Winston-Salem Open 2015: Friday tennis scores, updated results and draw schedule | Launderer report
Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
Unranked outsider Pierre-Hugues Herbert continued his surprise run at the Winston-Salem Open, qualifying for his first career ATP tournament final where he will face second-seed Kevin Anderson.
Herbert beat No.13 Steve Johnson in straight sets in the semifinals. It’s quite a turnaround for the 24-year-old, who hasn’t played in an ATP event since his second round loss at Wimbledon in June.
Anderson, who beat Malek Jaziri in straight sets, stands on the way to Herbert’s first singles title.
Jaziri provided a solid fight in the first set, winning four games, but Anderson got through the second set, largely thanks to a break point in the fifth game.
|Open Winston-Salem 2015 Results – August 28|
|Pierre-Hugues Herbert def. # 13 Steve Johnson||3-6, 7-6, 6-2|
|No.2 Kevin Anderson defeated. Malek Jaziri||6-4, 6-2|
|Open Winston-Salem 2015 Final|
|No. 2 Kevin Anderson vs. Pierre-Hugues Herbert||1:00 p.m.||ESPN2|
Gerry Broome / Associated Press
Herbert entered the Winston-Salem Open as a qualifier and will need to find every ounce of stamina in his body after playing eight games in the past seven days just to reach that point.
After his relentless victory over Johnson, Herbert admitted to The Associated Press (via FoxSports.com) that he feels it in the morning even if he doesn’t linger.
I can’t believe it, really. The last three days it’s been really hard to wake up, really hard to train and really hard to get on the pitch. I am very tired. I take each day step by step, point by point, and I try not to think. Maybe that’s why I’m able to be there (in the final).
Johnson actually had an extra day to prepare for this game, as his quarterfinal opponent Yen-Hsun Lu was forced to retire due to a back injury. He came out strong with a 6-3 win in the first set, but couldn’t finish things in the second set tiebreaker.
Even though the competition at Winston-Salem does not live up to the usual standards as most of the best players in the world are preparing in New York for the US Open, Herbert’s run to the final is one of the most unlikely for a male star in 2015.
Herbert entered this 140th-ranked event in the ATP World Rankings and only earned one singles victory in a tournament.– against Hyeon Chung in the first round of Wimbledon-this season.
Following Herbert’s run this week, tennis broadcaster Nick Lester Noted this will propel the rising French star into the top 100. He also broke another barrier with two wins over ranked opponents in a single event (Johnson and Marcos Baghdatis).
Herbert’s journey isn’t over yet, as Anderson looks like Novak Djokovic in comparison. This is the third final of the season for the 29-year-old. He lost the previous two to Andy Murray at the AEGON Championships and Kei Nishikori at the Memphis Open.
This time, however, Anderson will enter the final as a favorite. He has two career titles on his CV, although the most recent is February 2012.
If Anderson is to break this three-year drought, it will certainly start with his service. The South African had 11 aces against Jaziri, bringing his season total to 714; only Ivo Karlovic and John Isner have more this season.
Herbert was no slouch with his serve, shooting 19 aces against Johnson, so expect plenty of points with the power.
Considering how many matches Herbert played last week and his lack of experience in this scene, Anderson has everything going in his favor.
Cinderella’s story is always fun to tell, but reality sets in more often than not. Anderson is the better player and will take advantage of a weak opponent to secure a solid win ahead of the US Open.
Statistics via ATPWorldTour.com