Roger Federer OUT of Wimbledon 2018 after gruelling five-set epic with Kevin Anderson
Roger Federer admitted “I blew it” after seeing his hopes of a ninth men’s title crushed by Kevin Anderson.
Eighth seed Anderson produced the performance of his life to dethrone King of Wimbledon and defending champion Federer in a five-set epic 2-6 6-7 7-5 6-4 13-11.
Top seed Federer conceded he only had himself to blame after snatching defeat from the jaws of victory having been two sets up and then had a match point in the third. But he squandered it with a wild backhand and Anderson made the most of his reprieve with a brilliant, gutsy fightback to reach his first Wimbledon semi.
The pair produced a four-hour, 14-minute classic and the match of the men’s draw so far this year ended with biggest shock.
But playing his part in such a memorable occasion would have been no consolation to Federer, whose forehand repeatedly failed him and fittingly handed Anderson the chance to serve for the match at the end of a marathon fifth set.
Nobody would have predicted Federer’s collapse after he raced into a one set lead in just 26 devastating minutes.
Federer, who lost from two sets up for the fifth time in his career, said: “It was just a bad day from my side, except the first set. After that, I never really felt exactly 100%. I had my chances and blew them. It’s just not one of my best days. It’s one of those average days.
“As the match went on, I couldn’t surprise him any more. That’s a bad feeling to have. Now I feel horribly fatigued and just awful. It’s just terrible.”
The defeat came in Federer’s first appearance on No.1 Court since 2015 but he said: “I don’t think it really mattered, to be honest.”
And Federer, 36, insisted losing will only motivate him to return to Wimbledon again next year.
He said: “Maybe the losses hurt more, that you don’t want to be on the loser’s side.
“It motivates me to (be here every year) and do extremely well here because I don’t want to sit here and explain my loss. That’s the worst feeling you can have as a tennis player.”
Anderson halted Federer’s run of consecutive sets at Wimbledon at 34, meaning he only equalled rather than beat his record set in 2006.
And the giant, big-serving South African also became the first to break eight times champion Federer at SW19 this year.
He said: “Beating Federer at Wimbledon will be one I’m going to remember, especially in such a close match. As it went on I just kept telling myself this is going to be my day and I’m ecstatic to get through that.
Anderson will face ninth seed John Isner, who won the battle of the big servers against 2016 finalist Milos Raonic 6-7 7-6 6-4 6-3.
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