Published: Thu, July 12, 2018
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Novak Djokovic reacts to Wimbledon relegating Roger Federer 1 before shock exit

Novak Djokovic reacts to Wimbledon relegating Roger Federer 1 before shock exit

In the hunt for a record-extending 9th Wimbledon title, Roger Federer has bowed out at the quarter-final stage this evening.

Federer had a match point at 5-4 in the third set, but Kevin Anderson-the 6-foot-8 ball smasher from South Africa-saved that break point and went on to win the set.

Federer seemed rattled and his forehand began to look vulnerable and it was that stroke which allowed Anderson a decisive break of serve at 3-3 in the fourth.

With things on serve and Federer leading 5-4, Anderson survived a match point to hold serve for 5-5 then broke immediately and served out the set, winning it 7-5. The South African took advantage, holding in his last 26 service games and putting constant score pressure on Federer's serve. The South African's nerve held and so did his serve in the 24th game of the deciding set.

Anderson had 28 aces in the match, but he is not just a big server.

"I really tried my best to keep fighting", Anderson, 32, told the BBC immediately after coming off court from the 4-hour, 14-minute match.

"I felt like I was just trying to keep myself very highly motivated, a lot of belief in myself, and said, 'Today is going to be my day.' Obviously it came very close to it not being my day", Anderson said.

Anderson said after the match that although he was nearly down and out, he knew that he had to keep trying to get back into the match.

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Tendulkar then invited Federer to "exchange notes" after the tournament's end, which the eight-time Wimbledon champion courteously accepted.

Anderson then served it out, ending things with a 205kph service victor, and raised both arms overhead. "I have been building over the last couple of weeks, and the level of tennis I have played in the last couple of months felt like it was getting better and better and I feel like I am peaking at the right moment".

Earlier on Centre Court, Djokovic overcame Nishikori and his own bad behavior (twice smacked with code violations for racket abuse and a time violation) to become the first to earn a spot in Friday's semifinals with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 victory.

"I think the first warning was unnecessary", said Djokovic, who was sanctioned in the second set for spearing his racquet into the court.

Eventually though, Djokovic pulled away with emphatic wins in both the third and fourth sets.

Federer was playing on Court One for the first time in three years, but the 20-time Grand Slam champion denied his surprise move from Centre Court was a factor.

World No. 1 Rafael Nadal is realistic about who he wants to face should he reach the Wimbledon final this year. "I'm a big player, big serve". I'm very pleased to get through.

It is timed for release as the anticipation crests with Roger as returning champion, 10 years after their famed 2008 Wimbledon championship - an epic match so close and so reflective of their competitive balance that, in the end, the true victor was the sport itself.

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