Novak Djokovic admits surprise over Swiss ace's Wimbledon exit

Mae Harvey
July 14, 2018

The 32-year-old Anderson came back from two sets to love down and saved a match point to stun the eight-time champion 2-6, 6-7 (5/7), 7-5, 6-4, 13-11.

Or was it the court?

Federer squandered his match point at 5-4 on Anderson's serve in the third set but it seemed like it would only be a matter of time before he moved into the semifinals for the 13th time.

And with Federer dumped out of Wimbledon, the competition has opened up and paved the way for his arch rival - Rafa Nadal - to claim his third title at the All England Club.

And he didn't stop there.

Federer faces eighth seed Kevin Anderson, who he has not dropped a set against in four previous meetings.

Kevin Anderson became the first man to break Federer during the tournament at the start of the second set of their quarterfinal.

Roger Federer is out of Wimbledon, which means that half the viewership of the grass-court Grand Slam is now looking for something else to watch on television.

"I just kept on telling myself, 'I have to keep believing.' I kept saying that today was going to be my day", Anderson said, "because you really need that mindset taking the court against somebody like Roger".

Federer won the opening set in just 26 minutes and scraped through in the second to equal his Wimbledon record of winning 34 successive sets - a feat he had achieved once earlier between 2005 and 2006.

He may well pause to take stock of a journey that started in Johannesburg with him gleaning as much knowledge as possible from worldwide tennis magazines, cutting out articles on the sport's greatest rivalries, while pouring over the Grand Slams whenever they were broadcast on South African television.

Federer was completely out of sorts by now and his uncharacteristic struggles on his forehand didn't improve in the fourth set. That's a bad feeling to have. "I couldn't really get the rallies going the way I wanted to, especially the 1-2 punch wasn't working at all today". While Federer was waiting to play his semifinal against No. 14 seed Marin Cilic, Djokovic was getting upset by Kei Nishikori, seemingly handing Federer the trophy on a silver platter.

It snapped an 85-match run of holds by the Swiss but he did not flinch, hitting back to take the set on a tiebreak. He had done his billing no harm, winning the first four matches without dropping a set, or even a service game. "I feel like I did some good business in the past here already".

Others still in the running for this year's men's singles title include Spanish star Rafael Nadal and Argentina's Juan Martin Del Potro, now duking it out in their own quarterfinal.

"I think the first warning was unnecessary", said Djokovic, who was sanctioned in the second set for spearing his racquet into the court.

You know, [Marco] Cecchinato at the French Open was a match he felt he should have won and then get to the finals, he had a match point at Queen's and he's sticking with it.

"I wouldn't call it unfinished business", he said. "I don't think it would have changed if I played there past year. But I feel like my commitment to the kind of tennis I wanted to play throughout the match, it got definitely better as the match progressed", Anderson said at his post-match press conference.

Defending champion Federer will play in the unfamiliar surroundings of Wimbledon's No. 1 Court as he takes on eighth-seeded Kevin Anderson.

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