If the spectacle of Roger Federer on No 1 Court felt odd, like watching Sir Laurence Olivier back in repertory theatre, then the notion of him losing to Kevin Anderson, the gangly South African against whom he held match point, was almost unconscionable.
And yet lose he did, in a sprawling five-set epic lasting four hours and 14 minutes, as the prospect of him equalling Martina Navratilova’s record of nine Wimbledon singles titles slipped away in the early-evening sunshine. As inspired as Anderson was, the crowd’s reaction as the champion’s final shot wafted long felt like a deep and anguished sigh.
By and large, the RF-branded zealots who queue on Wimbledon Common for two days and upwards to salute their idol do not do so in anticipation of matches as churningly tense as this. They come instead to marvel at a travelling Swiss art installation, where the aesthetic is sumptuous but the outcome preordained.
Signs of “quiet, genius at work” were out in force after Federer polished off the first set without a bead of perspiration, but at some point, and even he seemed at a loss to identify exactly where, the unthinkable happened, as his play became ‒ would it be sacrilege to say it? ‒ predictable. “I couldn’t surprise him any longer,” he reflected. “That wasn’t a good feeling.”
It was Federer’s 16th Wimbledon quarter-final, a familiar ritual but this time a fundamentally different experience. The setting saw to that: while No 1 Court might be just a short and leafy stroll from Centre, it was, in Federer terms, the equivalent of Outer Mongolia. He had not been relegated to this secondary stage since 2015, when he prevailed in straight sets over Gilles Simon, and this time he looked, by the end at least, curiously uneasy.
The rationale of those in the referees’ office was clear enough: they glanced at the match-up and presumed Federer would squash Anderson in time for a mid-afternoon nap. Instead, they wound up scripting the type of marathon that can end even the greatest careers.
In 2002, Pete Sampras, then with seven Wimbledon titles, was shipped out to the boondocks of No 2 Court, where he succumbed in five to Swiss journeyman George Bastl. He never played a match at the All England Club again. It would be premature to suppose that Federer would take his own humbling in alien surrounds as his cue to step away, given his reassurance afterwards that “the goal is to come back next year”.
But he turns 37 next month, and nothing about this luminous autumn of his playing days should be taken for granted. As he gathered up his kit and headed for the exit, fans stayed in their thousands to photograph the moment, uncertain when, or indeed if, they would next have the chance.
Reassuringly, Federer’s sense of his own gifts was not dented by this defeat. It is a feature of his rare losses at major tournaments that he sweeps into his post-match press conference within minutes, and he handled this one with customary hauteur. His assessment of Anderson’s game? “Look, he’s got a nice, big serve that he can rely heavily on.” The expression “damning with faint praise” came to mind.
What was different about his opponent’s game this time? “He got when he needed to. Credit to him for hanging around that long.” When one reporter had the temerity to suggest that it had been a “bad day”, the mask of studied Swiss cool slipped a little. “It wasn’t bad,” he corrected her, crossly. “Average.”
In truth, Anderson deserved greater recognition. Having trailed by sets two to love, he rediscovered the blunderbuss groundstrokes that make him such a danger on grass, limiting Federer’s ability to resort to his favourite one-two punch.
Throughout a riveting final set, he kept up the unerring accuracy on his serve, not offering up a single point for Federer to break. Given the ease with which Wimbledon’s most decorated man had swept through the four rounds to this stage, it was a remarkable feat. “I really hope that this is an example of sticking with your dreams,” Anderson said.
For this son of Johannesburg, it was a reminder that his finest moments, not least a surge to last year’s US Open final, had been far more than mere aberrations. For Federer, there was only the frustration of a golden chance lost, especially as the draw had fallen in his favour. Such are the vagaries of sport: he had just equalled his record of winning 34 consecutive sets at Wimbledon, but somehow, like a bolt from a clear blue sky, he contrived to lose the next three.
