Roger Federer's Wimbledon reign ended by Kevin Anderson
Anderson completes remarkable comeback to defeat eight-time champion Roger Federer in five thrilling sets
By Raz Mirza at Wimbledon
Last Updated: 12/07/18 1:08pm
Kevin Anderson dethroned Roger Federer to reach his maiden Wimbledon semi-final after sealing a dramatic 13-11 deciding-set victory on Wednesday.
Federer was on the ropes after dropping a comfortable two-set lead, and he even failed to take a match point chance in the third set, but the South African held his nerve to win a captivating contest 2-6 6-7 (5-7) 7-5 6-4 13-11.
US Open finalist Anderson, who became the first South African man to reach the semi-finals at Wimbledon since Kevin Curren in 1983, said: "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.
"I kept telling myself to keep believing. I said today is going to be my day. You need that mindset against Roger.
"I'm ecstatic. That's what you work so hard for. Matches likes that are very special."
Eighth seed Anderson will next face ninth seed John Isner, who also won through to his first Wimbledon semi-final thanks to a four-set victory over 2016 runner-up Milos Raonic.
Federer, playing in the unfamiliar surroundings of Court One for the first time in three years, oozed confidence as early as the opening game when he broke Anderson's huge serve with ease and then again in the ninth game before serving out the set in 26 minutes.
But the 32-year-old Anderson refocused in the second set to end the Swiss star's streak of consecutive games won on serve at 85 as he raced into a 3-0 lead before Federer quickly hit back to win the next three.
Did you know...
The longest streak of service games won at the All England Club was Pete Sampras's 118, set between the third round in 2000 and the second round in 2001.
Federer, aiming for a record-extending ninth Wimbledon title, settled for a tie-break which he took 7-5 - his 300th set overall at the Championships.
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 took his opportunity, despite having to save three break points, to seal it in majestic fashion with an ace.
That ended Federer's streak of consecutive sets won at the All England Club at 34, with the former world No 1 unable to break his own record.
Federer previously won 34 straight sets between the third round in 2005 and the final in 2006 but records were the last thing on Federer's mind as he just thinking of making it through to the last four unscathed.
Federer was looking fragile and when he netted on the forehand side to hand Anderson a 4-3 lead in the fourth set, the errors were becoming more problematic.
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.
Federer, who had won his previous six five-set matches, looked a lot more focused on serve although Anderson's rhythm remained unperturbed during a marathon contest.
Neither man looked like faltering until Federer double-faulted for the first time in the match and just the fourth time in the tournament in the 23rd game before Anderson served it out to snatch a remarkable victory in four hours and 14 minutes.
Isner will line up opposite Anderson on Centre Court in Thursday's semi-finals - the American won the battle of the big servers with Canada's Raonic.
Now 33, Isner had never gone beyond the last eight of a Grand Slam, but fought back from a set down to beat Raonic 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (9-7) 6-4 6-3 and take his place in the last four with the chance of a first major final.
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