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Roger Federer eliminated at Wimbledon

14 July 2018

- Roger Federer crashed out of the Wimbledon quarterfinals after relinquishing a two-set lead to Kevin Anderson and not converting a match point.

Defending champion Federer, chasing a 21st Grand Slam title, lost a Court One epic, 2-6, 6-7 (5/7), 7-5, 6-4, 13-11 as 32-year-old Anderson became the first South African in the Wimbledon semi-finals since Kevin Curren in 1983.

Or was it the court?

Federer found himself scheduled on Court One having been ousted from his usual Centre Court domain for the first time in three years.

Federer took the first two sets but Anderson showed incredible resolve to fight back and win the third and fourth set.

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He also holds a 4-0 career lead over 2017 US Open runner-up Anderson who has yet to take a set off the Swiss.

But the South African Anderson held his nerve and then broke to seal the set 7-5 and then won the fourth 6-4 as his serve proved increasingly dominant.

And he didn't stop there.

But he found himself in even more unfamiliar territory despite racing through the first set in 26 minutes, with an inspired Anderson's relentless, thudding serve eventually overpowering the 20-time grand slam victor.

After two years of physical and mental struggles, Djokovic appears fit and confident and ready to try to add to his tally of 12 grand slam titles.

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Anderson hit 13 winners and just four unforced errors in the fourth set, claiming the only break.

This was not vintage Federer, even in the first set which he won handily. "I felt I was playing better tennis, so that was motivating for me as well to keep at it", Florida-based Anderson, who is applying for USA citizenship, said. "Then you have moments in the match where you rise to the occasion and play very well". "I couldn't really get the rallies going the way I wanted to, especially the 1-2 punch wasn't working at all today". I couldn't come up with enough good stuff for him to miss more. The 36-year-old had needed only 26 minutes to take the first set, leaving him horrified as a fifth successive Wimbledon semi-final slipped through his fingers from such a commanding position. "Obviously spend a lot of time with my physio", Anderson said at his post-match press conference. 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. "The more I can just treat it like another tennis match, the better for me", Anderson said earlier in the week.

Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal edged past Juan Martin del Potro in a five-set thriller at SW19 on Wednesday and avoid another upset at the Wimbledon. "I've been building in the last couple of weeks and my level of tennis is going up", he said. 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.

"It's always like a big war for me", said Nishikori on facing Djokovic. "I've actually been a little bit more aggressive this tournament in terms of some of the strength I've done on the off days, which I think has been beneficial", he said. Reaching his first grand slam final at the US Open previous year, where he lost to Nadal, gave him great confidence and it was noticeable even early on that he was able to push Federer back, a rare sight, especially on grass.

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Roger Federer eliminated at Wimbledon