SYDNEY (Reuters) – Resuming South African Kevin Anderson won his first game since returning to competitive tennis with a 6-0-6-3 win over Chile's Cristian Garin at Monday's first ATP Cup team event.
South Africa's Kevin Anderson celebrates his win against Chile's Cristian Garin during the fourth day of the ATP Cup tennis tournament at the Pat Rafter Arena in Brisbane, Australia, January 6, 2020. AAP Image / Darren England
Anderson, a runner-up at the 2017 US Open and Wimbledon a year later, only played five tournaments last year due to injuries before undergoing knee surgery in September.
The 33-year-old lost 7: 6 (5) 7: 6 (6) against Novak Djokovic on Saturday, his first game since Wimbledon's third round in July, but proved too good for Garin.
Former number five in the world had no chance against Garin and sealed the draw against South Africa in the $ 15 million ATP Cup, which saw 24 nations compete against each other in ten days in Perth, Brisbane and Sydney.
"It got off to a very good start and I feel like a lot of the things we've been working on have been accomplished," said Anderson in Brisbane.
“After my first game, it's a little tiring. It is always how you work outside the field, it is always a little different to be in a field.
"But a really good day of rest yesterday and my body felt really good to be out there today."
The world's best players have gathered for the ATP Cup and are preparing for this year's Australian Open, which starts in Melbourne on January 20.
Marin Cilic, the 2014 US Open champion, continued the win on Saturday against Austrian Dennis Novak with a 7-6 (8) 6-4 win against 20-year-old Kacper Zuk from Poland.
Cilic converted only one of 13 break point opportunities, but his victory in Sydney was enough to score Croatia's second win after beating Austria 3-0.
"If I have to choose a few things today that I need to do better, only the breakpoints will be converted. I had many of them," said Cilic.
“But otherwise I found the level pretty good. I was aggressive. "
Japan also celebrated their second win when Yoshihito Nishioka and Go Soeda emerged victorious in their individual games to seal the draw against Georgia in Perth.
Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly; Edited by Peter Rutherford