Anderson stuns Federer in quarter-final cliffhanger

14 July, 2018, 08:04 | Author: Ellis Copeland
  • Roger Federer

Roger Federer suffered a stunning Wimbledon exit as the defending champion blew a two-set lead and wasted a match point in a 2-6, 6-7 (5/7), 7-5, 6-4, 13-11 quarter-final defeat against South Africa's Kevin Anderson on Wednesday.

Or was it the court?

But Anderson finally made the 20-time Grand Slam champion look human in unfamiliar territory on Court One, where the Swiss had not played in three years.

Federer, 36, breezed through the opening set in just 26 minutes, had a match point in the third set and was just two points from victory a few times in the epic fifth set that lasted 90 minutes.

And with Federer dumped out of Wimbledon, the competition has opened up and paved the way for his arch rival - Rafa Nadal - to claim his third title at the All England Club. After fighting back from match point and love-40 on his serve to take the third set, the South African broke Federer in the seventh game of the fourth set.

And he didn't stop there.

Neither player had been able to break the other one in the fifth set, with each holding their serve, until Anderson did to go up 12-11.

And, despite his two-set advantage, the 20-times grand slam victor never looked entirely comfortable, despite having never previously lost a set to Anderson in four other meetings. There's hopefully two more matches still to be played.

"I felt like I was just trying to keep myself very highly motivated, a lot of belief in myself, and said, 'Today is going to be my day.' Obviously it came very close to it not being my day", Anderson said.

That initial burst gave Federer 34 successive sets won at Wimbledon, equalling his own record set between 2005 and 2006.

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Two-time Wimbledon champion Nadal, who is chasing an 18th Grand Slam title, won the pair's most recent clash in the semi-finals of the French Open last month.

Not quite to the same extent as Anderson, but Djokovic too was forced to improve as his meeting with Nishikori raged on, particularly after the 24th seed showed a sturdier response to level after two sets.

"I don't think it really mattered, to be honest", he said.

Nishikori went a break up immediately in the fourth set, but that was not the start of a comeback as Djokovic reeled off four games on the spin which helped send him into the last four.

Federer and Nadal are favourites to meet in Sunday's final - 10 years after their epic 2008 showdown - but Wilander believes Del Potro could throw a spanner in the works.

Novak Djokovic admits he is "grateful" to Wimbledon for scheduling his quarter-final match with Kei Nishikori on Centre Court. You definitely thought Federer would get the job done. "It's not like I would have remembered exactly how it would have felt", he said.

Isner ousted 2016 Wimbledon runner-up Milos Raonic 6-7 (5), 7-6 (7), 6-4, 6-3 to make his first Grand Slam semifinal in his 41st try. Federer has won all four of the previous head-to-head matchups, most recently taking down Anderson 6-1, 6-1 at the 2015 Cincinnati Masters.

He said: "I just asked the chair umpire how did I deserve that warning?"

"I think psychologically there's a huge difference for Anderson to play on Court One rather then Centre", the Swede, working as Eurosport's chief analyst, told Reuters.

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