Wimbledon | Federer is knocked out
DEFENDING champion Roger Federer is out of Wimbledon.
The eight-time champion and top seed was bombed out by big-serving Kevin Anderson who came back from two sets down to seal a 2-6 6-7(5) 7-5 6-4 13-11 win over a roller coaster, drama-packed 4hr.13min on No.1 Court.
Matches like that are very special - beating Roger is one I am going to remember, but hopefully there are two more matches still to play. Kevin Anderson
Anderson said to the BBC: “Matches like that are very special – beating Roger is one I am going to remember, but hopefully there are two more matches still to play.”.
Federer had made imperious progress to the quarter-finals, not dropping a set, hardly breaking sweat, making a mockery of the fact the father of two sets of twins will be 37 in August.
The talk was whether he could equal the record of Martina Navratilova as the only singles player to win nine Wimbledon titles. Many assuming a 13th semi-final appearance was his birth-right.
But they reckoned without the 32-year-old 6ft.8in veteran from South Africa.
Eighth seed Anderson produced the match of his life as Federer found being shifted from his spiritual Centre Court home for the first time in three years far from his liking.
Federer squandered a match point in the third set and Anderson made him pay.
Federer has drawn plaudits all through his latest campaign to wrest the crown.
And the superlatives tumbled out of the mouths of everyone watching him.
It looked business as usual as the Fed Express cruised through in the opening set. Former champion Boris Becker observed that Federer was beginning to “coast” at 2-1 after breaking Anderson, who was in his first All England Club quarter final. It was also suggested he could “pretty much walk on water”.
After Federer held, Anderson was forced to go a series of deuces before avoiding back-to-back breaks. But the Swiss merely waited for the next one before completing the set in style.
Anderson needed a new game plan. He had been going for broke and it hadn’t paid off.
He found greater consistency and it turned for him as he ended Federer’s run on holding serve for a 3-0 lead.
Rattled Federer upped gears to reduce the arrears by holding to love and breaking to level the set.
Anderson stuck to his guns, but Federer sealed a two-set to nil lead in the tiebreak after squandering two set points.
Then Anderson refused to lie down despite missing out on winning his first serve against Federer in the fifth meeting.
Even against the player rated the greatest of all time. A player moving and playing well.
But Federer worked his way to a match point at 5-4 on the Anderson serve before the South African held.
And Anderson wasn’t done yet. He broke Federer’s serve once more and served out with an ace to take the set.
Federer, in unchartered waters after the loss of it, struggled to match the level of his performance in the first.
And before we all knew where we were Anderson had levelled.
Could the unthinkable be happening with the darling of the Centre Court crowd looking lost on No.1?
The adversaries stood toe to toe in a thrilling final set. Federer was broken as Anderson nosed in front at 12-11.
All the South African had to do was hold his nerve and his serve. He did.