Then again, nothing on No 1 Court felt normal yesterday, as the strange scheduling ensured that members of the press mingled with emigres from the Royal Box on Centre. Carole Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge’s mother, was here supporting Federer, who had been guest of honour at her daughter Pippa’s wedding. Late in the third set, she left, unable to take the anxiety any longer. She missed some wonderful drama, even if it lacked the ultimate catharsis.
Thanks for staying with us through a classic Wimbledon match. You can relax now.
Not sure there's much else on tonight, let me know if you can find anything.
Inspired performance from Kevin Anderson that denies Federer that chance of a ninth Wimbledon title. One side of the draw massively opens up for a new Wimbledon finalist, or for Milos Raonic to have another go after losing in 2016 to Andy Murray.
— BBC Tennis (@bbctennis) July 11, 2018
Milos Raonic or John Isner, that's who Anderson will face in the next round. There's going to be a big server in the final.
After that, can anyone handle England's most important football match in 28 years. I'm not sure I can.
Roger himself looked tired, perhaps the first time he's looked his age. Ever.
He's upstaged Roger, no doubt about it, and even won over sections of the crowd with some truly brilliant tennis.
Kevin Anderson, Wimbledon semi-finalist
"I really tried my best to keep fighting
"Beating Roger Federer hear at Wimbledon will be one I remember, in such a close match
"I just kept on telling myself you have to keep believing. You really need that mindset on the court against Roger.
"As the match went on I just said to myself, this is going to be my day."
This looked like a formality. Federer cruised through the first set, but Anderson just grew into the match as it went on. Federer hasn't looked himself for a couple of hours, but Anderson played the match of his life.
He never once panicked.
Surely not. Federer goes 0-15. Anderson responds with a perfect serve. And that's 30-15! Dreams of a Federer-Nadal final slowly dying. Remember, he had match point in the third set!
Two. Match. Points.
Stunning from Anderson. Unbelievable. He wins it. What a match of tennis. We can go home!
Anderson wins 6-2, 7-6 (7-5), 5-7, 4-6, 11-13
Federer 6-2, 7-6 (7-5), 5-7, 4-6, 11-12 Anderson* (*next server)
BREAK POINT ANDERSON. Federer double faults and hands Anderson a golden chance.
He takes it! He actually takes it!
Federer in real danger here. What a mammoth effort from both players, but one of the great Wimbledon comebacks from Anderson.
Federer* 6-2, 7-6 (7-5), 5-7, 4-6, 11-11 Anderson (*next server)
Will I see my friends again? Anderson says no, he holds to love.
Federer 6-2, 7-6 (7-5), 5-7, 4-6, 11-10 Anderson* (*next server)
Anderson has a sniff but Federer goes to 30-15. Yeap. Game Federer.
Federer* 6-2, 7-6 (7-5), 5-7, 4-6, 10-10 Anderson (*next server)
Anderson holds to love.
Federer 6-2, 7-6 (7-5), 5-7, 4-6, 10-9 Anderson* (*next server)
Federer holds to love.
Federer* 6-2, 7-6 (7-5), 5-7, 4-6, 9-9 Anderson (*next server)
Ace. 15-0. Fed error. 30-0. Net return. 40-0.
A chance? 40-15 as Anderson goes long. No chance. Fed nets.
Federer 6-2, 7-6 (7-5), 5-7, 4-6, 9-8 Anderson* (*next server)
Federer hurries to 40-0, but Anderson stops him in his tracks with a cross-court forehand. 40-30 now after a wayward backhand from Federer. No problem. Federer seals with a drop shot that Anderson almost returns but it's agonisingly wide.
Federer* 6-2, 7-6 (7-5), 5-7, 4-6, 8-8 Anderson (*next server)
15-15. Something's got to give. 30-15, Anderson not bending. 40-15. Forehand goes long. Ace. Game.
Federer 6-2, 7-6 (7-5), 5-7, 4-6, 8-7 Anderson* (*next server)
At what point does this become more epic than England in a World Cup semi-final?
15-15. And what is that!? Federer nets a routine volley at the net! 15-30! A smashing serve brings Federer back to 30-30.
40-30 and the crowd go wild. Sealed with a smash.
