Kevin Anderson became the first singles player from South Africa in over two decades to qualify for the end-of-season ATP Finals on the strength of defeating Kei Nishikori in the Vienna final on Sunday.
The 32-year-old is the first South African to reach the ATP Finals in 23 years and follows in the footsteps of compatriot Wayne Ferreira who achieved the feat in 1995.
"It's fantastic. It's been a huge goal of mine all year", Anderson said after lifting the trophy.
The world No. 11, who defeated Dominic Thiem in the quarterfinals, also saved break points in the opening two games of the second set as he advanced to his third tour final of the season.
Copil upset expectations of a Federer final against Alexander Zverev in a 6-3, 6-7 (6-8), 6-4 win over the fifth-ranked German in the earlier semifinal.
Kevin Anderson with his winning trophy at the ATP Erste Bank Open 500 in Vienna.
"And just London, the event itself, I've heard so much about it - a great arena, a great atmosphere - and to do it by winning my first 500 here in Vienna, as well, is a great combination".
NY and the 32-year-old's previous three career wins came in Johannesburg, Delray Beach and Winston-Salem were all at World Tour 250-level. "It has been a long time coming... any time you make a final, you want to put the history behind you and it was always going to be a tough match", Anderson said.
Second seed Anderson won 91 per cent of points behind his powerful first serve, Nishikori unable to fashion a break as his wait for a first title since February 2016 goes on.
After closing out the first set, Anderson brought the second set to a tiebreak where his big serving made the difference.
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