News

Anderson saves match point, stuns Federer in five-set thriller at Wimbledon

Kevin Anderson recovered from two sets down, and saved one match point, to stun eight-time champion Roger Federer 2-6, 6-7 (5), 7-5, 6-4, 13-11 at Wimbledon on Wednesday to claim one of the most important victories of his career.

The eighth seed, competing in his first quarter-final at the All England Club, recovered from the brink of defeat after Federer held match point at 5-4 Ad Out in the third set. The defending champion was on the verge of clinching a record-breaking 35th consecutive set at SW19, but Anderson rallied with aggression to reach his second Grand Slam semi-final after 4 hours and 14 minutes.

“The first set felt great,” said Federer. “I was reading the serve. He wasn't getting many aces. When I was on, I was making him play. From the baseline I felt like I could mix it up and play aggressive. There was a lot going on.

“As the match went on, I couldn't surprise him any more. That's a bad feeling to have. It's not like it hasn't happened before. I've been in many, many matches like this. I couldn't come up with enough good stuff for him to miss more. I think that was the key at the end.

“He's got a nice, big serve that he can rely heavily on. There's nothing really that shocked me because I've seen Kevin play many, many times in the past. Even if the matches have been maybe sometimes one-sided. you always know he can pick it up, and all of a sudden you won't see breaks for some time.”

As was the case in his fourth-round triumph over Adrian Mannarino, Federer made a quick start. The defending champion varied his returns, blocking and attacking Anderson's serve with depth, to earn breaks in the first and seventh games. Having lost just one point on serve throughout his opening three service games, Federer then held serve to love, for the third time, to take a one-set lead.

Federer's streak of 85 consecutive games won on serve ended abruptly early in the second set, as Anderson stepped in on his return. The South African mixed power and precision, especially on his forehand side, to extract errors from Federer, who was forced to retreat behind the baseline.

But Federer responded well, retrieving the service break in the fifth game before coming from a mini-break down in the tie-break to secure a two-set advantage. Federer's forehand dictated proceedings late in the tie-break, with powerful shots and uncharacteristic errors deciding points, before converting his third set point.

Federer appeared to be heading towards a straight-sets victory as he manufactured a match-point opportunity at 5-4 Ad Out. But Anderson responded emphatically, charging the net and forcing Federer into a backhand error before holding serve.

Anderson capitalised on forehand errors to earn break point in the 11th game, which he converted with a confident backhand return up the line. The New York Open champion then dug himself out of a tricky situation, winning his fifth consecutive point from 0-40 down with an ace up the 'T' to force a fourth set.

“I was very happy that I got off to the right start of the match and was able to take control, somewhat, of the game," said Federer. "I just don't know exactly how I couldn't create more opportunities once the third set came around.”

With both men holding serve with relative ease in the fourth set, Anderson made the crucial move in the seventh game. While Federer faltered on his forehand, Anderson fired his into the corner to earn two break point opportunities. A fortunate backhand return for Anderson, which hit the net cord, forced Federer into another forehand error. That moment proved to be the decisive moment of the set as Anderson held serve, after saving break point, in the tenth game to ensure a deciding set.

With neither man able to make inroads in their return games, Federer, after failing to convert break point in the eighth game, eventually made a second bid for a break at 6-5. The Swiss moved up the court, lifting his level of aggression to create an opportunity in the 12th game, but Anderson matched Federer, with huge hitting off his forehand and serve to level the score.

Both men continued to hold serve comfortably until 11-11, with Federer making four fatal errors to concede a crucial break. Anderson took full advantage in the following game, holding serve to 15 to complete a stunning comeback.

“I guess there was definitely a moment where I lost control of the match at some point,” said Federer. “Is it missing match points? Is it getting broken at 5-All after that?

“I'm not sure. There's a lot of little points here and there that always make a difference in the outcome of a match. I don't think this one naturally you can pinpoint exactly, except my match point.”

Top seed Federer was bidding to reach the final four for the 16th time at a Grand Slam event since turning 30, but drops to 12-2 on grass and 29-4 overall this season. Federer had won his six most recent matches that went to a fifth set, dating back to his 2016 loss to Milos Raonic in the semi-finals at SW19.

“I think I had my chances, so it's disappointing,” said Federer. “No doubt about it. He was consistent. He was solid. He got what he needed when he had to. Credit to him for hanging around really that long.

“Today, when I needed it, I couldn't get my level up. I didn't see it coming. From that standpoint, I felt great in practice, good in the warm up. I am feeling the ball well. Even now, losing, I still feel like the feeling is there. It just happened to be that today wasn't the day.”

Federer, who was bidding to reach his 13th Wimbledon semi-final, discussed how he struggled to find his best level after racing to a one-set lead in under half an hour.

“It was just a bad day from my side, except the first set,” said Federer. “After that, I never really felt exactly 100 per cent. That has nothing to do with my opponent. It was just one of those days where you hope to get by somehow. I could have. I should have.”

The top seed had played four hours and three minutes less than Anderson coming into the last-eight meeting and appeared mentally and physically fresh throughout the four-hour, 14-minute duel. Federer also entered the fifth set with far greater experience, having played 50 deciding fifth sets compared to Anderson’s 20.

“I felt good actually. Sure, it's disappointing losing the next two sets after winning the first two and having match point. I've been there before. I know what kind of energy I need to bring to the fifth. I was able to bring that,” said Federer.

“To be honest, I didn't feel mental fatigue. Now I feel horribly fatigued and just awful. It's just terrible. But that's how it goes, you know. Credit to him.”

At the conclusion of his 20th consecutive Wimbledon campaign, Federer owns a 95-12 record at The All England Club and holds a record eight Gentlemen’s Singles titles. The 98-time tour-level titlist took a moment to reflect on his love for the grass-court Grand Slam championship.

“I just love being around Wimbledon,” said Federer. “It's a good vibe. We have a good time as a family. I have great memories from here. My heroes all won here. Every time I come back here, I try to be like them, so it's nice to be here.”

But Federer, who was bidding to win consecutive Wimbledon titles for the first time in since 2007, added that he is not sure how long it may take to get over the surprise loss.

“I don't know how long it's going to take me. It might take me a while or it might take me half an hour. I have no idea what it's going to be.

“Of course, the goal is to come back here next year. I wouldn't call it unfinished business. I felt like I did some good business here in the past already. So I'm all right. I am just disappointed now.”

Federer opened his season by winning his 20th Grand Slam crown at the Australian Open, before clinching returns to the top spot after title runs at the ABN Amro World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam and the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart. Federer also reached championship matches at the BNP Paribas Open in March and the Gerry Weber Open in June.

Date: 11 July 2018, Source: ATP

Archive:

1 comments:

  1. أعشق هذا المتميز
    فـ هو حقاً يذهلني
    انامتابعه جداً لـ فيدرر

    ReplyDelete