South Africa’s Kevin Anderson defeated Roger Federer to reach the Wimbledon semifinals at the All England Club today.
The odds were heavily stacked against the South African. He had never beaten Roger Federer before… Wait! He had never taken a set off Roger Federer in all four of their previous matches. Going into the match, Federer was on a 32 set winning streak, and if you had predicted a victory for Anderson, then you must have had a crystal ball right in front of you.
Federer started off brilliantly as he raced to 6-2 first set win and it looked like it was going to be another routine victory. Anderson would fight back in the second set, but Federer proved impenetrable and claimed it 7-6 and was now a set from victory, but Anderson’s doggedness would pay off!
The South African put up a brilliant display to defy the odds, saving a match point and winning the third set to send the match into a fourth and then claiming the fourth to send the match to a deciding set. Shot-making brilliance from both men lit the fifth set. It was nothing short of exceptional. And when Anderson broke the great Swiss to take a 12-11 lead, the bookmakers knew they had goofed!
Anderson would seal a 2-6, 6-7, 7-5, 6-4, 13-11 victory in 4 hours and 13 minutes to go through to his first ever Wimbledon semifinals.
“As the match went on, I had to keep telling myself that today was going to be my day,” the eight seeded South African said.
One of the biggest comebacks #Wimbledon has ever seen?
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 11, 2018
“I tried my best to keep fighting and was able to scrape through the third and fourth set. By the end I was able to do a great job and I wasn’t thinking too much.
“Against someone like Roger, if you go out there with doubts, like I did in the first set, it’s not going to go well. That was a great performance from my side.
“I’m very pleased to get through. I wanted to put myself in these positions. I’m very happy about today. I’m in a position to hopefully be here on Sunday. Beating Roger here at Wimbledon is something I’m going to remember.”
Kevin Anderson, who’s now the first South African man to reach the semifinals at SW19 since Kevin Curren in 1983, will next play John Isner for a place in Sunday’s final.
For Federer, meanwhile, the defeat was his first from two sets up since 2011, when he was beaten by Novak Djokovic in the US Open semis.