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Anderson upsets Federer in marathon thriller at Wimbledon

14 July, 2018, 08:04 | Author: Hannah Francis
  • Roger Federer prepares to serve against Adrian Mannarino

Eight-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer says he "did not see defeat coming" before a shock quarter-final exit against Kevin Anderson.

But he found himself in even more unfamiliar territory with an inspired Anderson's relentless, thudding serve eventually overpowering the 20-time grand slam victor.

Defending champion Federer hadn't been broken since the opening set of his 2017 semifinal victory over Tomas Berdych.

That took great self-belief, he added, knowing that he had never taken a set off 20-time major victor Federer in four previous meetings. Nor had anyone over the last 34 sets Federer had played at the All England Club, until Anderson nicked the third.

The 36-year-old Swiss ace came into Wimbledon as the favourite to win a ninth title and retain his crown from last year. But that turned out to be the least of his worries.

Djokovic, who defeated Nishikori in four sets to reach the semi-finals, added: 'It was the tournament's decision.

Federer uncharacteristically committed a lot of errors of his forehand and series of errors when he Anderson was serving for the match at 12-11 in the final set brought his title defence to an unexpected, early end. He hit 28 aces against Federer, saved 9 of 12 break points and managed to hold his own in the rare, lengthy baseline rallies.

Federer squandered his match point at 5-4 on Anderson's serve in the third set but it seemed like it would only be a matter of time before he moved into the semifinals for the 13th time.

When Anderson broke again in the fourth, Federer was suddenly on the ropes. Federer ended up with more points won than Anderson in this match, but ultimately the difference came down to two unforced errors.

The final set lasted 90 minutes, and it was captivating stuff. Anderson held for 5-all, broke to 6-5 with a violent return victor off a 156kph second serve, then staved off three break points and closed the set with a 214kph ace.




On they went, both holding to love for 10-10, but at 11-11 it was Federer who blinked, a double fault handing Anderson a rare break point which he converted.

"Honestly, I'm not sure", the 20-times Grand Slam champion said when asked where it had all gone wrong. "I felt I was playing better tennis, so that was motivating for me as well to keep at it", said Florida-based Anderson who is applying for US citizenship.

"It's one of those average days you have to try to win the match, and I just couldn't get it done". You need that mindset against Roger.

"That was something I learnt from 2016 where I constantly tried to get back into competition too quickly".

As Kevin Anderson secures South Africa's first shot at a Wimbledon final in more than 30 years, the Sports Minister has congratulated him for his stunning win.

The 24th-seeded Nishikori was able to attack Djokovic's second serve and had a chance to take the lead when he was 0-40 up at 2-2 in the third set.

Later in the match, Djokovic was clearly frustrated and complained of "double standards" when Nishikori was not punished for a racket throw. It's just different. I think this gives Anderson a better chance.

"I felt the first set obviously wasn't great for me". Kei did the same in the fourth set but wasn't warned.

"John I think has got arguably one of the best serves of all time on the tour". "I can't see him losing to Nishikori other than the fact that Novak hasn't had success in slams for a while. But hopefully I have two more matches to play".

Twelve months ago, his last-16 match with Adrian Mannarino, also scheduled for Court One, was cancelled despite Centre Court with its retractable roof being available.

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