Johannesburg - South Africa’s Kevin Anderson lost in straight sets to American Reilly Opelka 6-3 6-4 7-6 in the first round of the Australian Open, in Melbourne, on Monday.
Anderson, the former world number five now ranked 97th, did not break the serve of Opelka at any point during the match. In fact, Anderson did not even have a single break point opportunity during the entire contest against the 23rd seed.
Opelka broke the serve of Anderson in the fourth game of the first set to move into a 3-1 lead. That would be the only opening Opelka needed as he would go on to claim the set 6-3.
The second set began with Anderson being broken again, which was all the 2.11m-tall Opelka required, as there would be no further service breaks in the set which the 24-year-old claimed 6-4.
The third set did not feature a break point for either player as the two big-servers headed to a tiebreak. Opelka though, proved too strong in the breaker which he won 7-3 to move into the second round.
The 35-year-old Anderson is a former two-time Grand Slam finalist, losing the title match at the US Open in 2017 and Wimbledon a year later. Anderson also made it through to the fourth round of the Australian Open in 2013, 2014 and 2015.
Earlier in the day, SA’s top-ranked Lloyd Harris lost in four sets 6-4 3-6 5-7 6-7 to Australian wild card Aleksandar Vukic.