LONDON (AP) — Facing Andy Murray on grass is never easy. It's even harder to take on the Wimbledon champion on Centre Court at the All England Club when the British star has an adoring home crowd behind him.
Kevin Anderson experienced it on Monday, losing 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (6) to Murray. Despite the loss, he enjoyed his afternoon under a closed Centre Court roof.
"It was great. I didn't feel put off by the crowd at all. It was a fantastic atmosphere," Anderson said after equaling his best performance at a major.
"Didn't feel like any unnecessary cheering. I mean, I think way back from playing in college tennis, you know, that sort of really vocal environment is something I've really come to enjoy," added the South African, who attended the University of Illinois from 2005-07. "It was really enjoyable playing out there. Didn't feel like it was a factor against me at all."
By Samuel Petrequin — https://twitter.com/sampetrequin
A NAP TO RELAX
Last year's Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli used to have naps in the locker room during rain delays.
Come rain or shine, it's the way Kei Nishikori is relaxing in his hotel room. And it's worked well so far at Wimbledon for the Japanese player, who reached the fourth round for the first time on Monday.
"I try to relax in my room usually," the 10th-seeded Nishikori said after beating Simone Bolelli 3-6, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (4), 6-4. "Yeah, I love to sleep. So I usually sleep a long time."
Apart from the naps, Nishikori said the influence of former French champion Michael Chang — one of his coaches — helped to strengthen the mental side of his game.
"He's very positive, always," Nishikori said.