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Milos Raonic's Wimbledon run ends in quarter-finals

cbc.ca logo cbc.ca 2018-07-11 CBC/Radio-Canada
a man hitting a ball with a racket: Milos Raonic was eliminated in the quarter-finals of Wimbledon by American John Isner on Wednesday. © Oli Scarff/Getty Images Milos Raonic was eliminated in the quarter-finals of Wimbledon by American John Isner on Wednesday.

Milos Raonic's serve was good, but John Isner's was better.

As a result, the Canadian's run at Wimbledon ended in the quarter-finals for the second year in a row.

In a battle of two of the sport's top servers, No. 13 seed Raonic lost 6-7 (5), 7-6 (7), 6-4, 6-3 against No. 9 seed Isner of the U.S., on Wednesday.

Isner is the only player at Wimbledon this year not to have had his serve broken — and Raonic had just one break-point opportunity against the six-foot-10 American. Isner responded with an ace on that occasion and then went on to take the fourth set.

Isner, meanwhile, converted on three of six break-point chances. The first break-point opportunity of the match came in the third set, and Isner made the most of it to go up 3-2.

Isner fought off a set point in the second set, which marked the eighth straight set to go to a tiebreaker between the two players.

Raonic, of Thornhill, Ont., fell two wins short of matching his best showing at Wimbledon — a runner-up finish in 2016.

Isner will face No. 8 seed Kevin Anderson of South Africa in the semifinals. Anderson upset top seed Roger Federer of Switzerland on Wednesday.

Federer upset

Kevin Anderson produced an astonishing fightback from two sets down to beat eight-time champion Roger Federer 2-6 6-7(5) 7-5 6-4 13-11 in a quarter-final cliffhanger at Wimbledon on Wednesday.

It was his first win against Federer at the fifth attempt and means he is the first player representing South Africa to reach the semi-final here since Kevin Curren in 1983.

Eighth-seed Anderson, 32, saved a match point in the 10th game of the third set and grew in confidence against an increasingly-ragged Federer who had won the first set in 26 minutes.

He won the third set to snap Federer's 34-set winning streak at Wimbledon and Federer was clearly shaken as Anderson dominated the fourth set to drag the 20-times Grand Slam champion into a decider.

Six times Anderson was required to hold serve to stay alive and each time he was equal to the task.

Federer eventually cracked at 11-11, double-faulting to hand Anderson a break point which he converted when the defending champion hit a weary-looking forehand halfway up the net.

Anderson stayed cool and sealed victory on his first match point with a powerful first serve which Federer could only return into the tramlines​.

Djokovic through

Meanwhile, Novak Djokovic shrugged off a second-set slump to reach a Grand Slam semifinal for the first time since 2016 by beating Kei Nishikori 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2.

Djokovic wrested back the momentum for good after coming from 0-40 down at 2-2 in the third set to hold serve, and then breaking his Japanese opponent in the next game.

The three-time Wimbledon champion was broken in the opening game of the fourth set, but won the next four games and broke again to clinch victory.

Djokovic looked in control in the first set. But he grew frustrated after failing to capitalize on three straight break points in the third game of the second set and was given a code violation after slamming his racket into the ground.

When Nishikori then bounced his own racket against the court in the fourth set without being given a warning, Djokovic yelled out "double standards" toward the umpire's chair — drawing boos from the Centre Court crowd.

That didn't seem to affect his focus, though, and neither did a time violation he was given when serving at 4-2, 30-30 in the fourth set.

Djokovic secured that game with a forehand winner, then saved two game points on Nishikori's serve before converting his first match point with a forehand down the line.

He next faces two-time champion Rafael Nadal or fifth-seeded Juan Martin del Potro in his first Grand Slam semifinal since the 2016 U.S. Open.

Canadian hopes alive

Meanwhile, Canadian Gabriela Dabrowski is heading to the semifinals in women's doubles.

The Ottawa native and partner Yifan Xu of China, the tournament's sixth seeds, defeated the unseeded pair of Bethaine Mattek-Sands of the U.S., and Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 in a quarter-final on Wednesday.

It marks the best women's doubles showing at a Grand Slam for the 26-year-old Dabrowski, who advanced to the quarter-finals with Xu at the 2017 U.S. Open and 2018 Australian Open.

Dabrowski and Xu will face No. 12 seeds Nicole Melichar of the U.S. and Kveta Peschke of the Czech Republic in the semifinals.

Dabrowski has won two Grand Slam mixed doubles titles — the 2018 Australian Open with Mate Pavic and 2017 French Open with Rohan Bopanna.

Pavic and Dabrowski, the top mixed doubles seeds, lost in the third round at Wimbledon.

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