Kevin Anderson talks to the media after his 4-6, 6-4, 2-6, 6-2, 6-1 win over Fabio Fognini
Q. What happened in the match when you were down two sets to one, two break points? Of course, great serve, but do you think you were a bit lucky as Fognini said or not?
KEVIN ANDERSON: It was a very interesting match I would say. There was a lot of ups and downs. Facing those break points, down two sets to one, I definitely knew it was my time if I wanted to at least stay even and give myself a chance to win.
That was very important. I didn't feel great in the third set, but I knew that if I could get things going, I felt confident that on the surface I felt like my chances were going to be pretty good.
Fortunately I was able to save that game, which was, looking back at it, obviously very important. From that time, I just felt much better. Felt like I got a second wind going. I felt much more relaxed. My feet were much better.
The last two sets were sort of what I would have liked to start match out with. Obviously very happy to get through regardless of what might have taken place in the match.
Q. What was the problem with your back?
KEVIN ANDERSON: It was weird. I think I was a little nervous going out. Obviously it's a big match, a match that I thought if I stuck to my game I was going to have a good chance of getting through.
My first time being in this position here at Wimbledon, and just got a little stiff and affected the serve right from warming up. So I was a little bit nervous.
The more nervous I got the worse the back felt. Fortunately it settled down. It wasn't a factor. Definitely happy that I've got two days off to get to feeling better.
Q. You got a bit of treatment on it?
KEVIN ANDERSON: Yeah, I've already - fortunately I have a very good team with me. My physio, he's already taken a look at it. Nothing to worry about.
Q. How does it feel to be the first South African to get this far in 14 years since Wayne Ferriera?
KEVIN ANDERSON: Yeah, it's fantastic. I mean, been in the fourth round a couple times at the Australian and French and fell a match short last year.
But, you know, just starting this week I felt like I was feeling good on the grass. It's been a very enjoyable tournament for me so far. I've been facing the challenges that I've had to face in matches, but little scenarios within the matches as well.
Today was a crazy match. As I said, so many ups and downs and playing against a pretty tricky opponent. Feels great to be through. Being in the second week of Wimbledon, you know, feels fantastic.
Q. If were to face Andy Murray, how would you feel about that?
KEVIN ANDERSON: Yeah, I've been asked that throughout the week. I never like talking about possible matchups before they've played. Bautista is so good. He won 's-Hertogenbosch last week. I've played him before. He's had a terrific year, and he definitely has his work cut out for him.
If I do play Andy, yeah, it will be a great experience for me. It's why I play this game, to play greats, and at such a big tournament. Yeah, I mean, I haven't really thought too much about it yet.
Q. You've beaten him before.
KEVIN ANDERSON: Yeah, I played him a couple times. Didn't go so well against him in Australia. Got the better of him in Canada a couple years ago. Practiced with him a few times. Don't need to go too much about how he is as a tennis player. He's one of the best. There are so many parts of his game that are so good.
If I do play him, there will be a few challenges. I think the biggest will be staying calm, regardless of what court we may be on or all those outside factors.
Really it's about me focusing on my game. If I do that and do it very well, then I might have a few chances here and there.
Q. Fabio is the kind of player that's known to have quite the temper and sometimes it's a bit distracting to play him. Going into the match, is he the kind of player you dread facing because of that?
KEVIN ANDERSON: Yeah, you're not sure what you're going to get. I guess that's the reason we were out on I think it was Court 17 today. Sort of lived up to what I thought it was going to be like. A lot of talking. Not sure if he's doing it I mean, I personally just think that's the way he copes with some of the stress of being out on the tour.
Regardless of what's going on, you have to play and beat him. I did expect that a little bit going into the match, so I definitely felt a bit more prepared to deal with it.
Q. Does it bother you?
KEVIN ANDERSON: Yeah, I mean, didn't really bother me too much today. I feel like I'm able to sort of put that off my mind. I was able to just focus on what I needed to do on the court.
Q. It says in your profile that you like reading. What was the last book you read?
KEVIN ANDERSON: I've actually just started learning guitar, and that's taken over my reading thing. It was a book about the guitar. Yeah, I can't remember what the title is, but right now all my spare time is basically just learning how to play better.
Q. Electric? Acoustic?
KEVIN ANDERSON: Just acoustic guitar. Well acoustic and electric as well.
Q. You said you got nervous before going out today. Is that an issue for you?
KEVIN ANDERSON: I didn't say nervous. I think maybe a bit stressed, I think. It's a big match. Playing to be in the fourth round Wimbledon for the first time. Playing against a tough opponent, but one who I felt if I play my game well I felt pretty confident.
Sometimes when you add in those factors, I think, yeah, maybe just stressing myself out a little bit too much. Coming out, I think a lot of players feel that way. I think if you didn't feel that way you would have a bit more to be worried about.
It obviously means so much to all of us playing here at such a special tournament. You know, I'm in new territory right now. Hopefully in the years to come, once you've been here, it will be easier to go out and play those sort of matches.
