Roger Federer of Switzerland wipes his forehead against Kevin Anderson of South Africa during their Men's Singles Quarter-Finals match on day nine of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 11, 2018 in London, England. From there, Anderson came all the way back, shocking Federer with a 13-11 triumph in the fifth and final set, capping off the four-plus hour match with a bullet serve up the middle that Federer returned long.
It was Federer's earliest departure from Wimbledon since his shock second round defeat against Sergiy Stakhovsky in 2013.
The eighth-seeded Anderson advances to face either No. 9 John Ishner or No. 13 Milos Raonic in a Friday semifinal match.
"I just kept on telling myself, 'I have to keep believing.' I kept saying that today was going to be my day, because you really need that mindset taking the court against somebody like Roger", Anderson said.
Rafael Nadal is in the quarterfinals at Wimbledon for the first time since 2011.More news: Proud of England’s performance at the World Cup 2018, says Wayne Rooney
Meanwhile, Nadal will face off against Juan Martin del Potro; Federer will play Kevin Anderson and Djokovic will play Kei Nishikori.
But after squandering a match point in the 10th game of the third set Federer's game frayed at the edges and an inspired Anderson powered back to claim victory in four hours 14 minutes. He was, after all, the runner-up at last year's U.S. Open.
That will be played at Centre Court, of course, a spot Federer knows well.
Anderson stayed cool and sealed victory on his first match point with a powerful first serve which Federer could only return into the tramlines.
Federer had a match point in the third set at 4-5, 30-40 but failed to take it, before Anderson broke in the following game to earn the opportunity to serve out the set.More news: Central bank hikes rate, predicts modest overall impact from US tariff fight
Anderson scented blood and, out-duelling Federer time and again, he broke in the seventh game to level the match at two sets all.
There was little sign of the drama which unfolded when Federer raced through the first set in 26 minutes.
Federer seemed rattled and his forehand began to look vulnerable and it was that stroke which allowed Anderson a decisive break of serve at 3-3 in the fourth.
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.
Now, at age 32, he has reached the semifinals at Wimbledon for the first time.More news: Pakistani authorities arrest ousted premier Nawaz Sharif's son-in-law
That took great self-belief, he added, knowing that he had never taken a set off 20-time major victor Federer in four previous meetings.