportunities for himself.
Prediction: Kevin Anderson to win in three sets.Published 26 Oct 2020, 00:43 IST