Before Wednesday, Kevin Anderson had not won a set off of Roger Federer in four tries. It looked like it would be five when Federer had a match point in the third set, while leading by two sets to none.
Instead, it's the South African who is into his first Wimbledon semifinal after a 2-6, 6-7 (5), 7-5, 6-4, 13-11 marathon win.
"I kept telling myself that today was going to be my day," the 32-year-old said after the biggest win of his career.
Federer had never lost a match at Wimbledon after holding match point, though he was well off the mark during his only chance against Anderson:
About that moment Federer said, "At that point I wasn't thinking of losing."
As expected, the Twitter-sphere was stunned by the result, perhaps more stunned than the players themselves.
Must say,I am so sad for @rogerfederer because I always want him to win. As an injured player & former top 10,seeing the rise of @KAndersonATP after all that he has been trough gives me wings and beliefs for the future!Well done guys, thank you for everything! #limitless #respect— Timea Bacsinszky (@TimeaOfficial) July 11, 2018
Ohhh my Goodness !!! Kevin Anderson just beat Roger Federer ..!! we just watched him play the other day at Wimbledon .. live ..and he won that match too ... had no idea, he was going to beat a champ today ..!! WOW ..???????????? @KAndersonATP @rogerfederer— Juhi Chawla (@iam_juhi) July 11, 2018
@rogerfederer Tough luck today. But you certainly did not look like a 37 yr old on court. Excellent coverage. There's still some tennis left in you. A die hard fan of RF for 15 yrs and will always be one. Let's kill it in the #FlushingMeadows #usopen #Federer #Wimbledon— Aswin Kumar (@aswinkumar88) July 11, 2018
Federer gotta go back to Nike— Alex (@alexhungsomeone) July 11, 2018
What a watch #Federer #Anderson heartbroken ???? #Anderson played great tennis feeling sad for #federer #wimbledon can't express my love for @rogerfederer love you till until last breath forever a #federer fan— Shubham Thakur (@tthakur_shubham) July 11, 2018
At least Britain's Liam Broady found the light in the situation:
1966: Federer doesn’t make wimbledon final— Liam Broady (@Liambroady) July 11, 2018
England win the World Cup ????
2018: Federer doesn’t make wimbledon final
... IT’S COMING HOME
Of course, the Federer loss really opens up the chances for the remaining players in the draw, which includes Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, John Isner and Anderson.
If Rafael Nadal wins Wimbledon, he will be within two Grand Slam singles titles of Roger Federer's total for the first time since 2004, when Federer had 2 and Nadal had 0.— Nick Zaccardi (@nzaccardi) July 11, 2018
It marks Federer's first loss before the semifinals at Wimbledon since 2013 and snaps his 34-set win streak at the All England Club. It's just the third time he's lost a major match after being up two sets to none. The 37-year-old vows to be back.
"Yeah, of course, the goal is to come back here next year," he said. "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. Just disappointed now."
Strokes of Genius is a world-class documentary capturing the historic 13-year rivalry between tennis icons Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. 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 winner was the sport itself.