Harrison beats Anderson, advances to Japan quarters

AP, TOKYO

Thu, Oct 05, 2017 - Page 16

Ryan Harrison yesterday withstood the big serve of Kevin Anderson and advanced to the quarter-finals at the Rakuten Japan Open by beating the US Open finalist 6-3, 1-6, 7-6 (7/2).

Anderson landed 24 aces in the match, but the 52nd-ranked American overcame the barrage and is next to face top-seeded Marin Cilic.

Cilic advanced with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Yasutaka Uchiyama, a Japanese player who won in his ATP main draw debut in the first round. Cilic dropped only four points out of 34 on his first serve.

Adrian Mannarino and eighth-seeded Diego Schwartzman also advanced to the quarter-finals. Mannarino beat Jiri Vesely and Schwartzman defeated Bernard Tomic.

Fourth-seeded David Goffin, last year’s runner-up, started his campaign with a 7-5, 6-1 win over Feliciano Lopez. The Belgin is next to face qualifier Matthew Ebden in the second round.

Goffin has been a key player in Belgium’s run to next month’s Davis Cup final against France. However, he had lost six straight matches on tour before claiming his first title in three years in Shenzhen, China, on Sunday.

“I think for many players it’s good to play Davis Cup — it can give you a lot of confidence for when you go back on tour,” Goffin said. “It’s really something special when you win a point for your country and it gives you a lot of energy and confidence.”

“Maybe that’s why after the US Open, when I won two singles against Australia to qualify us for the final, it gave me a lot of confidence in my physical fitness and my tennis,” he added.

Goffin was sixth in the qualifying list for the season-ending tournament in London when he sustained an ankle injury at the French Open in June. He missed six weeks and slipped to No. 13, but is still hopeful of qualifying for the ATP Finals.

“It’s the first big injury I had in my career, so it was not easy to manage that period,” Goffin said. “I had a good rest, that was the positive thing of my injury. It was not at the best moment, because I played really well the first six months.”

Alexandr Dolgopolov beat Daniil Medvedev 6-1, 6-2 and is next to face Steve Johnson, who upset second-seeded Dominic Thiem 4-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-4.