LONDON: Defending champion Roger Federer was knocked out of Wimbledon after South Africa’s Kevin Anderson roared back from two sets down to win a thrilling quarter-final clash yesterday.
Anderson, who reached the U.S. Open final last year, saved a match point in the third set before recovering to beat the Swiss top seed 2-6 6-7(5) 7-5 6-4 13-11 after four hours and 14 minutes on Court One.
“Honestly, I’m not sure,” the 20-times Grand Slam champion said when asked where it had all gone wrong.
“I guess there was definitely a moment at some point. Is it missing match points? Is it getting broken at 5-5 after that?
“I’m not sure. That could have been a key. Could have been a key later. There’s a lot of little points here and there that always make a difference in the outcome of a match.”
The 32-year-old Anderson will next face American John Isner, who overcame Canada’s Milos Raonic 6-7(5) 7-6(7) 6-4 6-3 in the battle of two of the biggest servers in the men’s draw.
Three time winner Novak Djokovic returned to a Grand Slam semi-final for the first time since the 2016 U.S. Open, beating Japan’s Kei Nishikori 6-3 3-6 6-2 6-2.
The Serb looked in impressive form, particularly when he closed out the final set in ruthless fashion to set up a blockbuster semi-final with world number one Rafa Nadal.
French Open champion Nadal battled past Argentine Juan Martin del Potro 7-5 6-7(7) 4-6 6-4 6-4 to reach the Wimbledon last four for the first time since 2011.
The Spaniard finished with 67 winners to 34 unforced errors as he displayed his credentials as he bids to lift a third singles title at the All England Club.
“I think it was great quality tennis and in the final set there were some amazing points,” said 2008 and 2010 champion Nadal.
“Sorry to Juan Martin, he’s an amazing opponent and player. In some ways he deserves to win as well.
“Anything could have happened, so this is a big achievement for me to get to the semi-finals at Wimbledon.
“In the last set there was a little of everything, great points, great rallies, he was hitting crazy with his forehands. I tried to resist and maintain focus.”