Eight-time champ Federer ousted in Wimbledon quarterfinals
LONDON -- No. 8 seed Kevin Anderson pulled off a marathon shocker to beat top-seeded Roger Federer 2-6, 6-7 (5), 7-5, 6-4, 13-11 on Wednesday to advance to the Wimbledon semifinals at the All England Club in London.
Federer was serving for the match in the third set, but failed to close it out -- giving the South African Anderson the chance he needed to dethrone the defending champion in a match that lasted nearly four and a half hours.
"I'm not sure what to say right now. I tried my best to keep fighting and was able to scrape through the third and fourth set. By the end I was able to do a great job and I wasn't thinking too much," Anderson said. "Against someone like Roger, if you go out there with doubts, like I did in the first set, it's not going to go well. That was a great performance from my side. I'm very pleased to get through."
He will next face American John Isner in the semifinals Friday. The ninth-seeded Isner beat No. 13 seed Milos Raonic of Canada, 6-7 (5), 7-6 (7), 6-4, 6-3. It will be the first Grand Slam semi of the 33-year-old Isner's career.
The other semifinal will feature two of tennis' biggest names, as 12th-seeded Novak Djokovic will face No. 2 seed Rafael Nadal.
As for Federer, the third-set loss to Anderson was his first of the tournament and broke a streak of 34 straight sets won at Wimbledon, tying the mark the Swiss star set more than a decade ago in 2005-06. Anderson then broke Federer to go up 4-3 in the fourth set before holding on to force a decider against the eight-time Wimbledon champ.
Federer and Anderson each held serve throughout the final set, sparking a fan to yell out "I need to watch the football!" to laughter after Federer made it 9-8.
England was set to face Croatia in a World Cup semifinal in two hours when the fan yelled out.
The two continued to hold serve until 11-11, when Federer suffered his first double-fault of the match and the first break of the final set.
Anderson, who hadn't been broken since the second set, fell behind love-15 before serving out for the match by claiming the next four points.
"I just kept on telling myself I need to keep believing. I had to keep telling myself, today was going to be my day," said Anderson, who was 0-4 against Federer in his career before Wednesday.
It marked just the third time Federer has lost a match in a major after leading by two sets (266-3), and was his earliest exit at Wimbledon since losing in the 2013 second round.
"I think I had my chances," he said. "So it's disappointing. But no doubt about it, he was consistent, he was solid, got what he needed when he had to. Credit to him, really, for hanging around that long."
Federer, 36, said he intends to return to Wimbledon in 2019 in search of his ninth men's title.
Anderson now sets his focus on a player, like himself, in search of his first major championship. The 6-foot-10 Isner dropped a first-set tiebreak to fellow power server Raonic but held serve the rest of the way in winning in 2 hours, 42 minutes. Isner finished with 25 aces to Raonic's 31, but held off the only break point he faced while converting 3 of 6 break points against Raonic.
On the other half of the bracket, Nadal needed five sets to get by fifth-seeded Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina 7-5, 6-7 (7), 4-6, 6-4, 6-4. This will be his first Wimbledon semi since finishing second in 2011.
Serbia's Djokovic had perhaps the easiest time in the quarters, topping No. 24 seed Kei Nishikori of Japan 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 in 2 hours, 35 minutes.