Published: Thu, July 12, 2018
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Federer impresses Tendulkar with cricket skills at Wimbledon

Federer impresses Tendulkar with cricket skills at Wimbledon

Opening in typically dominant style, the 36-year-old Federer won the opening two sets; relinquishing a match-point in the third.

Djokovic and Nishikori will play the first match on Centre Court, followed by arguably the pick of the quarter-finals between Nadal and Juan Martin del Potro, meaning Federer must make a rare visit to Court One.

Federer, the eight-time champion, took the first two sets 6-2, 7-6 (5) on Court No. 1 to extend his streak of winning 34 straight sets at the All-England Club.

But he found himself in even more unfamiliar territory with an inspired Anderson's relentless, thudding serve eventually overpowering the 20-time grand slam victor.

The Swiss lost the set in a flurry of aces, with Anderson's relentless, powerful serve sending the match into a decider.

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"He claims that he didn't see what Nishikori has done, but apparently he always sees what I do", Djokovic said afterward, "something that I don't think is fair".

Former Wimbledon champion Pat Cash says he does not believe this defeat necessarily signals the end for Federer.

Federer had been pursuing a 13th Wimbledon semi-final and a 44th appearance in the last four of a grand slam. "Making the semis, beating Roger Federer is something special, something I will remember", Anderson said.

"Down two sets to love I just tried my best to keep fighting and scraped through the third and fourth set", Anderson said after the match, per Wimbledon's website.

But this time Federer cracked, serving his first double fault at 11-11 to give Anderson the crucial break that ushered the Swiss legend to the exit door. Reaching his first grand slam final at the US Open a year ago, where he lost to Nadal, gave him great confidence and it was noticeable even early on that he was able to push Federer back, a rare sight, especially on grass. That also was the closest he's come to winning a Grand Slam trophy, while Federer owns 20.

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Eyeing a ninth title at The All England Club, Federer ultimately paid the price for being unable to convert any more than three of 12 break-point chances in the four-hour, 14-minute cliffhanger on Court One.

"That's how important Wimbledon is to me and to us over here".

Federer was completely out of sorts by now and his uncharacteristic struggles on his forehand didn't improve in the fourth set.

Not quite to the same extent as Anderson, but Djokovic too was forced to improve as his meeting with Nishikori raged on, particularly after the 24th seed showed a sturdier response to level after two sets. He won the Australian Open for the sixth time earlier this year. "I'm going to have to really take it to him". The match was a minute shy of three-and-a-half hours, so his physical condition will certainly be tested against the fresher Federer, but he's certainly not lacking confidence.

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