LONDON (Reuters) – Roger Federer’s hopes of a ninth Wimbledon title bit the dust as South African Kevin Anderson recovered from two sets down to win a quarter-final cliffhanger 2-6 6-7(5) 7-5 6-4 13-11 on a tension-filled Court One on Wednesday.
The 36-year-old Swiss, not playing on Centre Court for the first time since 2015, displayed his usual panache as he strolled through the opening two sets to stretch his streak of consecutive sets won at Wimbledon to 34.
But after squandering a match point in the 10th game of the third set Federer’s game frayed at the edges and an inspired Anderson powered back to claim victory in four hours 14 minutes.
It was the biggest shock in a tournament already brimming with surprises, especially as Joahannesburg-born Anderson had not even won a set in their four previous meetings.
While top seed Federer was only at his scintillating best in the first set nothing could be taken away from Anderson, who will become the first male player representing South Africa to contest a Wimbledon semi-final since Kevin Curren in 1983.
The 32-year-old, who reached last year’s U.S. Open final, will face big-serving American John Isner in the semis.
“Down 2-0 I tried my best to keep fighting and was able to scrape through and by the end I thought I did a great job. I was in the flow of the match,” eighth seed Anderson said.