Kevin Anderson reaches U.S. Open's final four

Kevin Anderson reaches U.S. Open's final four

Illinois coach Brad Dancer chatted about his former tennis star, who is into the U.S. Open semifinals after his late-night, technically early-morning win on Wednesday against Sam Querrey in New York.

What was that atmosphere like during Tuesday night's match?

Arthur Ashe Stadium is a really unique court, and it was almost empty by the time it was over. The 1,500 or so people left were rabid Sam Querrey fans, and then there was an Illini contingent. It was loud, but not very packed. It was a surreal moment, though. Because of the magnitude of the match it was a surreal moment.

Anderson has 92 aces at the U.S. Open. Have you ever returned one of his serves?

I've tossed a number of his serves right back at him. And you can print that. If you're a competitive tennis player, you're trying to read it and deal with the speed and bounce because he's got a lot of energy on his serves. If you're a non-competitive tennis player, it's all about protecting yourself when you see one of his serves coming your way.

Anderson won his match just before 1 a.m. on Wednesday. How much sleep did you get?

Not very much. I left Champaign at 3 a.m. on Tuesday morning to catch my flight to Chicago and then flew to New York. We got back into the hotel at 4 a.m. on Wednesday after the match, and I left around 9 a.m. on Wednesday to fly back to Champaign. I'm planning on flying back to see him again in Friday's match.

Can Anderson win his first major?

I hate saying this, but it's really about one match at a time, and he's got a tough match in front of him on Friday (against Pablo Carreno Busta). If he wins that, he could arguably play one of the greatest players of all-time in the championship match. He's got a great challenge in front of him, but I'm really proud of what he's been able to accomplish so far in the tournament.

[podcast id='337']

Sections (3):Illini Sports, Sports, Tennis