Melbourne - South African tennis star Kevin Anderson was relieved to come through his first round encounter in hot conditions at the Australian Open on Monday.
Anderson, the fifth seed at the year’s first Grand Slam, saw off tricky Frenchman Adrian Mannarino 6-3, 5-7, 6-2, 6-1 in two hours and 53 minutes.
Anderson, who has reached the fourth round at Melbourne Park on three occasions, served 14 aces but made 38 unforced errors in his opening match.
Big-serving Anderson has lost in the first round in the opening Grand Slam of the year six times, including to Britain’s Kyle Edmund last year.
"It was really hot out here. I thought we were going to hit the heat rule, but no luck," said Anderson.
"I was up a break in that second set and just let it get away a little bit," he added.
The 32-year-old Anderson has been in fine form so far this year, winning his sixth ATP title in Pune by defeating Ivo Karlovic in the final.
"Every day I push myself to get better and better," said Anderson, a runner-up to Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon last year.
"You've got to come out here and win the match. It is a difficult challenge but that is what it is all about."
The South African will next face 2018 Next Gen ATP Finals qualifier Frances Tiafoe, who edged out Indian qualifier Prajnesh Gunneswaran.
Anderson and Tiafoe clashed three times last season, with the South African winning all the matches.