Federer* 6-2, 7-6 (7-5), 5-7, 4-6, 7-7 Anderson (*next server)
Polite applause for Anderson as he continues to draw this one out. Massive cheers for Federer whenever he gets a look in. 15-30! Tired tired legs from Anderson.
Perfect forehand from Anderson after a wonderful return from Federer. 30-30. Anderson seals it. We go on.
Federer 6-2, 7-6 (7-5), 5-7, 4-6, 7-6 Anderson* (*next server)
30-0, Federer just about edging this contest at the moment as races through his service games. Another hold to love.
Federer* 6-2, 7-6 (7-5), 5-7, 4-6, 6-6 Anderson (*next server)
Is this it? Federer at 0-30, screams from the crowd. Does Anderson have an answer?
Federer flunks a return of serve. 15-30. Federer slips! 30-30! Class forehand from Anderson for 40-30, but he goes long with the next one at we're at deuce. Ace for an Anderson advantage. He takes it.
Federer 6-2, 7-6 (7-5), 5-7, 4-6, 6-5 Anderson* (*next server)
So. Much. Tennis.
Federer holds to love.
Federer* 6-2, 7-6 (7-5), 5-7, 4-6, 5-5 Anderson (*next server)
Federer managed one return in that one.
Federer 6-2, 7-6 (7-5), 5-7, 4-6, 5-4 Anderson* (*next server)
Fierce return of serve by Anderson but that's his only point in this one. Federer takes it.
Federer* 6-2, 7-6 (7-5), 5-7, 4-6, 4-4 Anderson (*next server)
Anderson goes to 40-0, but Federer climbs his way back in for 40-30. Now deuce!
Break point! Federer roars! Anderson summons a world class serve and we're back at deuce. Rally of the match and it's advantage Kev! 21 shots that.
Back at deuce! Back at advantage Anderson! Game Anderson! What a match this is.
Federer 6-2, 7-6 (7-5), 5-7, 4-6, 4-3 Anderson* (*next server)
Big scare. Relentless Anderson now at 0-30. Screams from the crowd as Federer gets a point back, and now a yelp from the Swiss himself as he makes it 30-30. Big serve for 40-30, and an even bigger one takes the game.
Federer* 6-2, 7-6 (7-5), 5-7, 4-6, 3-3 Anderson (*next server)
Big mistake for Anderson as he lets Federer back into a point when he should've hit a winner at the net. Now -30 after an unnecessarily wide forehand by the South Africa.
Back at 30-30 as Anderson remains nerveless. Anderson's forehands are just faultless right now, and so very powerful.
He takes the game with an ace.
Federer 6-2, 7-6 (7-5), 5-7, 4-6, 3-2 Anderson* (*next server)
Big cheers from the crowd when Federer gets points. They've got their five sets, but now they want their man to win.
30-0 as Federer notches his 16th ace. 40-0 with a forehand winner. Sealed as Anderson fails to return a strong Federer serve.
Federer* 6-2, 7-6 (7-5), 5-7, 4-6, 2-2 Anderson (*next server)
A chink in Anderson's armour? Not yet. He ruthlessly pommels Federer into 40-15, and takes the game with yet another rocket serve.
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 11, 2018
Federer 6-2, 7-6 (7-5), 5-7, 4-6, 2-1 Anderson* (*next server)
Anderson frightens the Fed faithful by heading to 0-30, but Federer races back into a 40-30 lead, taking the game after an Anderson miss-hit.
Federer* 6-2, 7-6 (7-5), 5-7, 4-6, 1-1 Anderson (*next server)
Federer at 0-15, is he back?
Anderson lands some big serves, 19 aces now. 40-15 from nowhere, and he takes the game.
Federer 6-2, 7-6 (7-5), 5-7, 4-6, 1-0 Anderson* (*next server)
How are your nerves?
Anderson has a been a beacon of calm for the past hour, but Federer's done this a hundred times before. He's won his last six five-setters, and Anderson's lost his last 3.
