Roger Federer beat Adrian Mannarino comfortably in three sets
John Patrick Fletcher Action Plus
12 July, 2018, 07:13
Roger Federer suffered a stunning Wimbledon exit as the defending champion blew a two-set lead and wasted a match point in a 2-6, 6-7 (5/7), 7-5, 6-4, 13-11 quarter-final defeat against South Africa's Kevin Anderson on Wednesday.
He saved a match point at 4-5 when Federer missed a forehand, then broke to serve for the third set.
Federer, the five-time reigning champion, was cruising in the 2009 U.S. Open final (sense the theme), when he was thrown off his game by a combination of the raw, hard-hitting 19-year-old Del Potro and, of all things, computer technology.
"I don't think it really mattered, to be honest", he said.
"I don't think it would have changed if I played there past year". That's all I can say'.
Federer, meanwhile, had his serve broken four times - the first four times his serve was broken during this Wimbledon run.
Eventually, Nadal took the set and the match on serve, despite numerous attempts from Del Potro to force another break.
When the US Open finalist took the third-set tiebreak, however, his belief grew. As the set proceeded Federer looked to be in the driving seat by serving first as the South African was forced to play catchup as the set went on.
Federer ultimately paid the price for failing to convert any more than three of 12 break-point opportunities, including three in a row with Anderson serving at love-40 in the fourth set.
Anderson, meanwhile, is coming off a four-set win over Gael Monfils that saw three of those sets go to a tiebreaker. Few considered Anderson as having a chance.
Kevin Anderson (8) narrowly defeated Gael Monfis in four sets to reach the quarterfinals. And here at Wimbledon, there has been a quiet confidence about Anderson.
Anderson has been in the tennis circuit for as many years as Rafael Nadal. "And I just couldn't get it done today so it's disappointing".
"I think the first warning was unnecessary", said Djokovic, who was sanctioned in the second set for spearing his racquet into the court.
"I didn't feel mental fatigue".
Anderson will now rest ahead of Friday's final-four match. But it is impossible to win always, even for him. He touched post-match on an injury-ravaged 2016, and how his coaching team and nearest and dearest put him back together. The South African made no mistake. "That's the worst feeling you can have as a tennis player". He knows attention will be on him from back home, and has spoken of his hope to be an inspiration for the next generation.
It took almost five hours for the match to go final, somehow longer than Anderson's day with Federer.
Vanquished champion Roger Federer plans on returning for another tilt at Wimbledon glory next year - but don't call it unfinished business. I gave it my all. After knocking out Monfils in Round 4, he spoke of the need to approach this match on his own terms.
"It just took me a little bit of time to find sort of my legs in the competitive atmosphere".
Del Potro was straining to stay in touch in almost every point, and his gambling instincts drove him to explore the white lines. Victory secured, Nadal climbed over the net and ran over to the baseline to help the distraught Del Potro back to his feet.
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He hit 28 aces against Federer, saved 9 of 12 break points and managed to hold his own in the rare lengthy baseline rallies. He stepped it up in the 12th game, nudging ahead to 0-30 but Anderson pulled back to level 6-all.
Despite a valiant effort, the team will come home without the Jules Rimet trophy after losing the semi final 2-1 to Croatia . Mia Šetula, a Croatian student at Bournemouth University , admitted she will be cheering for England's opponents tonight.
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