Anderson scripts incredible comeback to dethrone Federer

Wimbledon

In the final set, Anderson won more big points than Federer lost, but the opportunities were there for the No. 1 seed and he kept letting them get away.

Federer squandered his match point at 5-4 on Anderson's serve in the third set but it seemed like it would only be a matter of time before he moved into the semifinals for the 13th time. After that, Federer began to struggle and Anderson unloaded his swings on every shot. Breaking Federer was going to be his biggest challenge, as prior to Wednesday's match the Swiss had gone 81 service games without dropping serve.

The Swiss superstar started off proceedings and held serve as did Anderson a game later.

The top-seeded Federer double faulted for the first time in the match when serving at 11-11, 30-30.

When he finished runner-up to Rafael Nadal at the US Open past year, he was the first South African man in a Slam final since Curren at the 1984 Australian Open. And it was Federer who blinked, double-faulting to face a break point at 11-all, then slapping a forehand into the net to cede the key break.

"It just wasn't one of my best days", Federer, who won the first set in 26 minutes, told reporters.

The only other times that Federer has surrendered a two-set lead came against Lleyton Hewitt in Switzerland's 2003 Davis Cup semifinal loss to Australia in Melbourne, to David Nalbandian in the 2005 Masters Cup decider and to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Novak Djokovic at consecutive slams at Wimbledon and the US Open in 2011.

Anderson had failed to take a single set off Federer in their previous four meetings.

"Down two sets to love, I really tried my best to just keep fighting", said Anderson, the No. 8 seed.

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Federer, meanwhile, had his serve broken four times - the first four times his serve was broken during this Wimbledon run.

Anderson then served it out, ending things with a 205kph service victor, and raised both arms overhead.

"I was actually playing really high-quality tennis, having a few sniffs on his serve, nearly felt my mind wondering, Well, maybe I can do this".

Earlier on Centre Court, Djokovic overcame Nishikori and his own bad behavior (twice smacked with code violations for racket abuse and a time violation) to become the first to earn a spot in Friday's semifinals with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 victory.

But, playing on Court One for the first time in three years, Federer was unusually error-prone. Kei did the same in the fourth set but wasn't warned.

Nadal exited in the fourth round last year to Gilles Muller, but having made the quarterfinals this year, the 32-year-old extended his lead over Federer in the ATP rankings by 180 points.

"I like the level of tennis that I'm playing on right now".

"I don't think it really mattered, to be honest".

Now 33, Isner had never gone beyond the last eight of a Grand Slam, but fought back from a set down to beat Raonic 6-7 7-6 6-4 6-3 and take his place in the last four with the chance of a first major final.

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