Wimbledon 2018: Rafael Nadal Prefers Not To Face Roger Federer In Final

Wimbledon

In a stunning turnaround in an unfamiliar setting - Number One Court instead of Centre Court - the top-seeded Federer blew a third-set match point and, eventually, all of his big lead in a 2-6, 6-7 (5), 7-5, 6-4, 13-11 loss to number eight seed Kevin Anderson on Wednesday in a four-hour, 14-minute tussle. Even if Federer had managed to get past Anderson, as he nearly did, having held match point in the third set, there was no guarantee he would have gone on to win the title, especially with a rejuvenated Novak Djokovic in the other half of the draw, not to mention Rafael Nadal and Juan Martín del Potro.

Federer, playing in the unfamiliar surroundings of Court One for the first time in three years, oozed confidence as early as the opening game when he broke Anderson's huge serve easily and then again in the ninth game before serving out the set in 26 minutes.

Having saved Federer's only break point of a 90-minute fifth set at 3-4, Anderson took his first chance at 11-11 and then served out for victory.

The defending champion had not dropped a service game at this year's championships either - part of a run spanning 85 games - until Anderson broke him in the second set.

"But just today when I needed it, I couldn't get up, and I think that's why it's an average performance and not a good one".

" I'm feeling the ball well". Meanwhile, Nadal will face off against Juan Martin del Potro; Federer will play Kevin Anderson and Djokovic will play Kei Nishikori. "I just kept telling myself this will be my day".

"So if I would have won in straight sets, then it could have been all right, because I would have had a great first set, and second set was whatever it was".

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"Beating Roger Federer at Wimbledon is definitely one I'm going to remember".

No tournament wants to see Federer go out and we'll be denied a repeat of that 2008 Federer v Nadal final, which is a shame.

"Obviously I'm very ecstatic to get through that match", 32-year-old Anderson said.

The only other times that Federer has surrendered a two-set lead came against Lleyton Hewitt in Switzerland's 2003 Davis Cup semifinal loss to Australia in Melbourne, to David Nalbandian in the 2005 Masters Cup decider and to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Novak Djokovic at consecutive slams at Wimbledon and the US Open in 2011.

I don't know if that was his serve. But I wouldn't necessarily say I've been playing like incredible.

"I had my chances", Federer said, "so it's disappointing."
"I still think if had I lost that match point, I made a few steps in the right direction". All credit to Anderson, he hung in there and somehow won the third. I wouldn't call it unfinished business. I felt like I did some good business here in the past already. "That's the worst feeling you can have as a tennis player".

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