- Wednesday, July 11, 2018 7:13 PM
London, 11 July 2018 (MIA) - Roger Federer's Wimbledon title defence is over following a dramatic five-set quarter-final loss to an inspired Kevin Anderson, AFP reports.
The South African saved a match point in the third set before fighting back to inflict Federer with just the fifth defeat from two sets up in an unparalleled 20-year, 1415-match career.
Anderson's reward for his famous victory is a semi-final on Friday against either American ninth seed John Isner or Canadian 13th seed Milos Raonic.
Eyeing a ninth title at The All England Club, Federer ultimately paid the price for being unable to convert any more than three of 12 break-point chances in the four-hour, 14-minute cliffhanger on Court One.
With Thursday's other two quarter-finals between world No.1 Rafael Nadal and Juan Martin del Potro and three-time champion Novak Djokovic against Kei Nishikori given star billing, Federer was shunted off Wimbledon's Centre Court for the first time in three years - and 21 matches.
And, despite his two-set advantage, the 20-times grand slam winner never looked entirely comfortable, despite having never previously lost a set to Anderson in four other meetings.
While Federer's stunning loss has denied tennis fans the possibility of another blockbuster final showdown with his great rival Nadal, Anderson now has the opportunity to go one better than his charge to last year's US Open title decider.
"Obviously I'm very ecstatic to get through that match," 32-year-old Anderson said.
"Beating Roger Federer at Wimbledon is definitely one I'm going to remember.
"I just kept on telling myself I have to continue believing.
"I just kept saying 'today is going to be your day'. You have to have that mindset.
"By the end I thought I did a great job not thinking about what was happening.
"That was a great performance from my side. I've put myself in with hopefully a shot to be playing again on Sunday."
The only other times that Federer has surrendered a two-set lead came against Lleyton Hewitt in Switzerland's 2003 Davis Cup semi-final 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. lk/19:09
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