Anderson stuns Federer in last 8

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Kevin Anderson produced an astonishing fightback from two sets down to beat Roger Federer 2-6, 6-7 (5), 7-5, 6-4, 13-11 in a quarterfinal cliffhanger at Wimbledon yesterday.
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AFP

South Africa’s Kevin Anderson returns to top seed Roger Federer of Switzerland during their Wimbledon men’s singles quarterfinal at the All England Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, yesterday. The eighth seed sprung a surprise with a 2-6, 6-7 (5), 7-5, 6-4, 13-11 victory.

Kevin Anderson produced an astonishing fightback from two sets down to beat eight-time champion Roger Federer 2-6, 6-7 (5), 7-5, 6-4, 13-11 in a quarterfinal cliffhanger at Wimbledon yesterday.

The big South African’s hopes looked forlorn as Federer skipped through the opening two sets on Court One with his usual panache but he turned the match on its head to cause the biggest shock yet in a tournament full of upsets.

It was his first win against Federer at the fifth attempt and means he is the first player representing South Africa to reach the semifinal at the All England Club since Kevin Curren in 1983.

Eighth-seed Anderson, 32, saved a match point in the 10th game of the third set and grew in confidence against an increasingly-ragged Federer who had won the first set in 26 minutes.

He won the third set to snap Federer’s 34-set winning streak at Wimbledon and the top-seeded Swiss was clearly shaken as Anderson dominated the fourth set to drag the 20-time Grand Slam champion into a decider.

Six times Anderson was required to hold serve to stay alive and each time he was equal to the task.

Federer eventually cracked at 11-11, double-faulting to hand Anderson a break point which he converted when the defending champion hit a weary-looking forehand halfway up the net.

Anderson stayed cool and sealed victory on his first match point — after four hours and 13 minutes — with a powerful first serve which Federer could only return into the tramlines.

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

Anderson will play 2016 runner-up Milos Raonic of Canada or American ninth seed John Isner tomorrow for a place in Sunday’s final. Second seed Rafael Nadal of Spain was playing fifth seed Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina in the other last-eight clash after Novak Djokovic outlasted Kei Nishikori to be the first man to reach the semifinals.

Serbia’s Djokovic shrugged off a second-set slump to reach a Grand Slam semifinal for the first time since 2016 by beating the Japanese 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2.

Djokovic wrested back the momentum for good after coming from 0-40 down at 2-2 in the third set to hold serve, and then breaking Nishikori in the next game.

The three-time Wimbledon champion was broken in the opening game of the fourth set, but won the next four games and broke again to clinch victory.

Djokovic looked in control in the first set. But he grew frustrated after failing to capitalize on three straight break points in the third game of the second set and was given a code violation after slamming his racquet into the ground.

When Nishikori then bounced his own racquet against the court in the fourth set without being given a warning, Djokovic yelled out “double standards” toward the umpire’s chair — drawing boos from the Centre Court crowd.

That didn’t seem to affect his focus, though, and neither did a time violation he was given when serving at 4-2, 30-30 in the fourth set.

Djokovic secured that game with a forehand winner, then saved two game points on Nishikori’s serve before converting his first match point with a forehand down the line.

He next faces two-time champion Nadal or Del Potro in his first Grand Slam semifinal since the 2016 US Open.

Nishikori, playing in his first quarterfinal at the All England Club, was bidding to become the first Japanese man to make the Wimbledon semifinals in 85 years.

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