Roger Federer's Wimbledon reign ended by Kevin Anderson

Annette Crawford
July 12, 2018

To stay in this year's Wimbledon he must beat a player who hasn't lost a set at SW19 since 2016, has faced just four break points in 12 sets at this year's competition, and is also the greatest tennis player of all time - Roger Federer. Even if Federer had managed to get past Anderson, as he nearly did, having held match point in the third set, there was no guarantee he would have gone on to win the title, especially with a rejuvenated Novak Djokovic in the other half of the draw, not to mention Rafael Nadal and Juan Martín del Potro.

Serving at deuce and 3-4, Anderson yanked Federer from one corner of the court to the other with blistering groundstrokes until the Swiss ended the 21-shot rally by netting yet another backhand.

With the scores deadlocked at 11-11 in the final set, and no obvious break in serve forthcoming, Anderson profited as Federer started to show signs of strain.

Federer was appearing at Wimbledon for the 20th time and 15 years after he first won the title, there were inevitably questions about whether the father of four had played his last match at his favourite tournament.

"I just kept saying "today is going to be your day". Obviously getting through it, I feel like I can take bigger steps". "It just happened to be that today wasn't the day".

'Then off the baseline I wasn't feeling as good either as I had hoped to, but still good enough to be in there and maybe win the match.

He said: 'I felt like in the last month and a half, the level of tennis has been very close to where I would like it to be, where I'm used to having it.

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.

Speaking to the BBC immediately after the match, Anderson said: "I'm not sure what to say right now".

"I had my chances", Federer said, "so it's disappointing."

Djokovic and Nishikori will play the first match on Centre Court, followed by arguably the pick of the quarter-finals between Nadal and Juan Martin del Potro, meaning Federer must make a rare visit to Court One. However, he fell once, this time in a 7-6 tiebreaker, to fall behind two sets to none. And he had held serve 81 games in a row at the grass-court major, a streak that grew to 85 before Anderson broke him a surprising total of four times.

"I don't think it would have changed if I played there past year". I wouldn't call it unfinished business. I felt like I did some good business here in the past already So I'm all right.

"The losses hurt more, you don't want to be on the loser's side", he said.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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