By Ros Satar, at Wimbledon
- Kevin Anderson  def. Roger Federer  2-6 6-7(5) 7-5 6-4 13-11
- Federer will remain the world No. 2 when the new rankings are released on Monday, after The Championships.
WIMBLEDON, UK – Roger Federer was outlasted by Kevin Anderson as the pair battled for 24 games in the final set.
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Roger Federer was dramatically ousted from Wimbledon at the quarter-final, having been two sets up and having a match-point against Kevin Anderson. The rangy South African had just one grass court match in his legs before coming to Wimbledon, falling in the first round of Queen’s.
It looked like it would be routine for the eight-time Wimbledon champion as he forged ahead early in the first set and while the second set saw the momentum switch from Anderson back to Federer, with the Swiss edging the tie-break, Anderson’s star was on the rise.
Having had a chance at 5-4 to take the match, Anderson saved the match point, and went on to break Federer before grabbing the third set. The fourth set was still highly competitive with the first break point chances falling to Anderson, who took the advantage. Federer fought for a chance to break Anderson as he was serving to level the match, but the South African prevailed.
Federer lost a further chance to break in the eighth game of the decider, but by the time they had reached 6-6, neither player was giving any quarter. The crucial break came in the penultimate game with Anderson just edging the advantage, before saving for a place in his second Grand Slam semi-final, having reached the final of the 2017 US Open.
Federer, who skipped the clay court season, having started the year with the Australian Open title, won Stuttgart at the start of the grass court season, but just fell short in the Halle final.
Coming into this match, Federer had not even lost a set to Anderson, but knew that if he was given a chance, he would make things tough.
He said: “There’s nothing really that shocked me because I’ve seen Kevin play many, many times in the past. Even if the matches have been maybe sometimes one-sided, I didn’t lose sets against him, you always know he can pick it up, and all of a sudden you won’t see breaks for some time.
“I was very happy that I got off to the right start of the match, was able to take control somewhat of the game. I just don’t know exactly how I couldn’t create more opportunities once the third set came around. I think I had chances, I’m not sure exactly how many. But then fourth and fifth, obviously the fifth was long, that’s like two sets, the fifth.
“I think I had my chances, so it’s disappointing. No doubt about it. He was consistent. He was solid. He got what he needed when he had to. Credit to him for hanging around really that long.”
He denied that there was any mental or physical fatigue during the match, despite playing that lengthy deciding set.
He continued: “I felt good actually. Sure, it’s disappointing losing the next two sets after winning the first two and having match points. I’ve been there before. I know what kind of energy I need to bring to the fifth. I was able to bring that.
“To be honest, I didn’t feel mental fatigue. Now I feel horribly fatigued and just awful. It’s just terrible. But that’s how it goes, you know.”
Much had been made of the scheduling that saw Federer put Court No. 1 for the first time since 2015. However, he was quick to dismiss that as a factor.
Federer said: “I don’t think it really mattered [to be schedule on No. 1 Court], to be honest. I had my chances and blew them, so… That’s my problem really.”
The Gentlemen’s Singles semi-finals will take place on Friday.
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