Roger Federer was a point away from a rather tidy, straight-set victory in the Wimbledon quarterfinals. So much more. Federer was attempting to reach his 13th semifinal at Wimbledon and move closer to title No. 9, both of which would have broken his own records.
After four hours of hard play on Tuesday at the grass courts of Wimbledon's All England Lawn Tennis and Racquet Club, the Swiss tennis superstar and championship mainstay fell in a dramatic five-set game against South Africa's Kevin Anderson. 'Against Anderson he has won all four matches and never dropped a set, so I expect him to comfortably get through.
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.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion appeared to be moving towards his fifth successive Wimbledon semi-final after taking the opening two sets.
"By the end I thought I did a great job not thinking about what was happening".
He held serve in the 24th game to take the match. "It's not like I would have remembered exactly how it would have felt", Federer said.
"I just kept telling myself to keep believing, and that today it would be my day".
"I think the first warning was unnecessary", said Djokovic, who was sanctioned in the second set for spearing his racquet into the court.
The final set lasted 90 minutes, and it was captivating stuff.
Anderson, 32, is the first South African man to make the last four at Wimbledon since Kevin Curren in 1983. You have to have that mindset.
"Yeah, of course, the goal is to come back here next year".
"I think Rafa and Del Potro had to be on Centre Court", Murray told BBC. Nishikori did the same in the fourth set and he didn't get a warning.
Djokovic had been yearning for a Centre Court date, after playing as many games on Court Two as the main show court beforehand in this tournament. "I'm pleased I'll be staying there right now".
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