Eight-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer says he “did not see defeat coming” before a shock quarter-final exit against Kevin Anderson. Top seed Federer, 36, had not dropped a set on his way to the last eight. He missed a match point when two sets up before eighth seed Anderson fought back to win a remarkable contest. “I felt great in practice, good in the warm-up. I’m feeling the ball well,” the Swiss said. “It just happened to be that today wasn’t the day.”
Federer had been the favourite to win a record-extending ninth men’s singles title, but was beaten in a contest that lasted more than four hours. He equalled his own record of winning 34 consecutive sets at SW19 by taking the the first two against Anderson. The defending champion had not dropped a service game at this year’s championships either – part of a run spanning 85 games – until Anderson broke him in the second set.
Anderson’s comeback victory is only the second time Federer has lost at Wimbledon after leading by two sets, following a quarter-final defeat by Jo-Wilfred Tsonga in 2011.