Tall timber Kevin Anderson will be looking to cut down a few big names at next week's Australian Open after the unseeded South African continued his run of good form to reach the Sydney International semi-finals.
The 2.03m Anderson, who is only shaded by the likes John Isner and Ivo Karlovic as the tallest man on the ATP tour, proved too strong for Denis Istomin in their quarter-final on Thursday, downing the Uzbek 6-4, 6-3.
He will meet Julien Benneteau in a semi-final on Friday after the Frenchman eased to a 6-4, 6-2 win over American qualifier Ryan Harrison.
Anderson has enjoyed a strong start to the year, winning two from three of his singles matches at the Hopman Cup, the only loss at the hands of world number eight Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in two tiebreaker sets.
The Hopman Cup proved something of a mixed blessing for Anderson, who chose to play in Perth ahead of the ATP tournament in Brisbane.
Good results in Brisbane could have seen the world number 36 move into the top 32 available players for the Australian Open, earning a seeding at Melbourne Park in the process.
"It was pretty tricky," Anderson said of deciding where to start his year.
"As things turned out I wasn't too far off from being seeded at the Australian. So I think that was biggest downside from not playing.
"But I chose to play (the Hopman Cup) before I knew that (possibility)."
With a booming serve and capable volley, Anderson looms as a player the seeds will be looking to avoid in the early rounds at Melbourne.
Benneteau, a journeyman who has spent 13 years on tour and is without a singles title from seven finals, was also impressive.
A losing finalist in Sydney last year to Finn Jarkko Nieminen, Benneteau discovered on Thursday morning he would be the beneficiary of Isner's injury-enforced withdrawal from the Australian Open, the 35th-ranked Frenchman elevated to the 32nd and last seeding.
"For sure it's better (to be seeded) but it doesn't mean that you are going to win some matches at the Australian Open," Benneteau said.
AAPTags: tennis, sport, sydney-2000, nsw, australia First posted January 10, 2013 16:29:37