World No. 17 Kevin Anderson continued his bid for a third ATP World Tour crown, needing one hour and 52 minutes to turn aside Gilles Simon in the semi-finals of the Aegon Championships.
Seventh seed Simon watched 34 aces fly past him on the Centre Court grass but hung on to stretch the towering South African into a decider before succumbing.
Anderson won 6-3, 6-7(6), 6-3, converting on his third match point after securing the decisive break in the eighth game of the third set. Seventh seed Simon saved a match point at 6-5 in the second set tie-break and would force a decider, but was unable to overcome 34 aces and 63 winners from the big-hitting South African.
The 29 year old Anderson is the latest player to achieve a best-of-three set career-high aces total this week, and was just two shy of matching his overall high of 36 set against Nikolay Davydenko in Wimbledon 2010. Earlier this week at Queen’s Club, both Gilles Muller (37) and John Isner (36) reached career-highs in aces in best-of-three set matches, while Ivo Karlovic struck a record 45 in Halle.
Anderson, who will feature in a 10th ATP World Tour final and first on grass, gets either top seed Andy Murray or Viktor Troicki in Sunday’s title match. Murray is a three-time champion on home soil (2009, ’11, ’13), while Troicki is coming off a run to the final last week in Stuttgart.