Wednesday, 15 August, 2018

'It's terrible': Stunned Federer feeling low after Wimbledon shock

Roger Federer Rafael Nadal Wimbledon GETTY BBCRoger Federer and Rafael Nadal could face each other in the Wimbledon final
Domingo Copeland | 14 July, 2018, 08:06

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.

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.

Or was it the court?

It was a surprise result that now sends the eighth-seeded Anderson to the semifinals at Wimbledon, his first time making it that far in the storied competition that Federer has won eight times, including a year ago.

Even if Federer had managed to get past Anderson, as he nearly did, having held match point in the third set, there was no guarantee he would have gone on to win the title, especially with a rejuvenated Novak Djokovic in the other half of the draw, not to mention Rafael Nadal and Juan Martín del Potro.

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. He then broke the serve of his Japanese opponent in the next game.

And he didn't stop there. Anderson didn't even face a break point in the fifth set. There's hopefully two more matches still to be played.

"I really tried my best to keep fighting", Anderson, 32, told the BBC immediately after coming off court from the 4-hour, 14-minute match.

Federer saved a set point in the fourth with a flying forehand but Anderson replied with a whipped victor of his own to ensure a decider would be needed.

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There wasn't the faintest warning that the match would turn into a cliffhanger, with Federer sauntering through the first with customary balletic ease. At the same time, because he's such a big player, has so much firepower, you just can't be too patient.

"I mean, please", Federer said of Djokovic's victor. I don't want to stop here, I want to keep on going. Against Anderson, though he hit 16 aces, it was down to 79 %.

Nobody would have predicted Federer's collapse after he raced into a one set lead in just 26 devastating minutes. The Spanish ace, who has reached this stage for the first time since 2011, will be facing Novak Djokovic, who disposed of Kei Nishikori in his quarter-final outing. In the penultimate game, Federer hit a shot that went close to the line, the crowd gasped, but Anderson was able to get the ball back in play.

"To be honest, I didn't feel mental fatigue (during the match)".

Wednesday's other quarterfinals will pit Nadal against Juan Martin del Potro, while American John Isner will take on Canada's Milos Raonic for a semifinal berth.

You know, [Marco] Cecchinato at the French Open was a match he felt he should have won and then get to the finals, he had a match point at Queen's and he's sticking with it.

"I just kept on telling myself I have to keep believing and I kept saying that today was going to be my day, because you really need that mindset taking the court against somebody like Roger", said Anderson, who had lost all his previous four matches against Federer, and eight straight sets.

"He said he thinks it damaged the court".

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