Tennis

Anderson hopes Wimbledon play inspires kids in SA

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Cape Town – Kevin Anderson hopes his spot in the 2018 Wimbledon final provides a source of inspiration for kids in South Africa.

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Speaking after his record-breaking marathon semi-final victory over American John Isner on Friday, Anderson, 32, spoke of the "special" feeling to have reached his maiden Wimbledon final where he awaits the winner of the delayed second semi-final between world No 1 Rafael Nadal and 12th-seeded Novak Djokovic.

Anderson, the eighth seed at Wimbledon this week, won 7-6 (8/6), 6-7 (5/7), 6-7 (9/11), 6-4, 26-24 after six hours and 36 minutes on Centre Court, making it the second longest Grand Slam match ever, and the longest semi-final of all time.

With his win, Anderson became the first South African Wimbledon men's finalist since Brian Norton in 1921 – some 97 years ago.

READ: Twitter reacts to Anderson's marathon semi-final win

Anderson was asked in his post-match press conference: What does it mean to you to fly the flag for South Africa in a Wimbledon final?

He answered as follows:

It feels great. Obviously there was a whole lot that happened today in terms of the length of the match. At the end of the day, I've put myself into the finals of Wimbledon, which is half of a dream come true. I mean really, most people would say it's the biggest tournament we have. It's very special. Growing up in South Africa, we had kind of sort of limited access to available tournaments. Wimbledon was the most iconic event.

So to be here in the finals, it's amazing. I've had so much support from home. As I said after my previous match, I really hope that it's a source of inspiration for kids, just interest in tennis. South Africa does have a strong tennis history. We struggled over the last sort of decade or so. It's not easy. It takes a lot of time.

But I hope maybe somebody sits here in 10, 15 years' time and somebody asks him a question, and he says he watched me playing Wimbledon, that's one of the reasons he's here. That would definitely be great for me to hear.

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