Roger Federer was left shell-shocked on Wednesday as the defending champion crashed out after losing his quarter-final against Kevin Anderson.
Federer blew a two-set lead and missed a match point as he lost 2-6, 6-7 (5/7), 7-5, 6-4, 13-11 to the South African in four hours and 13 minutes.
The defeat ended his quest for a record ninth Wimbledon title and came after he had looked to be cruising with a two-set lead.
The 36-year-old had won the first set in just 26 minutes, but was left stunned as Anderson clawed his way back into the match from a seemingly lost position.
“To be honest, I didn’t feel mental fatigue (during the match). Now I feel horribly fatigued and just awful,” Federer said.
“As the match went on, I couldn’t surprise him any more. That’s a bad feeling to have.
“I couldn’t come up with enough good stuff for him to miss more. I think that was the key at the end.
“It’s just terrible. But that’s how it goes, you know. I didn’t see it coming.”
The defeat marked only the second time that Federer had lost at Wimbledon after being two sets up, the previous occasion being against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the 2011 quarter-finals.
“I was very happy that I got off to the right start of the match, was able to take control somewhat of the game. I just don’t know exactly how I couldn’t create more opportunities once the third set came around,” Federer said.
“I wasn’t feeling particularly well off the baseline. I couldn’t really get the rallies going the way I wanted to, especially 1-2 punch wasn’t working at all .
“It’s disappointing. No doubt about it. But he was solid. He got what he needed when he had to.
“Credit to him for hanging around really that long.”
Federer refused to blame the defeat on the fact he was playing on the unfamiliar surroundings of Court One for the first time in three years.
“I don’t think it would have changed if I played there last year. It’s not like I would have remembered exactly how it would have felt,” he said.
“I don’t think it really mattered, to be honest. I had my chances and blew them. That’s my problem really.”
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