Eight-time champion Roger Federer was incredibly knocked out of Wimbledon on Wednesday by South African giant Kevin Anderson.
Defending champion Federer lost a Court One thriller, 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 semifinals since Kevin Curren in 1983.
In a nail-biting four hour and 13 minute classic, it was 36-year-old Federer’s earliest exit at the All England Club since his shock second round defeat against Sergiy Stakhovsky in 2013.
“Down two sets to love I tried my best to keep fighting. Beating Roger Federer here at Wimbledon will be one I remember, especially in such a close match,” Anderson said post-match.
“I kept telling myself to keep believing. I said today is going to be my day.”
Eighth seed Anderson will play American ninth seed John Isner on Friday for a place in Sunday’s showpiece final.
US ninth seed Isner made the semifinals of a major for the first time with a 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (9/7), 6-4, 6-3 win over 2016 runner-up Raonic.
As Federer fell, his eternal foe Rafael Nadal edged Juan Martin del Potro in a Centre Court epic and will meet Novak Djokovic in the semifinals after the Serbian advanced to his first semifinal at the majors in more than two years by seeing off Japan’s Kei Nishikori 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2.
In a cliffhanger at Centre Court, world No 1 Nadal saw off Del Potro 7-5, 6-7 (7/9), 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 after four hours and 48 minutes on Centre Court to reach his sixth Wimbledon semifinal and 28th at the majors.