NEWS

Kevin Anderson, Here's A Message From Your Mom: 'You Can Do This!'

He plays in the U.S. Open semis tonight.

08/09/2017 17:18 SAST | Updated 18/09/2017 09:01 SAST
Issei Kato / Reuters

.Kevin Anderson has his eye on clinching his first ever major final when he faces Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta in the US Open in New York tonight (Friday). He became the first South African to reach a Grand Slam semi-final in 14 years and the nation is upbeat ahead of his history defying match.

The game will be played at 10pm local time on Supersport 6 tonight (Friday).

HuffPost SA spoke to Barbara Anderson, Kevin's mom, and she spoke about the rollercoaster emotions she goes through when watching her son.

"There are very high emotions, it is impossible to be laid-back. You are dying inside and you're just waiting for the match to finish, it is really not relaxing. In every tournament, he flies the South African flag. He likes to motivate kids that if you have a dream and work hard, you can get to where he is," she said.

When asked what she would say to her son before he walks on to the court, she said: "I would put my arms around him and tell him he can do this."

USA Today Sports / Reuters

HuffPost also spoke to his coach, Neville Godwin, who is of course in the US with Kevin.

"We have had great preparation and the mood is calm and relaxed. We try not to think about making history; instead, we keep things simple. Kevin has been playing great and so we will keep all our routines the same."

He added: "Kevin has really committed to improving and, as a coach, that's all you can ask or want from a player. He needs to keep doing what he's been doing and enjoy the moment."

Tennis SA told HuffPost: "Tennis SA is extremely proud of Kevin and his achievements, not only in the US Open but his career.

"We are proud that he is South African, for the way he has played the game on and off the court in a manner that makes all SA citizens proud.

"Kevin continues to be an inspiration to all SA tennis players. His success is well-deserved, applauded and much appreciated."

Anderson made headlines across the world, but more especially here at home in South Africa, after defeating American Sam Querrey in the quarter-finals of the US Open at Flushing Meadows.

Tennis SA's Richard Glover said: "It was a pleasant if unusual sight.

"South Africans are used to seeing the back pages dominated by the 'big three' of football, rugby, and cricket, so it was nice to have positive tennis publicity."

Anderson is becoming a well-known name in the world of tennis. He has come agonisingly close on various occasions to hitting the big time and has a chance to make the US Open final and possibly face off against Rafael Nadal.

"We will have the TV on at 10pm. I find it difficult to move from the screen. We always record and watch [the games] again in great detail with my husband," his mom added.

Marks Park Sports Club, the club where Anderson use to train while he was still in South Africa before heading to the States, also wished him well ahead of the semi-final.