(MENAFN - Saudi Press Agency)
London, Shawwal 27, 1439, July 11, 2018, SPA -- Defending men's champion Roger Federer had his bid for
a ninth Wimbledon title ended by Kevin Anderson in the quarter-finals
as the South African succeeded in a 2-6, 6-7 (5-7), 7-5, 6-4, 13-11 epic on Wednesday, according to dpa.
It was Federer who caved under the fifth-set pressure with a double-fault and a net error to concede the crucial break before Anderson served out his victory in a four-hour and 14-minute marathon. There had been a solid start from Federer as he claimed the opening set in under half an hour and doubled his advantage by edging a tie-break. "First set felt great. He wasn't getting many aces. When I was on, I was making him play," said Federer. "As the match went on, I couldn't surprise him any more. That's a bad feeling to have. It's not like it hasn't happened before. I've been in many, many matches like this.
"These are the moments where you try to hold your serve, create opportunities. I couldn't come up with enough good stuff for him to miss more. I think that was the key at the end." The 36-year-old Swiss missed his opportunity to finish the contest with a match-point at 5-4 in the third and Anderson produced a fine display of rallying to emerge victorious.
It was the first time Federer has played Anderson since 2015 but he had never lost in their previous four meetings.
Two unforced errors from Anderson handed Federer the first break within the first two minutes and the Swiss opened up a 3-1 lead with a quick-fire ace.
Federer rallied to break again before capping the first set in 26 minutes with a chipped half-volley straight off the grass.
The tide changed slightly in the second set as Anderson came out firing to become the first man to break the Federer serve in this tournament.
Since his last defeat at Wimbledon in 2016, Federer had racked up a run of 32 consecutive sets without loss, aiming for a Wimbledon record 35 in today's match. Federer battled back from 0-3 down to force a tie-break, where Anderson grabbed a 2-0 head-start. But the 20-time grand slam champion dug deep to his heels as he lifted a bullet backhand pass to overtake at 4-2 before he escaped his predicament with a fierce forehand that forced Anderson's return to fly long.
In the third set, the pair were pegged on serve until a net error from Anderson opened the first match point at 5-4.
Federer mishit a backhand to see that opportunity erased as Anderson held firm with a powerful serve to ensure the match would continue.
It wasn't long before Anderson earned a second break with a stiff backhand for the opportunity to force a fourth set on serve - and he finalised the third with an ace to end Federer's impressive streak of sets at Wimbledon. Federer saved a set point in the fourth with a flying forehand but Anderson replied with a whipped winner of his own to ensure a decider would be needed.
Anderson traded with a defensive Federer as they rallied to enter sudden death. Now having to claim victory by two clear games, they were deadlocked until two costly mistakes from Federer signalled the beginning of the end at 12-11. The Court One crowd held their breath as a wicked forehand opened up match point for Anderson and he completed his first victory over the eight-time champion with a triumphant service. Earlier on Centre Court, Novak Djokovic advanced to the Wimbledon semi-finals for the first time since 2015 with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 victory against Japan's Kei Nishikori.
On Centre Court, the three-time champion broke serve twice for the first set advantage but endured a blip in the second as Nishikori sprinted 4-1 ahead to even the contest. However, the 31-year-old Serbian raced through the third and fourth sets to advance in two hours and 34 minutes. He will face either world number one Rafael Nadal or fifth seed Juan Martin del Potro in Friday's final four.
22:13 LOCAL TIME 19:13 GMT