LONDON — No. 1 Roger Federer saw his quest to conquer Wimbledon 2018 crashed after he squandered a big lead and fell to Kevin Anderson in the Wimbledon quarterfinals on Wednesday.
Federer, the defending champion, led after two sets, but blew a match point and, eventually fell to a stunning 2-6, 6-7 (5), 7-5, 6-4, 13-11 defeat in a 4 hours, 14 minutes battle with No. 8 Anderson of South Africa who kept his composure.
The defeat saw Federer falling to 266-3 in career Grand Slam matches winning the first two sets.
“I’m up two sets to one. It’s all good, so …” Federer said, reflecting back to when he dropped the third set. “At that point I wasn’t thinking of losing.”
The Switzerland star is an eight-time champion.
“I had moments where I was great … other moments where I don’t know where the hell I was moving to,” Federer said. “I don’t know if that was his serve. But I also have a feeling, it was a feeling of mine, you know, not getting it right.
“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 added: “I think I had my chances, so it’s disappointing… He was consistent. He was solid. He got what he needed when he had to. Credit to him for hanging around really that long.”
After saving a match point in the third set, Anderson went on the take complete charge of the contest.
“I just kept on telling myself I have to keep believing and I kept saying that today was going to be my day, because you really need that mindset taking the court against somebody like Roger,’’ said Anderson.
“If you go out there with doubts, or unsure what’s going to happen, like I maybe did a little bit in that first set, it’s not going to go your way. I just gave it my all and very ecstatic to get through that.
“As I said in the beginning of the week, my first goal was to try and go one step further than my best result here, but I also said that I wanted to put myself in these positions, so obviously fantastically happy about today.
“I’ve put myself in (with) a shot of hopefully playing on Sunday, so right now I’m going to have to really recover a lot and be ready for my next match on Friday.”
Anderson joins Novak Djokovic of Serbia in the semi-final at Wimbledon 2018.
Djokovic, who keeps looking better and better in each round, advanced to his first Grand Slam semifinal since 2016 by beating No. 24 Kei Nishikori of Japan, 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2.
The last time he won a major title was at the 2016 French Open.
“I like the level of tennis that I’m playing on right now. I really do. I think with the performances I’ve had, I deserve to be in the semifinals,” said Djokovic.
“I don’t want to stop here. I hope I can get a chance to fight for a trophy.”
He next takes on two-time champion and No.2 seed Rafael Nadal or fifth-seeded Juan Martin del Potro.