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Federer crashes out of Wimbledon in five-set thriller

London: Roger Federer crashed out of Wimbledon after losing a five-set thriller against South African Kevin Anderson, 6-2, 7-6 (7-5), 5-7, 4-6, 11-12

The Swiss cruised through the first set, playing some of his very best tennis to which Anderson had no answer. A tense second set came to a tie-break, but Federer won his 34th consecutive set at Wimbledon and another semi-final looked inevitable.

But Anderson had other ideas. The world No. 8 held off a match point from Federer in the third set, and went on to break and take the set for himself. From then on, the match had a very different complexion as Federer struggled to make any dent in Anderson fiercely powerful serve, and Anderson hit winner after winner on his forehand.

He was rewarded with another set and the chance to reach his first ever semi-final at Wimbledon. Both players held serve throughout the fifth set, and the match head beyond tennis' usual limits as the games went into double figures, both players looking inseparable on 11-11, tired and incapable of breaking the other's serve.

Anderson consolidated all of his tremendous work, and completed a classic Wimbledon comeback as he finally broke the Federer serve. With nerves of steel, the then served out his own game with ease, and won the match.

Meanwhile, three-time champion Novak Djokovic reached his eighth Wimbledon semi-final on Wednesday with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 win over Japan's Kei Nishikori in a stormy Centre Court clash.

Djokovic, 31, will be playing in his 32nd Slam semi-final where he will face either world number one Rafael Nadal or fifth-seeded Juan Martin del Potro.

It will be Djokovic's first semi-final at a major since the 2016 French Open when he completed the career Grand Slam.

The 12-time major winner prevailed despite picking up two code violations and accusing umpire Carlos Ramos of "double standards".

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

"It didn't harm the grass. Kei did the same in the fourth set but wasn't warned.

"The umpire said he didn't see. I don't think it's fair but it is what it is." Despite his anger, Djokovic still reeled off 10 of the last 12 games of the quarter-final.

"It feels great to be back in the last four of a Slam. I've been building in the last couple of weeks and my level of tennis is going up," he said.

"I am peaking at the right moment."

Serena Williams is one step closer to her eighth Wimbledon trophy after she beat Camila Giorgi of Italy 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the quarter-finals.

"I never thought I was in danger of losing this match. Even when I was down in the first set, I thought, "Well, she's playing great, (but) I'm doing a lot of the right things.

"I never felt it was out of my hands. If there is one lesson I would teach my daughter it's never give in, always fight. It's really important in life, no matter what you're going through, to never quit," Williams said afterwards, reports Xinhua news agency.

This is only her fourth tournament since giving birth to daughter Olympia in September 2017, and the 23-time Grand Slam winner pointed out how motherhood had changed her approach to tennis.

"It's different now obviously because I have the baby. Being a mom is totally different," she said. "I just want to be more of a role model for my daughter, for lots of people out there that just want to be inspired."

Williams will take on No.13 seed Julia Gorges of Germany, who also managed a comeback win against Kiki Bertens 3-6, 7-5, 6-1 to make her first appearance in the semifinals at the All England Club.

The other semi-final will see No.11 seed Angelique Kerber of Germany take on No. 12 seed Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia as they both bested their respective oppenents in straight sets.

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