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Anderson Saves Match Point, Shocks Federer At Wimbledon • Top Seed On “Court One” Why?

Kevin Anderson of South Africa returns to Roger Federer of Switzerland in their quarter final match during the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, in London, Britain, 11 July 2018. EPA-EFE/NIC BOTHMA



By Richard Pagliario


Surging through the field as smoothly as a sprinter running downhill, Roger Federer ran into a resolute 6’8″ roadblock today.


A spirited Kevin Anderson fought back from a two-set deficit, denied match point in the third set and competed with defiance in the decider dethroning the defending champion 2-6, 6-7 (5), 7-5, 6-4, 13-11, to reach his first Wimbledon semifinal.


It is Federer’s earliest exit at SW19 since a second-round loss to Sergiy Stakhovsky five years ago.


“I felt good actually,” Federer said. “Sure, it’s disappointing losing the next two sets after winning the first two and having match point. I’ve been there before. I know what kind of energy I need to bring to the fifth. I was able to bring that.


“To be honest, I didn’t feel mental fatigue. Now I feel horribly fatigued and just awful. It’s just terrible. But that’s how it goes, you know. Credit to him.”


The man wearing the white baseball cap tilted at an acute angle played head-turning tennis over the last three sets shocking the eight-time champion in a four-hour, 13-minute comeback thriller.


“Down two sets to love I really tried my best to just keep fighting,” said Anderson, the first South African since Kevin Curren in 1983 to reach the Wimbledon final four. “I was able to scrape through the third set and the fourth set. By the end, I thought I did a great job not thinking about things too much.


“I thought I was in the flow of the match. Beating Roger Federer here at Wimbledon will be one that I will really remember especially in such a close match.”


Cast on Court No. 1 for the first time since the 2015 quarterfinals, Federer was one point from a straight-sets win and his 13th Wimbledon semifinal at 5-4 in the third set.


Anderson stood tall saving match point in a 12-point hold sparking a three-game spurt to take the first set of his life against Federer.


The 20-time Grand Slam champion carried a 266-2 record when holding a two-set lead in a Grand Slam, while Anderson held an ignominious 2-20 mark when trailing two sets in a major and took the court winless against Federer in 10 prior sets.


None of that mattered much to the 2017 US Open finalist who hammered 28 aces, hit returns deep down the middle to deny the top-seeded Swiss angles, played with more poise in the final sets and even outhit Federer in crucial forehand exchanges at critical stages.


Empowered by self-belief, Anderson grew stronger as the match progressed.


“I just kept on fighting myself,” Anderson said. “I had to keep believing. And I kept saying today was going to be my day because you really need that mind-set taking the court against someone like Roger. If you go out there with doubts or unsure of what’s going to happen like I maybe did in that first set, it’s not going to go your way.


“As the match went on, I just kept telling myself this is going to be my day. I just gave it my all. Obviously very ecstatic to get through that.”


This was a seismic shocker with major repercussions marking the first time Federer lost a major match while holding match point since bowing to Novak Djokovic in the 2011 US Open semifinals.


“It’s Roger Federer, he’s the defending champion, the greatest ever so it definitely is a shock and surprise for everyone especially because he always performs on such a high level when he needs to,” three-time Wimbledon champion Djokovic told ESPN’s Darren Cahill after his four-set win over Kei Nishikori on Centre Court. “That’s why a really amazing job by Kevin Anderson hands down. Kevin was constantly under pressure coming up with big serves and playing bold tennis.”


A scrappy Anderson snapped the Swiss’ streak of 85 consecutive holds when he broke in the second set and confirmed the break for a 3-0 second-set lead. Federer failed to convert a match point in the 10th game of the third set, then played a scratchy stretch missing his vaunted forehand as Anderson snapped the Swiss’ 34 consecutive set streak taking the third set.


Wimbledon pressure can provoke jitters even in iconic champions and the combination of pressure and Anderson’s rousing returns tightened tension.


“I wasn’t too concerned. Even at 10-All in the fifth, it’s all good,” Federer said. “I still felt like all he needed to do was give me a few second serves, finally pick the right sides again, things could change. I wasn’t, how do you say, horribly negative the whole game.


“It’s just not one of my best days, but they don’t happen very often either. It’s one of those average days you have to try to win the match, and I just couldn’t get it done today. So it’s disappointing.”


Federer overhit his first double fault of the match to face break point in the 23rd game. Falling back off a forehand, the champion netted the shot gifting the break and a 12-11 lead.


Editors Note: Why was the number one seed playing on what’s really “Stadium 2″? A great court. But he was dissed. He did not belong there! WIMBLEDON usually gets it right. Not this time. What was up with Kevin wearing black undershorts? Not legal attire for WIMBLEDON • last year saw a female ref. check a junior boys undershorts? Yes! And sent him back to the locker room to get white ones the attendants have in stock.

Yes… Not fake news.

I’m completely in the belief that that match was out there to please The Debenture Members. Yup. They paid a lot to build it. (LJ)

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