It seemed the longer it went on the more aggressive he became and better he played at the end.
After four hours of hard play on Tuesday at the grass courts of Wimbledon's All England Lawn Tennis and Racquet Club, the Swiss tennis superstar and championship mainstay fell in a dramatic five-set game against South Africa's Kevin Anderson.
"I feel like a lot of aspects of my game can give him a lot of trouble", Anderson said. By the end I was able to do a great job and I wasn't thinking too much.
Roger Federer shakes hands with Kevin Anderson after their epic match at Wimbledon.
About five hours later, Federer's rival and foil, second-seeded Rafael Nadal, survived a five-set spectacle against fifth-seeded Juan Martín del Potro, 7-5, 6-7 (9-11), 4-6, 6-4, 6-4. Against Anderson, though he hit 16 aces, it was down to 79 %.
Anderson broke into the top-10 scene for the first time in 2015.
Switzerland's Roger Federer heads to the exit at Wimbledon after losing for the fifth time in his career with a two-set lead. I don't know if it had something to do with the breeze, just a bad day from my side, except the first set.
The reigning champion's straight-set win means he has now won his last 32 consecutive sets on the surface and is three set wins away from breaking his previous record of 34, which he accomplished between 2005 and 2006. His serve, which had been practically infallible through three rounds, was broken three times. And he was up by 0-40 on Anderson's serve two games later and could not convert any of the break point opportunities.
That period saw an early Djokovic break immediately cancelled out before the Serbian struck again at 4-3, thanks in part to a stunning forehand on the run, and he served the first set out. Anderson didn't even face a break point in the fifth set.
DJOKOVIC THROUGH Novak Djokovic, the three-time champion, showed Centre Court's capacity crowd a fair reflection of the player he was two summers ago.
"I just kept on telling myself "I have to keep believing".
Djokovic reached his eighth Wimbledon semi-final and 32nd at the majors after a stormy Centre Court clash against Nishikori. "I have been building over the last couple of weeks, and the level of tennis I have played in the last couple of months felt like it was getting better and better and I feel like I am peaking at the right moment".
Federer, Wimbledon's greatest male champion, was greeted warmly Wednesday by Court One ticket holders who never imagined they'd have a chance to see him in person. "That's my problem really".
Nadal reached the quarterfinals of Wimbledon for the first time since 2011 after defeating Jiri Vesely in a 6-3, 6-3, 7-5 victory on Monday.
But he found himself in even more unfamiliar territory with an inspired Anderson's relentless, thudding serve eventually overpowering the 20-time grand slam victor. He missed the second half of last season with an elbow injury.
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