Kevin Anderson's name would not have been associated with Grand Slam titles before the 2017 US Open.

The South African was ranked number 32 in the world coming into the final Grand Slam of the year, but a run to the finals at Flushing Meadows where he lost to Rafael Nadal propelled him up the rankings.

The 31-year-old climbed 17 places after the US Open and was ranked 15 at the end of two weeks in Flushing Meadows. Anderson has carried his momentum into the New Year and has made two finals thus far – he lost in the finals at the Tata Open in India and claimed the title at the New York Open on 18 February.

Anderson did not fair too well at the Australian Open, losing in the first round against Kyle Edmund. But that has not affected his climb up the ranking ladder and he is currently ranked number eight in the world.

The South African's latest rise in the standings has seen Roger Federer surprisingly identify him as a potential Grand Slam winner. Even though the Swiss maestro feels that there are more talented players than Anderson, who have a better chance, the 20-time men's singles Grand Slam winner has given the 2017 US Open finalist a fighting chance to claim an unlikely major win.

"I think the US Open might have unlocked a lot of things for Kevin in his head and in his game that maybe before he wasn't sure he could achieve that kind of a level," Federer said, as quoted by Tennis World USA.

"I like his attitude and fighting attitude. He is going to go out swinging and trying his absolute best. And then good things can happen absolutely but there is clearly other few guys in the game that have more potential than him to win the Slams," the eight-time Wimbledon winner added.

Federer has previously identified two-time Masters Series winner Alexander Zverev and Australian Nick Kyrgios as potential future Grand Slam winners.

Kevin Anderson
Kevin Anderson lost to Rafael Nadal in the finals of the US Open in 2017 Getty