Roger Federer reacts to shock Wimbledon exit after Kevin Anderson defeat

Roger Federer Rafael Nadal Wimbledon

Roger Federer Rafael Nadal Wimbledon

WIMBLEDON, England-The unthinkable has happened at Wimbledon: Roger Federer, the defending champion, lost in the quarterfinals after leading two sets to none.

The 36-year-old Swiss, not playing on Centre Court for the first time since 2015, displayed his usual panache as he strolled through the opening two sets to stretch his streak of consecutive sets won at Wimbledon to 34.

Federer, 36, breezed through the opening set in just 26 minutes, had a match point in the third set and was just two points from victory a few times in the epic fifth set that lasted 90 minutes.

A Federer double fault at 11-11 in the fifth opened up the door to the lone break of the decider and Anderson closed it out with a massive serve to reach a first Wimbledon semifinal. The 20-time grand slam victor lost the set 6-4 as Anderson's relentless, powerful serve sent the match into a fifth and deciding set.

Anderson, the eighth seed, knocked off the eight-time champion 2-6, 5-7, 7-5, 6-4, 13-11. But he grew frustrated after failing to capitalize on three straight break points in the third game of the second set and was given a code violation after slamming his racquet into the ground. I think that was the key at the end.

Roger Federer's Wimbledon title defence is over following a dramatic five-set quarterfinal loss to an inspired Kevin Anderson on Wednesday (Thursday NZ Time).

Even by Federer's stratospheric standards, the first set was a little absurd.

The 12-time major victor defeated Kei Nishikori 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 on Centre Court to set up a clash on Friday with either world No 1 Rafael Nadal or Juan Martin del Potro.

Now the 32-year-old South African moves on to a semifinal against No. 9 John Isner of the USA or No. 13 Milos Raonic of Canada.

It proved pivotal as the South African recovered to win 2-6 6-7 (5-7) 7-5 6-4 13-11 in four hours and 13 minutes.

"He claims that he didn't see what Nishikori has done, but apparently he always sees what I do", Djokovic said afterward, "something that I don't think is fair".

"You always tend to play better against better players and I'm happy to be back in the second week of Wimbledon".

The 12th seed's frustration was clear when Khachanov saved a pair of match points amid the rapidly deteriorating light, however, the Russian could not stave off a third as a 20-shot rally ended in him netting a backhand.

It was an absorbing battle full of surprise, suspense and swings of momentum - unquestionably the match of the men's singles tournament so far.

Kei did the same in the fourth set but wasn't warned.

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