It's as if Kevin Anderson was never away. The sixth seed returned to the fourth round of the Miami Open presented by Itau on Monday, beating Portugal's Joao Sousa 6-4, 7-6(6).
Anderson is playing in only his second tournament of the season, after losing in the second round of the Australian Open to #NextGenATP American Frances Tiafoe. The South African withdrew from four events, including the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells earlier this month, because of a persistent right elbow injury.
But he has felt healthy in South Florida, and his play has reflected his condition. Anderson hit 13 aces against Sousa and was efficient all match with his serve.
The 2017 Miami quarter-finalist (l. to Carreno Busta) won almost 75 per cent of his service points and saved the only break point he faced. Anderson improved to 1-1 against Sousa in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series.
Portugal's No. 1 was trying to beat a Top 10 player for the second year in a row in Miami (Goffin) and gain his fifth win against the elite group (4-30).
Anderson will next meet Aussie Jordan Thompson, who upset 24th seed Grigor Dimitrov 7-5, 7-5 to make the fourth round of an ATP Masters 1000 event for the first time.
Read More: Thompson Is On A Tear
The two traded breaks in both sets, but Thompson came through under pressure, breaking Dimitrov in the 12th game of both sets. The 24-year-old Sydney native had never reached the third round of a Masters 1000 event before Miami. He is 0-1 against Anderson in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series.
Dimitrov also was playing in only his second tournament of the season because of a right shoulder problem.