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Rafael Nadal: Why I feel sorry for Roger Federer at Wimbledon

12 July 2018

It was Federer's earliest departure from Wimbledon since his shock second round defeat against Sergiy Stakhovsky in 2013.

"Down two sets to love I tried my best to keep fighting. Beating Roger Federer here at Wimbledon will be one I remember, especially in such a close match", Anderson said. "I just kept telling myself this will be my day". You'll need to log-in to a cable provider to watch this way, but if you don't have that, you can still sign up for one of the above options and then use your Hulu or Sling TV credentials to sign in and watch on the ESPN digital platforms.

"I have a tough work having Juan Martin in front of me". "Matches likes that are very special".

Still the focus was on the big three in the men's draw - Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafa Nadal - but Anderson believed he could surprise many with victory, constantly talking to himself throughout the game.

Now, at age 32, he has reached the semifinals at Wimbledon for the first time.

This was not vintage Federer, even in the first set which he won handily. The eight-time champion and 20-time grand slam victor last played a Wimbledon match outside Centre Court in 2015.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion had not dropped a set against the tall South African in their four previous meetings, but after Anderson saved a match point in the 10th game, a couple of errant forehands from Federer enabled the eighth seed to serve for the third set.

Anderson stayed in the match thanks to his serving, compiling 28 aces.

Anderson became the first South African in the Wimbledon semi-finals since Kevin Curren in 1983 and just the sixth in history.

The path is still open for Federer to face Rafael Nadal in the Wimbledon Men's Singles final if both players win their next two matches. Should Djokovic, Nadal and Federer win, it would be the first time all three played in a semifinal since the 2012 French Open.

But he lost his rhythm at the start of the second set as Anderson made his move. Flying under the radar, he saw off Norbert Gombos, Andreas Seppi, Philipp Kohlschreiber and Gael Monfils en route to the quarterfinals, dropping just two sets in the process.

Anderson held his nerve with his relentless and powerful serve win the fourth and send the rip-roaring contest into an unlikely fifth and deciding set. From there, Anderson broke Federer's serve in the next game to take a 6-5 advantage and won the set 7-5 with an ace, but only after remarkably holding off three break points.

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.

Rafael Nadal: Why I feel sorry for Roger Federer at Wimbledon