Roger Federer's bid to win a ninth Wimbledon men's singles title came to a surprising end on Wednesday as the Swiss top seed was beaten 2-6 6-7(5) 7-5 6-4 13-11 by Kevin Anderson of South Africa. The nail-biting four-hour and 13-minute contest is bound to go down as one of the greatest upsets in the history of the tournament.
This was the 32-year-old South African's first win over Federer in five attempts.
It was also Federer's earliest departure from Wimbledon since his shock second-round defeat against Sergiy Stakhovsky in 2013.
"Honestly, I'm not sure," the 20-time Grand Slam winner said when asked where it had all gone wrong.
"I guess there was definitely a moment at some point. Is it missing match points? Is it getting broken at 5-5 after that?... There's a lot of little points here and there that always make a difference in the outcome of a match."
Anderson, the eighth seed, is to face ninth-seeded American John Isner in the Wimbledon semifinals on Friday. Isner defeated Canada's Milos Raonic 6-7 (5), 7-6 (7), 6-4, 6-3 to reach the last four.
Djokovic clashes with umpire, advances
Earlier in the day, three-time champion Novak Djokovic reached his eighth Wimbledon semifinal with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 win over Japan's Kei Nishikori in a stormy Centre Court clash. The Serbian moves on to face either world No. 1 Rafael Nadal or fifth-seeded Juan Martin del Potro. This will be Djokovic's first semifinal at a major since the 2016 French Open when he completed the career Grand Slam.
Djokovic prevailed despite picking up two code violations and accusing umpire Carlos Ramos of "double standards."
"I think the first warning was unnecessary," said Djokovic, who was sanctioned in the second set for spearing his racket into the court. "It didn't harm the grass. Kei did the same in the fourth set but wasn't warned. The umpire said he didn't see. I don't think it's fair but it is what it is."
Djokovic now has a date with two-time Wimbledon champion Rafa Nadal, who battled back from a 2-1 set deficit to beat Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro 7-5, 6-7 (7), 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 to reach the semifinals.
pfd/ftm (AFP, APE, Reuters)