Defending champion Federer crashes out of Wimbledon
London: Roger Federer's Wimbledon title defence is over following a dramatic quarter-final loss to an inspired Kevin Anderson.
Anderson produced an astonishing fightback from two sets down to beat the eight-time champion 2-6 6-7(5) 7-5 6-4 13-11 in a five-set cliffhanger.
The South African's hopes looked forlorn as Federer skipped through the opening two sets on Court One with his usual panache but he turned the match on its head to cause the biggest shock yet in a tournament full of upsets.
It was his first win against Federer at the fifth attempt and means he is the first player representing South Africa to reach a semi-final at the All England club since Kevin Curren in 1983.
"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."
Eighth-seed Anderson 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-time 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.
The only other times 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.
Earlier, three-time champion Novak Djokovic became the first man through to the semi-finals after seeing off Kei Nishikori in four sets.
Djokovic overcame a series of rows with the chair umpire to record a 6-3 3-6 6-2 6-2 victory over Japan's former US Open finalist.
"It's feels great to be in the last four of a slam," Djokovic said. "I've been building the last couple of weeks on the level of tennis that I've played the last couple of months, the last couple of clay-court tournaments and Queen's.
"I feel like I'm peaking at the right moment."
But the 31-year-old wasn't happy with Carlos Ramos, accusing the the Spanish official of "double standards" during an ongoing battle in the two-hour, 35-minute encounter.
Djokovic copped a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct after flinging his racquet into the grass behind the baseline in frustration early in the third set.
He then let rip at Ramos for failing to sanction Nishikori for a similar act in the fourth set.
"To be honest, I thought it was unnecessary to get a warning. I didn't harm the grass. I knew how I threw the racquet," he said.
"I think it's not fair, but it is the way it is in the midst of the emotions of a match."
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