Federer at 40-0 in the blink of an eye. Anderson snatches a point back as Federer goes long, but Anderson nets to hand Federer the game.
Going the distance
Well, here we are. Federer doesn't drop a set for two years and then two come along at once.
We're going to five sets after a magnificent comeback from Kevin Anderson, who fully deserves to be level. Federer needs to regroup, he's been all sixes and sevens for the past hour.
Federer* 6-2, 7-6 (7-5), 5-7, 4-6 Anderson (*next server)
15-15 and Anderson needs three big points here.
Well that's one. An ace for 30-15. Federer sneaks back to 30-30. Tense, very tense. Massive backhand for Anderson who's playing so, so well. Set point!
Federer saves it! Deuce. Now advantage Federer with a master passing shot! Break point! No! Anderson takes us back to deuce. Ace for another set point. There it is!
Anderson takes the second set 4-6
Federer 6-2, 7-6 (7-5), 5-7, 4-5 Anderson* (*next server)
Federer calms it all down with two aces for 30-0.
40-0 as Anderson nets. Saving his energy for his service game?
That's game. Anderson to serve for the set. Are we going the distance?
Federer* 6-2, 7-6 (7-5), 5-7, 3-5 Anderson (*next server)
What have you got Federer?
Not much right now. Anderson goes 30-0 and Federer needs to find some form.
40-0 with an ace. Federer a shell.
An ace seals it.
Federer 6-2, 7-6 (7-5), 5-7, 3-4 Anderson* (*next server)
Wide. 15-30. Federer in trouble here?
Oh brilliant from Anderson, just brilliant. He sets up two break points with a viscous return of serve.
He can't take the first, but he takes the second!
Federer* 6-2, 7-6 (7-5), 5-7, 3-3 Anderson (*next server)
Federer goes long and we're all square at 15-15. He's fired up now.
Big serve for 40-15. Takes the game.
Federer 6-2, 7-6 (7-5), 5-7, 3-2 Anderson* (*next server)
Oh brilliant from Anderson. He takes Federer all the way into a rally and then leathers a cross court forehand that deceives Federer completely.
Federer replies with an ace for 40-30, but at the moment Anderson is getting the better of the rallies.
Now Anderson is landing the kind of shots we expect from his opponent ... this one a slice that barely leaves the ground when it bounces. Deuce now. Federer yells for advantage, and takes the game.
Federer* 6-2, 7-6 (7-5), 5-7, 2-2 Anderson (*next server)
More shanking from Federer as he hands Anderson 30-0 with some dodgy forehands.
40-0 as Federer leaves a forehand in favour of a challenge, and it was well in. He gets back in it with an attacking forehand, but Anderson takes the game.
Federer 6-2, 7-6 (7-5), 5-7, 2-1 Anderson* (*next server)
Federer replies with a hold to love.
Federer* 6-2, 7-6 (7-5), 5-7, 1-1 Anderson (*next server)
Anderson holds to love. Will this one go the distance?
Impressive resilience from Anderson here, going two sets down and still making a game of it. He's gotten better if anything, and unforced errors have creeped into Federer's game.
Federer 6-2, 7-6 (7-5), 5-7, 1-0 Anderson* (*next server)
Important hold. Federer shakes off a very shaky third set and bounces back with a solid hold. Kept it simple in that one.
Federer 6-2, 7-6 (7-5), 5-7 Anderson* (*next server)
Ridiculous. Here he is at his very best again, racing to 0-30 as he tries to rescue this set.
Three break points!
It's wide, two break points!
100 mph forehand winner, one break point!
Nets! Deuce. Dear me, Federer has bottled that, no question. Rollercoaster game this is. Federer goes wide and it's set point Anderson. Can he take it?
Anderson takes the second set 5-7
Federer 6-2, 7-6 (7-5), 5-6 Anderson* (*next server)
Federer a little peeved as he nets yet again, and now Anderson has break point. Huge moment.
He misses it ... just! Federer has the audacity to play a drop shot under this kind of pressure, and Anderson reaches it but sends it just wide.
