The fans of Roger Federer will never forget Wimbledon 2018. The prestigious All England Club was stunned by the almost inhuman display of tennis by Kevin Anderson which saw him defeat the grass legend after being two sets down.
Why was this victory so great, you ask? A little context is required. Federer hadn’t lost a set a Wimbledon since 8 July 2016. Roger was so invincible that he had won 34 sets in a row. This equalled his record run of 2005 and 2006.
However, this one turned out to be a dogfight. Both men fought tooth and nail for every point. The final scoreline will tell you the story of this thrilling match: 2-6, 6-7 (5), 7-5, 6-4, 13-11 in the favour of the South African.
How did Kevin Anderson dismantle an in-form Roger Federer on grass?
The first set didn’t give the premonition of any surprise. Roger went about his general business dispatching Kevin Anderson 6-2 in ruthless fashion.
However, Anderson gained a great mental advantage over Roger in the second. He finally broke Roger Federer’s serve after Tomas Berdych did it in 2017. Despite being 3-0 up at one point, Federer snatched the set back from the class of defeat. First, he broke Anderson and took the set to a tie-breaker. Then, he displayed tremendous wherewithal to win five straight points and go two sets up.
It was obvious that Federer was beginning to take the match very seriously. His constant screams of ‘Come On’ were a sign.
However, the second set might have convinced many, including Federer, that this was a match that he simply wouldn’t lose. Being two sets down at a grand slam would break any player and Kevin Anderson was not a very constant appearance at the big stage.
The third set was going with serve. In fact, Roger had a match point at 5-4. However, a gritty Anderson survived the big challenge. In fact, he followed it up by breaking Federer in the next. Kevin finally had one set in his pocket.
Kevin Anderson raises the level
After this point, he became a man possessed. Kevin was schooling Roger Federer in rallies, hitting the ball as hard as he could.
Meanwhile, the pressure was beginning to show on Roger Federer. His trusted forehand was faltering. Anderson was flawless as he broke Federer at 4-3 and saw off a breakpoint to claim the set with an ace.
All of a sudden, the stable crowd at the All England Club sensed that they were witnessing a classic. A man on a mission was about to give them one of the best tennis stories of their life. However, they backed Roger Federer to the core like any other tennis fan who watches him at Wimbledon.
Even his detractors don’t like to see him losing at Wimbledon. After all, Roger and Wimbledon are the best tennis memories of every tennis fan’s life. The crowd turned against Anderson.
They cheered every error that he made and booed his winner. However, nothing was stopping Kevin Anderson. The final set went blow for blow. At 11-11, Federer made a fatal double fault. Just like that, Kevin Anderson sealed his name in tennis history. A new star was born who beat Roger Federer at his best level.