A shock on court one as big-serving Kevin Anderson saved a match point as he came from two sets down to defeat Roger Federer 2-6, 6-7(5), 7-5, 6-4, 13-11 in the Quarter Finals.
The South African was competing in his first quarter-final at SW19 and played solidly to defeat the eight-time champion in 4 hours and 14 minutes.
Quick Match Recap
Anderson won the toss and elected to serve. His mindsight will have been to play a good opening game but he began looking tight and was broken to 15. Roger consolidated to love for 2-0 and he was well on top in the early stages, breaking again in game seven before serving out the set 6-2.
Into set two and it was the number eight seed who got off to the ideal start breaking for 1-0 and consolidating it. With Anderson firing down a big chunk of aces this tournament one break looked like it could be enough but a full stretch lob gave Roger break back points in game five and he converted at the third time of asking for 2-3. The Swiss then saved a break point before levelling at 3-3 and the set soon headed into a tie-break.
The breaker saw Roger come from a minibreak down en route to securing a two-set advantage converting his third set point after some shaky forehands at 6-3 and 6-4. That put Roger firmly in the driving seat and after moving through his service games in set three comfortably the Swiss held a match point at 5-4 but Anderson fought it off winning three straight games to take the set 7-5.
Buoyed by winning the third it was Anderson who made most of the running in set four and he made his move in the seventh game as Federer's forehand began to leak errors as Anderson took the set 6-4.
Into set five and both guys started with steady holds and return points were hard to come by. However, Roger was the man holding with more confidence and he held the first break point in the eighth game but couldn't convert. The same happened again at 6-5 with Anderson coming up with the goods and his steadiness was rewarded at 11-11 when Roger capitulated making four errors to give Anderson the break and he served it out to 15 for a memorable win.
|R. Federer||K. Anderson|
|First Serve % In||123/177 (69%)||138/207 (67%)|
|Win % On 1st Serve||97/123 (79%)||105/138 (76%)|
|Win % On 2nd Serve||32/54 (59%)||36/69 (52%)|
|Net Points Won||28/39 (72%)||15/31 (48%)|
|Break Points Won||3/12 (25%)||4/7 (57%)|
|Receiving Points Won||66/207 (32%)||48/177 (27%)|
|Total Points Won||195||189|
|Distance Covered||11365.8 Ft||10434.6 Ft|
|Distance Covered/pt.||29.6 Ft||27.2 Ft|
Thoughts on the Match
I had moments where I was great, I felt like I was reading his serve, other moments where I don’t know where the hell I was moving to. I don’t know if that was his serve. But I also have a feeling, it was a feeling of mine, you know, not getting it right. I don't think I have pushed him enough to do extraordinary stuff to win. He played well, but I couldn't push him hard enough.
After the highs of watching Roger dismantle Mannarino live on Monday, it was back to the harsh reality of watching a loss on TV for me here 🙁
It was a huge surprise to see Roger lose here in any circumstance especially from two sets up and like most fans I thought he was coming through this one comfortably based on his performances at Wimbledon so far. However, his much-fabled forehand became a frailty in the latter stages of the match leaking errors and lacking any real penetration. Instead in the crunch moments, Roger was playing reactive tennis, struggling to time his shots that were landing short with very little on them. Anderson is too good for that and he rightfully cleaned up after showing some toughness saving a match point in set three and break points in the fifth.
So where did it all go wrong? Hard to pinpoint really, from Roger's press conference he isn't sure either but sees the match point as a key one and that's obviously a big part as the match was fractions from being over but I think Roger probably lost this one in the second set as he switched off and from there lost that egde to his game. The way I saw it the match panned out as follows:
- Anderson plays a timid opening set like a guy who doesn't think he really belongs out there.
- Roger goes on a mental walkabout in set two but somehow wins a set that Anderson should have taken.
- The third is the reverse where Roger is the better player but Anderson sneaks the set.
- The fourth sees Anderson grow in confidence and he backs up his serve by returning well and controlling the baseline.
- The fifth is a straight shootout and Roger has the early chances, looks ultra calm and composed throughout but after missing his chances throws in a shocker game and Anderson mops up in convincing fashion.
A lot of Fed's losses I've covered over the years have been where the legs can't execute what the mind is telling them be it through tiredness, injury or just one of those days when you get out of the wrong side of the bed but today didn't feel like that, The legs looked fine but his mental game didn't seem dialled in.
There wasn't much creativity out there after that first set and in a way, Roger's game was a bit bland for long periods. Anderson was one step ahead of him in the rallies and was never getting the runaround just hitting big from the baseline. Fortunately, Fed served well and he's still Roger Federer which is why he can play bang average and still win but in that fifth set, my takeaway was I think Roger was very confident he'd win and looked mega relaxed out there, in some ways that's a good thing as he looked as cool as a cucumber but there was a lack of urgency. When I've seen Fed win matches when he is tired or not playing well you see him really push hard to make that extra step, that extra bit of focus, the big split step, the 1-2 punch. But in this one, it felt like he was almost waiting for the win to just happen. A wasted opportunity 🙁
What did you guys make of the match? How does Fed respond here?