Result: Kevin Anderson reaches last 16

South African Kevin Anderson hits a forehand shot during his third round match against Fernando Verdasco at the Australian Open tennis championship on January 18, 2013
© AP Photos
Kevin Anderson triumphs over Fernando Verdasco to reach the fourth round of the Australian Open.

Kevin Anderson has become the first South African player to reach the last 16 of a Grand Slam since Wayne Ferreira reached the semi-final in Melbourne in 2003.

The 26-year-old defeated Fernando Verdasco in a five-set epic on Hisense Arena to set up a clash with either Tomas Berdych or Jurgen Melzer.

It was a battle from the off, as both players used their serves well. However, it was Verdasco who won it, closing out the opening set 6-4.

The Spaniard found Anderson's serve a tough nut to crack in the second, failing to set up a single break point.

Anderson created four, but only needed to take one in evening the scoreline at one set all.

The 22nd seed regained the initiative and once again got his nose in front in the third set, capitalising on the few opportunities given to him two win 6-4.

It was then that Anderson found his second wind, and all of a sudden the momentum was at his back.

The South African began to spray winners all over the court, while also reestablishing his serve as a potent weapon.

After taking a gruelling 63-minute fourth set on a tie break, he sealed a 4-6 6-3 4-6 7-6(4) 6-2 victory in the deciding set.

Tomas Berdych celebrates hits a return at the Australian Open tennis championship on January 16, 2013
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