Wimbledon 2018: Kevin Anderson knocks out Roger Federer, reaches semis

Roger Federer Rafael Nadal Wimbledon

Kevin Anderson, a former University of IL tennis player and the eighth-seed in this year's Wimbledon men's singles tournament, knocked out the top seed Roger Federer in five sets on Wednesday morning.

Top-seeded Roger Federer suffered a shock defeat in a match he seemed to have firmly sewn up before Kevin Anderson undid him stitch by stitch to stretch it to a long and feverish fifth and going on to win 2-6, 6-7 (7), 7-5, 6-4, 13-11.

Or was it the court?

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.

The 32-year-old became the first opponent to win a service game, and then a set, against Federer at this year's Championships.

And he didn't stop there.

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.

It was only the fifth time in Federer's career that he lost a best-of-five match that he led, two sets to none.

Roger Federer is out of Wimbledon, which means that half the viewership of the grass-court Grand Slam is now looking for something else to watch on television. "It's one of those average days you have to try to win the match, and I just couldn't get it done today".

After a slump following two years of nearly total domination of the men's game, Djokovic's star appears to be back on the rise and he is a clear contender to win a fourth Wimbledon title.

Federer had been pursuing a 13th Wimbledon semi-final and a 44th appearance in the last four of a grand slam.

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The American then cruised through the deciding set with a single break of serve enough to ensure her place in the semi-finals. It also took her until her 42nd Grand Slam appearance to finally get through to the last four at a major.

Despite his anger - and picking up a time violation in the fourth set - 12th seed Djokovic still reeled off 10 of the last 12 games. It set Federer off - he remained heated by the overturn ("That one cost me the match, eventually", Federer said later) and he began jawing at the chair umpire to complain about a number of things, including how long Del Potro was taking to challenge.

"I'm grateful but at the same time trying not to get ahead of myself too much". I just don't know exactly how I couldn't create more opportunities once the third set came around. The South African was just a better player and better competitor on the day: he hit 28 aces, 65 winners and 31 unforced errors compared to Federer's 16 aces, 61 winners and 33 unforced errors.

Del Potro was the only one of the quarter-finalists in action on Tuesday as he finished off a tough four-set victory over Gilles Simon.

Nadal has made the quarter-finals for the first time since finishing runner-up to Djokovic in 2011.

The victory sends Anderson to Friday's semifinal, in which he'll face three-time Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic, who turned back Kei Nishikori in four sets.

"I didn't feel mental fatigue".

Anderson will next play America's John Isner, who also reached his first Wimbledon semi-final when he defeated Canada's Milos Raonic 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (9/7), 6-4, 6-3.

"I like the level of tennis that I'm playing on right now".

The Swiss refused to blame his surprise defeat on the decision to play the match on Court One rather than his customary Centre Court stage at the All England Club.

Federer battled back from 0-3 down to force a tie-break, where Anderson grabbed a 2-0 head-start.

"I wouldn't call it unfinished business", he said.

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