South Africa’s Kevin Anderson is the eighth seed at this year’s Wimbledon, his highest ever seeding at the event. As a result he gets the benefit of an easier draw, but he won’t have it all his own way in his second round match against the wily Italian veteran Andreas Seppi. Seppi is ranked 50th in the world and is perhaps past his best, having once been a top 20 player. But he has plenty of experience at Wimbledon. Will he be able to upset the big serving Anderson?
Anderson and Seppi have met just once in their long careers, and interestingly enough it was at Wimbledon last year. They came across each other in the second round, and Anderson, then ranked outside the top 25, got the job done in three relatively tight sets. He won 6-3 7-6 6-3, with his victory perhaps the result of his dominance on serve. Anderson lost just 11 points out of 82 behind his first serve, and Seppi didn’t fashion a single break point in the match.
Path to the second round
Neither of these guys found themselves challenged in the first round, with each of them winning through with straight set victories. Anderson, who arrived at Wimbledon after a disappointing loss in the French Open from two sets to love up and a first round defeat at Queen's must have been glad to get a win under his belt. He defeated world #190 Norbert Gombos, who was playing just his third Grand Slam. The South African won through 6-3 6-4 6-4 in just under two hours.
Seppi found things even easier. Playing in his fourth grass court tournament of the year after trips to Rosmalen, Halle and Eastbourne, the Italian looked sharp throughout his first round encounter with Australian John-Patrick Smith. Smith, who is ranked 211th in the world, proved unable to challenge the man from Bolzano and Seppi didn’t miss a beat in his victory, winning 6-2 6-4 6-1 in just an hour and 23 minutes.
How do they match up?
As he showed when they met at Wimbledon last year, Anderson relies heavily on his huge serve. Standing at 6'8" tall, the South African is able to deliver powerful and precise serves, and will be extremely difficult to break. This is a clear strength, but Anderson is capable off the ground, with his backhand solid and his forehand a big weapon. But it is the serve that wins him matches and if Anderson serves well Seppi may once again struggle to challenge in receiving games.
Seppi himself has a fairly big serve, although not one to match Anderson's, and is solid off both wings and comfortable at the net. Indeed, he arguably has the edge on Anderson from the baseline, but there is every chance this match will be filled with short points. Don’t expect to see a lot of breaks, particularly when the big South African is serving, and it is quite possible that whichever man has the better serving day will take the match.
Owing to the big serves of both of these men, at least one tiebreak is to be expected from this match up. Anderson, however, will prove virtually impossible for Seppi to break, whereas his own returning ability, though not at an elite level, will likely be sufficient for him to earn a few opportunities on the Seppi serve. In a match up without a huge amount to separate the two that will be crucial. Expect Anderson to win through to the third round in three tight sets.