Wimbledon 2018: Defending champion Roger Federer crashes out of quarter-finals after losing five-set epic to Kevin Anderson

The 6ft 8in South African came from two sets down and saved two match points to pull off one of the biggest shocks in SW19, winning 2-6 6-7 7-5 6-4 13-11 in an incredible contest on No 1 Court.

Anderson said: “Beating Roger Federer at Wimbledon will be one that I remember.

“I kept saying to myself: ‘It’s going to be my day.’

“I thought I did a great job. I’m very ecstatic.”

And so he should be.

Before this match, Federer had not lost a service game, let alone a set in this tournament.

The last set he had lost, in fact, was at the 2016 tournament.

And when the eight-time champion took the opening set in 26 minutes, another routine win seemed on the cards.

When he battled back from losing his serve for the first time to win the second set on a tiebreak, he equalled his own record of 34 consecutive sets won at Wimbledon.

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But then Anderson not only stopped him setting a new landmark, he halted his charge towards a record-equalling ninth singles title.

The South African’s greater aggression had almost been rewarded in the second set.

He kept up the pressure and, with his own serve proving impenetrable, turned the tables on the king of grass.

Even then, though, he had to save two match points at 4-5 in the third set.

Anderson won three games in a row to change the momentum, saving three break points from 0-40 down as he served for the set.

The No 8 seed took the Federer serve again in the seventh game of the fourth. And again he saved a break point while serving it out.

The deciding set was a classic in itself. Both men fought back from 0-30 down and Anderson saved a break point in the eighth game.

On and on they went, both serving brilliantly.

“I need to watch the football,” shouted one man from the crowd during the 17th game.

But no-one was leaving this match before the end.

Finally, a Federer double fault in the 23rd game brought up a break point.

Anderson took it, and then served out the match in style. The first classic men’s match of Wimbledon 2018 ended after four hours 14 minutes with one of the biggest shocks of recent years.


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