DELRAY BEACH, United States (AFP) - South African fourth seed Kevin Anderson rallied to reach the semi-finals of the US$474,000 (S$600,724) ATP Delray Beach Open on Friday by ousting Australian Marinko Matosevic in a rematch of the 2012 final.
Anderson fired 10 aces and connected on 61 percent of his first serves in a 6-7 (3/7), 6-3, 6-3 victory over his 55th-ranked rival, who had nine aces but also six double-faults and only a 49 percent first-serve success rate.
Seeking his second Delray Beach title in three years and third ATP career crown, Anderson advanced to a Saturday matchup with US qualifier Steve Johnson, who eliminated Spanish sixth seed Feliciano Lopez 6-3, 6-2 in 73 minutes.
Anderson, who lives nearby, surrendered only one break over two hours and 23 minutes in improving to 12-3 all time at Delray Beach and 3-0 against Matosevic.
"I've played him a couple times before and it's a battle each time," Anderson said. "I just hung in there and finally got that breakthrough in the second set. It was gusty and it was tough to get a rhythm.
"I'm in the semis and that's a great feeling." Anderson's only other title came in 2011 on home soil in Johannesburg.
In later quarter-finals, US second seed John Isner will meet American qualifier Rhyne Williams and Croatian seventh seed Marin Cilic will face Russia's Teymuraz Gabashvili.