Q. If you played Murray it may be centre Court. That really steps it up.
KEVIN ANDERSON: Yeah, and I've played some of - I feel - you know, throughout my career I've played more of the top guys and definitely feel more comfortable with it.
It's one of those things where I think there will be more pressure on him than there is on me, so I can just sort of relax a little bit more. And I think getting through today's match will calm me. I know it might sound a bit backwards, but it might make me a little bit more calm for the next match.
Q. If nerves do affect your physical state and your back today, are you worried going into a match against Murray? That will be extremely physical.
KEVIN ANDERSON: Yeah, I mean, I've been - my body has been feeling great. I've played some very long matches in my career and I haven't felt like physically it has been a limiting factor. I think today was a bit of an anomaly in that sense.
Just getting on the grass and my back was a little bit stiff. When you're feeling maybe a little bit nervous, sometimes those thing go. But I mean, it wasn't a major thing. Obviously I was able to play five sets.
Even it wasn't maybe ideal to start out the match, it felt much, much better towards the end. Having a couple days of now, I definitely feel very confident about being 100% ready for my next match.
Q. In all five sets you played today you already started to serve first game. Is that an advantage for a guy who serves like you? Did you choose at the beginning to serve first? What happened when it was 5???2 to you in the fourth set and he gave the last game, which was stupid on his side, in my opinion, because you start the fifth set serving.
KEVIN ANDERSON: Well, after the coin toss, he won it and the umpire asked him and he said it doesn't matter.
KEVIN ANDERSON: Yeah. And then he sort of quite casually decided to return. That's how the beginning of the match went.
I guess I did serve first every one. I think by 5-2 in the fourth set he was feeling quite confident and moving much better. I know it seemed like he had dropped a little bit of energy. I didn't necessarily go out there saying, I have to break this game. I was just trying get myself going more.
I made some returns and he played a bit of a loose game. It was important for me to get a good start in the fifth set. Serving first, if you can do that, I think maybe it is a little bit of an advantage.
Q. If you look down your past record you can see which big names you play, but doesn't tell us the big stadiums and how crowded they were. Which were the biggest crowds you played in front of?
KEVIN ANDERSON: Let me try to think. I played Andy in Melbourne on Laver. That's actually the only main like center court of the slams that I've been on.
I've been on Hisense.
Court 1 here. Played Novak here a few years ago. Played Davydenko here on Court 1;Berdych on Court 1 as well.
Then at the Open, played David Ferrer there.
And at the French Open...
Q. On Ashe?
KEVIN ANDERSON: No, on Court 1, on Armstrong.
And then on French Open I played on Lenglen against Ferrer twice.
So I feel like, I mean, just, yeah, playing Novak and playing Berdych and Davydenko on Court 1, it's not much of a size difference. It's a great crowd.
Obviously not sort of home support, but it'll be exciting. I don't know who I'm playing yet, but if it is Andy and if we do get on Centre Court, it'll definitely be fantastic.
Q. Were you around on day one when he walked out and got that long standing ovation?
KEVIN ANDERSON: Yeah, it was great to see. I got into the locker room and I think the TV wasn't on and I asked the guys to put on. I think it's great to see the defending champ go out for the first time. It's an amazing tradition and something very special to see.
Q. Is Andy somebody that you well? Have you practiced with him?
KEVIN ANDERSON: Yeah, I practices with him a few times. You know, I know some of the guys on his team quite well. Jez Green, I've known him for a number of years. I got to know Ivan Lendl a little bit last year a little bit more, and actually practiced with him a couple months ago.
We live in Delray Beach and he's in Vero, which is only about an hour away. Been down to Miami to practice with Andy a couple times. Obviously a huge difference from a practice set in Miami to Centre Court or Court 1 at Wimbledon.
Yeah, I think just being a bit more experienced and a bit more familiar. I'm sure, as I said, if he is the guy I'm going to play, I'm sure there will be some nerves going out, but definitely be very excited.
Q. Were you surprised to be on Court 17 today?
KEVIN ANDERSON: Yeah. Well, just because - biggest surprise was being able to get one grounds pass for a third-round match. I mean, I don't know if there is an exact reasoning. Maybe assuming something to do with my opponent and some of the antics he's had this week so far.
Q. Did this annoy you?
KEVIN ANDERSON: No, I mean, not really. Just have to deal with it. When it comes to court scheduling and stuff, nothing you're going to do about it. The only frustrating part was, as I, said the amount of grounds passes I could get.
Q. I understand you're a big fan of Eminem.
KEVIN ANDERSON: I am.
Q. If you play Andy, will it be a bit of Marshall Mathers to pump you up before?
KEVIN ANDERSON: Maybe. It was actually funny. I just bumped into Ricky Gervais upstairs, and he's one of his biggest fans. Maybe I'll watch some of his stand up before. Just some of his stand-up shows and some of his gigs with Karl Pilkington I've been a huge fan.
Just literally just five minutes before the conference I went and introduced myself. It was great.
Q. Were you more nervous meeting him?
KEVIN ANDERSON: I was a little nervous. My hand started sweating. It's just funny, when you're not used to something it's amazing what you get nervous about.