Another break point as Federer just swipes at a forehand that's way off.
Anderson takes it! He's now serving for the set!
Federer* 6-2, 7-6 (7-5), 5-5 Anderson (*next server)
Federer three points away from closing this one it as he makes it 0-15. He rushes a backhand for 15-15 ... he would've landed that in the first set.
Another backhand hits the net and Anderson is back in control of this game.
Deuce for the first time in this set though, and it's Federer's set point. Massive cheers from the crowd. He's raised his game on the Anderson serve when it matters.
He shanks a backhand and suddenly Anderson has the advantage. He nets from the baseline, no need for that.
Advantage again though, and he takes it this time.
Federer 6-2, 7-6 (7-5), 5-4 Anderson* (*next server)
Anderson's furious as he fails to return Federer's second serve, but he makes up for it with a brilliant cross-court backhand.
Federer, no wanting to be upstaged, lands a lovely forehand drop shot that Anderson cannot reach. 40-15 but Federer shanks a forehand well long. No matter, he takes the game.
Federer* 6-2, 7-6 (7-5), 4-4 Anderson (*next server)
Big serve for 15-0. Federer's return of serve a little lazy in this set, just seems happy to let Anderson have it.
30-0 with a big forehand winner, but Roger claws his way back to 30-30 with an early forehand that has Anderson almost on his knees.
Anderson wins it. He's not being intimated by Federer, not at all.
Federer 6-2, 7-6 (7-5), 4-3 Anderson* (*next server)
Big shout from Federer after Anderson forces magnificent point with some excellent returns.
Federer challenges a call, it was good!
He holds to love.
Federer* 6-2, 7-6 (7-5), 3-3 Anderson (*next server)
Anderson with some class of his own, but Federer finds 15-30.
A chance for a break is stifled by a big Anderson serve, and Anderson finally gets to the net for 40-30. He needs to work his way forward a little more.
Game as Federer nets.
Federer 6-2, 7-6 (7-5), 3-2 Anderson* (*next server)
Federer holds to love and this set isn't one for the neutral. Fortunately, nobody's neutral, they all love Federer and are happy to see him land some scintillating serves. Who needs rallies?
Federer* 6-2, 7-6 (7-5), 2-2 Anderson (*next server)
A low-key set so far as neither player seems capable of grinding down the other's serve. Anderson takes this one 40-15 and Federer was basically a spectator. Is the Swiss waiting to strike? Some big cheers in the crowd as someone yells something that must've been funny. Game Anderson.
Federer 6-2, 7-6 (7-5), 2-1 Anderson* (*next server)
A line judge dodges a Federer ace with almsot as much skill as the ace took itself. Federer holds to love. This set is flying by. Some monster serves from Federer in that one.
Federer* 6-2, 7-6 (7-5), 1-1 Anderson (*next server)
Anderson wrestles Federer back to 30-30 with an ace, and another big serve gives him 40-30. Smashes home for the game.
Federer 6-2, 7-6 (7-5), 1-0 Anderson* (*next server)
Anderson not demoralised by that tie-break loss, he fights his way to 40-30, but Federer seals with an ace.
Federer* 6-2, 7-6 (7-5) Anderson (*next server)
Ace for Anderson and it's 1-0, Federer nets a shaky forehand, 2-0.
Finally Federer finds his feet and wins a wonderful backhand rally. Back on serve after an outrageous sliced backhand from the Swiss, 2-2. Federer takes another Anderson service point, and Federer's up a mini-break.
Federer with a rare challenge that is nowhere near correct, but no matter as he backhands down the line for 4-2. 5-2 now and all that hard work from Anderson is flying out the window. Set point Federer, but he goes uncharacteristically long. And Anderson's back in it!
Still set point at 6-5 but Anderson's back on serve. Can he level it up?
No, Federer takes it. Still no sets lost for the great man. 34 consecutive sets for Federer at Wimbledon.
