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Federer stunned by Anderson in marathon quarterfinal

Reuters logo Reuters 11/07/2018

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No. 8 seed Kevin Anderson pulled off a marathon shocker to beat top-seeded Roger Federer 2-6, 6-7, 7-5, 6-4, 13-11 on Wednesday to advance to the Wimbledon semifinals at the All England Club in London.

Federer was serving for the match in the third set, but failed to close it out -- giving Anderson, of South Africa, the chance he needed to dethrone the defending champion in a match that lasted nearly four and a half hours.

Switzerland's Roger Federer in action during his quarter final © REUTERS/Andrew Boyers Switzerland's Roger Federer in action during his quarter final "I'm not sure what to say right now. 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," Anderson said.

"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. But hopefully I have two more matches to play."

The third-set loss was Federer's first of the tournament and broke a streak of 34 straight sets won at Wimbledon, tying the mark the Swiss star set over a decade ago in 2005-06.

South Africa's Kevin Anderson celebrates winning his quarter final match against Switzerland's Roger Federer . © REUTERS/Andrew Boyers South Africa's Kevin Anderson celebrates winning his quarter final match against Switzerland's Roger Federer . Anderson then broke Federer to go up 4-3 in the fourth set before holding on to force a decider against the eight-time Wimbledon champ.

Federer and Anderson each held serve throughout the final set, sparking a fan to yell out "I need to watch the football!" to laughter after Federer made it 9-8.

England was set to face Croatia in a World Cup semifinal in two hours when the fan yelled out.

Switzerland's Roger Federer reacts during his quarter final match against South Africa's Kevin Anderson . © REUTERS/Andrew Boyers Switzerland's Roger Federer reacts during his quarter final match against South Africa's Kevin Anderson . The two continued to hold served until 11-11, when Federer suffered his first double-fault of the match and the first break of the final set.

Anderson, who hadn't been broken since the second set, fell behind 15-0 before serving out for the match by claiming the next four points.

"I just kept on telling myself I need to keep believing. I had to keep telling myself, today was going to be my day," Anderson said.

Serbia's Novak Djokovic had a somewhat easier time against No. 24 seed Kei Nishikori of Japan, winning 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 in a match that lasted two hours, 35 minutes.

It's the eighth semifinal appearance for Djokovic.

The 12th-seeded Djokovic is continuing his comeback from an elbow injury he suffered a year ago at Wimbledon and sidelined him for six months.

Djokovic improved to 63-10 lifetime in Wimbledon matches in reaching his 32nd Grand Slam semifinal. He's won Wimbledon three times.

Next up for Djokovic will be the winner of a Wednesday quarterfinal between No. 2 Rafael Nadal and No. 5 Juan Martin del Potro.

Ninth-seeded American John Isner takes on Milos Raonic of Canada in the other quarterfinal. The winner will take on Anderson in the semifinals.

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