Wimbledon 2018: Shell-shocked Roger Federer explains his defeat

Roger Federer Rafael Nadal Wimbledon

Three-time champion Novak Djokovic, meanwhile, reached his first semi-final at the majors in more than two years by seeing off Japan's Kei Nishikori 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2.

By the end of this quarterfinal, a stiff drink seemed more appropriate than a serving of strawberries and cream.

Defending champion Federer, chasing a 21st Grand Slam title, lost a Court One epic, 2-6, 6-7 (5/7), 7-5, 6-4, 13-11 as 32-year-old Anderson became the first South African in the Wimbledon semi-finals since Kevin Curren in 1983.

There wasn't the faintest warning that the match would turn into a cliffhanger, with Federer sauntering through the first with customary balletic ease.

"I feel the few times I've played him in the past, walked onto the court without the necessary belief that I needed to to get through the match", Anderson said.

Anderson had failed to take a single set off Federer in their previous 4 meetings. He knocked on the door by making it to the French Open's fourth round, and he now seeks out his first Grand Slam title.

Federer's first double fault of the match was perhaps the most costly error either player made. Anderson saved match point in the third set and went on to win in 4 hours and 14 minutes, booking his place in the semifinals in the process.

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It wasn't till the end of the third set, however, that Anderson's resolve came into play. His serve, which had been practically infallible through three rounds, was broken three times.

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This is why I am proud. "It's hard to put that into context now, and a bit too soon". The Daily Telegraph said losing to Germany was "England's worst World Cup defeat".

Instead, it's the South African who is into his first Wimbledon semifinal after a 2-6, 6-7 (5), 7-5, 6-4, 13-11 marathon win.

The escape energised Anderson and he broke in the next game with a bludgeoning backhand off a weak second serve and then battled back from 0-40 to seal the third with an ace. He had a match point and break points in the fifth. "As of right now, I'm sort of more focused on that than getting too excited about the overall picture".

He had been yearning for a Centre Court date, after playing as many games on Court Two as the main show court so far this tournament. After that, I never really felt exactly 100%.

It wasn't as if Federer didn't have his chances, he had more than enough of them throughout the match.

Before Wednesday, Federer's last dropped set at the All England Club came in his 2016 semifinal loss to Canadian Milos Raonic, who later Wednesday lost a four-set quarterfinal to American John Isner 6-7 (5), 7-6 (7), 6-4, 6-3.

Djokovic's 2017 Wimbledon campaign ended in a quarter-final retirement with an elbow injury which led to surgery and precipitated a worrying dip in form and confidence.

When asked if he thought he was flying under the radar at this tournament, Djokovic said, "I'm really not thinking about being an underdog or being a favorite".

"It just took me a little bit of time to find my legs in the competitive atmosphere".

He said: 'I felt like in the last month and a half, the level of tennis has been very close to where I would like it to be, where I'm used to having it.

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