Federer takes the second set 7-6 (7-5)
Federer 6-2, 6-6 Anderson* (*next server)
Anderson goes 0-30 up. Federer in danger of losing his first set at Wimbledon since 2016. An angry ace gets him back in. Anderson can't return the next either. 40-30 and that's why he's won so many slams. Game, and it's a tie-break.
Federer* 6-2, 5-6 Anderson (*next server)
This one has tie-break written all over it. Federer has no answer to Anderson's first three serves, and we're at 40-15 in under a minute. A lucky return and it's 40-30 ... Federer has a look in here, but goes long.
Federer 6-2, 5-5 Anderson* (*next server)
Some more questionable forehands from Federer as he goes wide. Anderson has sorted out his return of serve in this set, but as I type that Federer lands two aces in a row for 40-15. Anderson steals a point but another ace seals it.
Federer* 6-2, 4-5 Anderson (*next server)
Anderson a contender now though, he holds to love. It isn't pretty tennis, but it's effective, and Anderson won't mind.
Federer 6-2, 4-4 Anderson* (*next server)
Wonderful lob by Anderson but it's not enough, Federer takes the game and the new balls are out. I made the mistake of getting some water during that one. Federer waits for nobody.
Federer* 6-2, 3-4 Anderson (*next server)
Anderson races to 40-0 with some big serves. He needs more games like this but this is a much better performance from him in this set. He seals the game with a cross-court backhand that flies pass Federer.
Federer 6-2, 3-3 Anderson* (*next server)
Federer a little vocal there as he brings us back to 15-15. Not as calm he looks?
An ace for 30-15, but Anderson grinds his way back in and has another break point! He saves it and that's as loud as I've heard Federer this year. So pumped. He takes the game.
A little frustrated at dropping off his first set form.
Federer* 6-2, 2-3 Anderson (*next server)
Terrific rally, and Anderson nets a Federer cross-court forehand. An ace brings us back level.
Oh boy, that's one for the highlights reel. Really unbelievable. Federer slips, he's in all sorts of trouble as Anderson puts him at the back of the court, but Federer somehow, somehow, LOBS the 6ft 8 South Africa with a perfect shot on the turn. He wasn't even looking.
Break point Federer, but he doesn't take it. He gets another, and Anderson nets. Back on serve.
Federer 6-2, 1-3 Anderson* (*next server)
The Swiss doesn't seem too fazed though, racing to 40-0 without Anderson getting a shot back. That's game in just over a minute.
Federer* 6-2, 0-3 Anderson (*next server)
Simple, he consolidates with a hold to love. Anderson back in this now, Federer just looking a little out of sorts in those last two games. He never really had a look in as Anderson landed some big serves and Federer started finding the net.
Federer 6-2, 0-2 Anderson* (*next server)
Anderson with a look in here at 0-30 after Federer's forced into two errors.
Two break points! He takes the first! Where did that come from? Federer broken for the first time this Wimbledon.
Federer* 6-2, 0-1 Anderson (*next server)
Oh dear. A Federer slice and Anderson nets, but that wasn't even close. Unforced errors are piling in on the rallies.
The South African finally gets to the net and Federer can't get past him. He springboards to 40-15, he could really do with an easy game here, but flails at a forehand that allows Federer back in. Deuce. Sealed with a few big serves.
Federer 6-2 Anderson* (*next server)
Blink and you'll miss it tennis from Federer here as he holds to love and takes the first set. A drop shot at the end has the crowd in raptures, words can't do it justice. Frightening stuff.
Federer takes the first set 6-2
Federer* 5-2 Anderson (*next server)
Anderson's unlucky as he hits the net cord, giving Federer all the time in the world to wind up a forehand winner.
Break point Federer as Anderson goes long. Superb return from Federer and Anderson goes long again. Federer's return of serve just comes back so deep and fast and almost shocks Anderson into an error. This is a procession at the moment.
Federer 4-2 Anderson* (*next server)
Anderson preserving his energy as he watches a backhand pass him from metres away. He goes for the next, a Federer drop shot, but he cannot reach it and this game is already over.
