Kevin Anderson hails career highlight after shocking Roger Federer in Wimbledon last-eight

Kevin Anderson salute the crowd after his brilliant and unexpected victory over the defending champion Roger Federer
Updated 11 July 2018
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Kevin Anderson hails career highlight after shocking Roger Federer in Wimbledon last-eight

  • South African saves match point against Federer before going on to win in five sets.
  • Federer came into match big favorite and having not lost a set so far.

Kevin Anderson said beating Roger Federer in the last-eight of Wimbledon will live long in the memory after he shocked the defending champion in an epic four-hour encounter.
The South African produced an astonishing fightback from two sets and a match point down to beat the eight-time champion 2-6, 6-7, 7-5, 6-4, 3-11.
At two sets down and with match point against him everyone assumed all hope was lost. But Anderson dug deep and came back fighting.
“Down 2-0 I tried my best to keep fighting and was able to scrape through and by the end I thought I did a great job. I was in the flow of the match,” the world No. 7 said.
“Beating Roger Federer at Wimbledon will be one I remember, especially in such a close match.
“I just kept on telling myself I had to keep believing and saying today was going to be my day, you need that against someone like Roger, if you go out with doubts — like maybe I did in the first set — it’s not going to go your way
“As the match went on, I gave it my all and obviously I’m very ecstatic.”
The big South African’s hopes looked forlorn as Federer skipped through the opening two sets on Court One with his usual panache but he turned the match on its head to cause the biggest shock yet in a tournament full of upsets.
It was his first win against Federer at the fifth attempt and means he is the first player representing South Africa to reach the semifinal here since Kevin Curren in 1983.
Eighth-seed Anderson, 32, saved a match point in the 10th game of the third set and grew in confidence against an increasingly-ragged Federer who had won the first set in 26 minutes.
He won the third set to snap Federer’s 34-set winning streak at Wimbledon and Federer was clearly shaken as Anderson dominated the fourth set to drag the 20-time Grand Slam champion into a decider.
Six times Anderson was required to hold serve to stay alive and each time he was equal to the task.
Federer eventually cracked at 11-11, double-faulting to hand Anderson a break point which he converted when the defending champion hit a weary-looking forehand halfway up the net.
Anderson stayed cool and sealed victory on his first match point with a powerful first serve which Federer could only return into the tramlines.


Zlatko Dalic and Croatia's World Cup success proves path to glory can start in the Middle East

Updated 21 min 16 sec ago
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Zlatko Dalic and Croatia's World Cup success proves path to glory can start in the Middle East

  • Dalic's success in Russia could pave way for more unknown, hungry managers to coach in the region
  • Croatian's time at Al-Hilal and Al-Ain crucial in his education and development as a coach

MOSCOW: Not only did Zlatko Dalic take Croatia all the way to the World Cup final but he also proved that a route to top-level coaching can start in the Middle East, that is according to Khalin Ghadin of the Saudi Pro League.
Dalic was little known when he took charge of the Croatia team in October last year, replacing Ante Cacic who was axed on the eve of their final World Cup qualification match.
In Russia the former midfielder took his team, from a country of just over four million, to their first World Cup final, losing out 4-2 to France having beaten Argentina in the group, then Denmark, the hosts and then England in the knockout stages. While the run ensured that the 51-year-old made a global name for himself, he was already well-known in the Arab world.
Dalic arrived in Saudi Arabia as a little-known coach in 2010, first heading to Al-Faisaly and then Al-Hilal.  After his spell with the Riyadh giants, he then took over at Al-Ain in 2014 where he won the United Arab Emirates league title. In November 2016, the Bosnian-born boss led the club to the final of the 2016 AFC Champions League, losing out narrowly to Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors of South Korea.
For Ghadin that illustrates that there is another route to reaching the top of the coaching tree. Traditionally, big clubs in the region have looked, when searching for overseas tacticians, for candidates with significant European experience.
“Most Saudi fans here are happy with what Zlatko achieved in the World Cup. It is incredible,” Saudi Pro League official Ghadin said.
“Many coaches start in Europe or South America then come to the Middle East with a great career behind them. What happened with Zlatko is the opposite. He started in the Middle East and then he left to Europe.  So this is an interesting point for Saudi Arabian media and fans.”
It remains to be seen with the new season approaching whether clubs in Saudi Arabia, the UAE and elsewhere follow the “Dalic way” and look for unknown, hungry coaches with potential. It could be a turning point for the region. 
“What happened with Zlatko means that many coaches now can start in the Middle East or come 
in the middle of their career,” Ghadin said. “It means that coaches do not have to be afraid to come here and think that they will not be able to go back to Europe or South America.”
The Croatia boss returned to his home country on Monday to be given a hero’s welcome as thousands packed into Zagreb’s Bana Jelacica Square to celebrate the side’s remarkable march to the final. He was able to reflect on how his time in the Middle East helped his footballing and coaching education.
“It is great that there has been such support from the UAE and Saudi Arabia,” Dalic told Arab News.
“I have happy memories of my time there, they love their football and there is passion and a lot of talent too.”
Despite not having the European experience that many of his coaching counterparts in Russia have enjoyed, the time spent in region prepared Dalic to take a team all the way to the biggest game in world football.
“It is a very good place to grow as a coach and it was a very good learning experience,” Dalic said. “There is big pressure on a coach every week in Saudi Arabia and in the UAE too. You are always judged on your last game and you have to produce results. If you don’t get the results then you are out. You know what you have to do and it keeps you focused.”
He added that the change in culture can also be valuable.
“You are going far from home and the way of doing things is different in football and in life. Whatever happens on the pitch, you grow as a person.”
If Dalic chooses to leave his current post then he is sure to have numerous offers elsewhere after his exploits this summer.  Wherever he goes, there will always be an appreciation for the Middle East and he has no hesitation in recommending that others follow his path.
“Football is not just about Europe and there are opportunities everywhere,” Dalic said.
“I would not change my coaching career and have no regrets.”