Federer shocked by Anderson in Wimbledon quarters epic

Lynette Rowe
July 12, 2018

A double fault gave Anderson a break point, Federer then firing into the net, and his hopes of a record-extending ninth Wimbledon title were ended as he was unable to return a huge serve down the middle.

Even if Federer had managed to get past Anderson, as he nearly did, having held match point in the third set, there was no guarantee he would have gone on to win the title, especially with a rejuvenated Novak Djokovic in the other half of the draw, not to mention Rafael Nadal and Juan Martín del Potro.

The decider went on serve deep into double figures, before Anderson broke in the decisive 23rd game to set up a chance to serve the match - a chance he duly took. And he had held serve 81 games in a row at the grass-court major, a streak that grew to 85 before Anderson broke him a surprising total of four times.

Wednesday's other quarterfinals will pit Nadal against Juan Martin del Potro, while American John Isner will take on Canada's Milos Raonic for a semifinal berth.

This feat follows Anderson's 2015 battle with Novak Djokovic, where he took the Serb to five sets in the Wimbledon round of 16 in 2015.

"Down two sets to love I just tried my best to keep fighting and scraped through the third and fourth set", Anderson said. "I learned some valuable lessons throughout that tournament because coming in today, I think the way I approached the match was a bit more with expectations that I want to keep going", Anderson said. You have to have that mindset. "It's disappointing, being up two-sets to love and having a match point".

"He claims that he didn't see what Nishikori has done, but apparently he always sees what I do", Djokovic said afterward, "something that I don't think is fair". "I'm a big player, big serve".

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When the US Open finalist took the third-set tiebreak, however, his belief grew.

The 32-year-old Anderson won the 2006 NCAA doubles title with Ryan Rowe during his Illini career, and the native of South Africa earned All-American honors in each of his three seasons at IL.

Not quite to the same extent as Anderson, but Djokovic too was forced to improve as his meeting with Nishikori raged on, particularly after the 24th seed showed a sturdier response to level after two sets. The 31-year-old, however, served up the whole range from antics to awesome shot-making.

Anderson, last year's runner-up at the U.S. Open in his best finish at a Grand Slam, clinched the third set with an ace against Federer.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion, who turns 37 next month, says he plans to return to SW19 next year.

Earlier on Centre Court, Djokovic overcame Nishikori and his own bad behavior (twice smacked with code violations for racket abuse and a time violation) to become the first to earn a spot in Friday's semifinals with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 victory.

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