A rare Court 1 appearance for Federer
Federer hasn't played on Court 1 since 2015. They've kept him off Centre for this one, perhaps because Nadal is on there later? Like keeping the bride and groom from seeing each other before the wedding/final?
Federer* 3-2 Anderson (*next server)
Double fault from Anderson to kick us off, but he takes the next with a 133mph rocket that Federer can hardly return - but does, before Anderson fires a forehand to win the point.
A big serve for 30-15.
The crowd love that! A classic baseline rally wakes everyone up before Anderson nets. Federer goes long with a forehand but redeems with another that Anderson can't even get close to. Deuce.
A master forehand from Anderson this time, a graceful player in his own right despite his height.
He can't take the first or second advantage points, but gets the third. Hard work.
Federer 3-1 Anderson* (*next server)
First real rally of the game but Anderson nets after heavy forehands from Federer. 30-0 and we see those rare glimpses of mortality from RF as he goes long with the court gaping. A smash takes us to 40-15, and an ace seals it.
Federer* 2-1 Anderson (*next server)
Anderson goes 15-0 with a big serve, before Federer returns the next at pace and Anderson nets.
Federer responds with a net of his own, and then goes wide with a backhand for 40-15.
A long serve return and that's game. Anderson on the board. A relief for the South African.
Federer 2-0 Anderson* (*next server)
Federer kicks off with an ace, and then somehow lands a drop shot from the baseline. Ridiculous, he's just playing around.
40-0 before you can blink as another serve never comes back. And that's game. Pace.
Federer* 1-0 Anderson (*next server)
Federer races into 0-30 and immediately gets a look in for the break. Oof and Anderson whacks a forehand just wide to hand Federer three break points.
He finally lands one of those famed big serves to get on the scoreboard,
Blimey, and there's break as Anderson nets. Federer not messing around here.
Federer 0-0 Anderson* (*next server)
Anderson gets us underway on serve
Unsurprisingly, Anderson has 96 aces to Federer's 46 in the tournament so far. It helps when you can almost reach the net.
The players emerge
The players emerge from the tunnel. Kevin Anderson gets a push from the umpire after taking a little to long at his chair ... just because you behave like Nadal doesn't mean you'll play like him.
Federer keeps his jacket on for the warm up.
Both players in white ... obviously.
Green green grass
The grass at Wimbledon still looking luscious despite the fact it no longer rains in London. If this heatwaves lasts much longer they made need to open up Wimbledon as the capital's botanical sanctuary.
Imagine being the greatest player ever to play your sport, respected all over the world and loved by millions ... but also having a great sense of humour. It's just not fair.
Well worth checking out Federer's reaction when asked about concerns that the Wimbledon final and the World Cup final will take place on the same day.
— ESPN UK (@ESPNUK) July 10, 2018
An unstoppable force
Kevin Anderson's in for a tough day at work.
To stay in this year's Wimbledon he must beat a player who hasn't lost a set at SW19 since 2016, has faced just four break points in 12 sets at this year's competition, and is also the greatest tennis player of all time - Roger Federer.
How do you prepare for a task like that? Can you prepare for a task like that?
Federer/the Fed-express/the GOAT, has glided effortlessly into the Wimbledon quarter-finals, a place he knows better than most people know their own back garden. He's won it eight times too, and the crowd, who love him like a father/son/brother, will be cheering his every swanlike backhand/forehand/smash.
South African Kevin Anderson, another member of the over-30s club, is in his first ever Wimbledonq quarter-finals, and to be fair hasn't taken too long to get there either, having been taken to four sets just twice.
He's also the world No 8, not too shabby, and you may remember him for his appearance at last year's US Open final against Rafael Nadal. He's also an absolute mountain at 6 ft 8 inches, part of the big-serve brigade that infect the latter stages each year but never quite win it.
Indeed, Anderson will have to do his very best to deprive the world of a Federer-Nadal final today, but he might have to produce the form of his life.
Stranger things have happened ... England are in a World Cup semi-final later on, and the country has forgotten what rain looks like.
Let's hope the party continues here with some world class tennis.