Former Illini star Kevin Anderson ousts Roger Federer at Wimbledon

Roger Federer's Wimbledon title defence is over following a dramatic five-set quarterfinal loss to an inspired Kevin Anderson on Wednesday (Thursday NZ Time).

Anderson then held the 24th game to clinch one of tennis' most famous victories. 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.

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. I felt like I did some good business here in the past already.

"Beating Roger Federer at Wimbledon is definitely one I'm going to remember".

The 32-year-old will face John Isner in the last four after the American beat Milos Raonic.

But the 2018 French Open champion is on a roll and will likely continue that into the Wimbledon final.

Federer, Wimbledon's greatest male champion, was greeted warmly Wednesday by Court One ticket holders who never imagined they'd have a chance to see him in person.

But I also have a feeling, it was a feeling of mine, you know, not getting it right.' About Anderson's performance, Federer said he was not surprised: 'He's got a nice, big serve that he can rely heavily on.

Emboldened by the development, Anderson went on all-out attack.

Federer couldn't convert a break point at 3-4 and as the final set headed into extra time a lone voice in the crowd, mindful of England's imminent World Cup semi-final against Croatia, shouted out "Hurry up I need to watch the football". He hit 28 aces against Federer, saved 9 of 12 break points and managed to hold his own in the rare, lengthy baseline rallies. There was no drop-off in intensity; no letdown in the quality of his play.

He was leading by two sets and 5-4 in the third when, with Anderson serving, he got to Advantage. But the Swiss had a patch of bad luck, losing his footing and, as a result, netting a forehand form an off-balance position.

Federer is a flawless 12-0 in Sets thus far and a ideal 4-0 in Matches at Wimbledon 2018.

Federer served first in the seesaw battle of extra time, which ought to have put Anderson at a slight psychological disadvantage, forced to serve from behind just to stay even. If it gnawed at him, there was no evidence as the match surpassed the four-hour mark.

But Anderson is playing the best tennis of his career, having reached the final at Flushing Meadows last September and then a career-high ranking of No.7 in May.

Vanessa Coleman

Comments