[CR3] Andy Murray (GBR) vs. [CR14] Kevin Anderson (RSA)
It was not a repeat of his match at this year’s Wimbledon. Anderson lost that match after taking a commanding two set lead against Novak Djokovic. What went through his mind as he saw that match slipping away from him? The stress that is a natural part of any competitive sport is doubled as the athlete feels the lead slipping out of their grasp. In tennis, some may desperately attempt to halt the process by over thinking their shots, further compounding the problem. Some players will try to play outside their comfort zone and get into deeper trouble. The strategies employed rarely prevent the inevitable loss, because it’s not a lack of game that does them in, rather it’s their inability to suppress the emotions that cloud their thinking and hamper their strokes.
When you have recent memories of losing a match after leading by two sets, it is not easy to control the thoughts and emotions when you think the same thing is about to happen again. Anderson was fully aware that a significant percentage of the viewers were cognizant of his melt-down at this year’s Wimbledon. As soon as he lost the third set, you could sense his emotional turmoil. There is no place to hide on the tennis court and hardly enough time to regain your composure after losing a significant lead. Yet, Anderson found the place within to calm his emotions and reminded himself to trust in his game. He shook off the disappointment of losing the third set and turned things around in the fourth set tiebreak. The 7-6(5), 6-3, 6-7(2), 7-6(0) defeat of Murray gives Anderson his second victory over Murray in seven tries and earns him his first quarterfinal appearance in a Major.