July 22, 2018, 11:50 pm
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Roger out

LONDON. — 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 quarterfinal cliffhanger 2-6, 6-7(5), 7-5, 6-4, 13-11 on a tension-filled Court One on Wednesday.

Anderson, who reached the US Open final last year, saved a match point in the third set before recovering to beat the Swiss top seed 2-6, 6-7(5), 7-5, 6-4, 13-11 after four hours and 14 minutes on Court One.

The 32-year-old Anderson will next face American John Isner, who overcame Canada’s Milos Raonic 6-7(5), 7-6(7), 6-4, 6-3 in the battle of two of the biggest servers in the men’s draw.

Three time winner Novak Djokovic returned to a Grand Slam semifinal for the first time since the 2016 US Open, beating Japan’s Kei Nishikori 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2.

The Serb looked in impressive form, particularly when he closed out the final set in ruthless fashion to set up a blockbuster semifinal with world number one Rafa Nadal.

French Open champion Nadal battled past Argentine Juan Martin del Potro 7-5, 6-7(7), 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 in four hours and 48 minutes to reach the Wimbledon last four for the first time since 2011.

The Spaniard finished with 67 winners to 34 unforced errors as he displayed his credentials as he bids to lift a third singles title at the All England Club.

The Spaniard reached his 28th Grand Slam semifinal and his first at Wimbledon since 2011. 

“Now is the moment to enjoy but start to recover, it was a tough physical battle,” Nadal said. “The opponent that is coming one of the toughest. I am just excited to be in the semis. I need to recover to give my best.”

The 36-year-old Federer, 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 semifinal since Kevin Curren in 1983.

“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. – Reuters 
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