Roger Federer, No. 1 seed at these Wimbledon championships, entered his quarter-final match on 32-year-old winning streak and has served 82 straight times at the All England Club.
On Wednesday, he went up two sets to love Kevin Anderson, a formidable but clearly superior player. Federer held a match of 5-4 in the third place.
Everything worked seamlessly for Federer – until it was not.
From that time on, he found himself in a dogfight. More than two hours after the match, Federer and Anderson beat and fought. In the second-last game, Federer hit a shot that went close to the line, the crowd dropped but Anderson could get the ball back into play. Federer got into the net but the audience made more noise when Federer flubbed the volley, leading to the break and finally the match.
Stunned and defeated, the loss ended Federer's run against a record ninth Wimbledon title. Final result: 6-2, 7-6 (5), 5-7, 4-6, 1
How crazy was this? Here's a little more perspective:
For just the fifth time (and third in 269 Grand Slam games), Federer made two sets of loving lead.
How rare was Federer going to
Federer became the first No. 1's seed to lose any Grand Slam match when it holds a two -set-to-love-leader since Lleyton Hewitt fell to Tommy Robredo in the 2003 French Open. (For what it is worth, Robredo is the player in charge of another of the memorable Federer upsets when he beat the Swiss in the fourth round of the 2013 US Open.
Crazy enough, the last game lasted 90 minutes, as long as every Federer's first two matches.