ABU DHABI – South African tennis player Kevin Anderson defeated Spaniard Pablo Carreño 6-3, 7-6 (2) on Thursday in the first round at World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi.
Carreño, world No. 10, could not cope with Anderson’s powerful serve during the first set, but the second was tight as Carreño managed to make the points longer, pushing it to a tiebreak.
Despite having the lead with a “minibreak” in the first point of the second set tiebreak, Carreño won only one more point out of the next eight.
This is the third defeat Anderson has handed Carreño in 2017 following the US Open and the Masters 1000 Canada losses, and the fourth in as many career matches.
Anderson, the US Open 2017 runner-up to Rafael Nadal, advanced into the semifinals of the exhibition six-player tournament, where he is set to take on Austrian Dominic Thiem.
After Nadal’s withdrawal from the tournament, Serbian Novak Djokovic is the favorite to clinch the title despite being world No. 11.
An elbow injury forced Djokovic to miss almost all of the second half of last season.
In his first appearance on court since losing to Czech Tomas Berdych in Wimbledon’s quarterfinals in July, Djokovic is scheduled to play against either Spanish Robert Bautista, Nadal’s substitute, or Russian Andrey Rublev.