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.


England avenge World Cup Croatia defeat to reach Nations League final four

Updated 18 November 2018
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England avenge World Cup Croatia defeat to reach Nations League final four

  • Kane’s first goal in eight games for England sparked a wild celebration from manager Southgate
  • England were on the brink of relegation to the second tier of the competition after Andrej Kramaric gave Croatia the lead

LONDON: Harry Kane fired England into the Nations League semifinals as Gareth Southgate’s side scored twice in the last 12 minutes to seal a dramatic 2-1 victory over Croatia on Sunday.
England were on the brink of relegation to the second tier of the competition after Andrej Kramaric gave Croatia the lead against the run of play in the second half at Wembley.
But Southgate’s vibrant young side pulled off a stirring escape act in the closing stages to gain a measure of revenge for their World Cup semifinal defeat against Croatia earlier this year.
Jesse Lingard came off the bench to poach England’s equalizer and captain Kane was on hand to turn in the winner with five minutes left.
England’s fightback took them to the top of Group A4, above Spain and relegated Croatia, and they can look forward to playing in the last four in June next year.
It was a cathartic moment for England, who have made a habit of suffering painful defeats against Croatia, with this year’s World Cup woe following the 2007 loss that cost them a place at Euro 2008.
More importantly, the performance provided further tangible proof that Southgate is building a team capable of challenging for the major prizes after years of under-achievement.
England’s appearance in the semifinals of the Nations League, which are set to be held in Portugal next June, offers another chance to reach their first major final since 1966.
Following the 3-2 Nations League win over Spain in Seville last month, this tournament has been a serious statement of intent from Southgate’s team and they will go into 2019 with great expectations.
From start to finish, England were the dominant force, although they were fortunate to escape when Ante Rebic shot over after Jordan Pickford fumbled Fabian Delph’s backpass.
Kane slipped a perfectly-weighted pass through to Raheem Sterling and the Manchester City winger’s blistering pace sent him clear of the Croatia defense.
With only Lovre Kalinic to beat, Sterling let Croatia off the hook as he directed a hesitant shot straight at the keeper.
England kept probing intelligently, with the speed of Sterling and Marcus Rashford providing their main threat.
Delph’s pass sparked a frantic sequence, forcing Kalinic to dash out of his area to head away from Sterling.
When Kalinic’s clearance fell to Kane, the England captain’s effort was headed off the line by Tin Jedvaj.
The rebound fell to Kane, but Kalinic, by now back in his goal, used his legs to foil the Tottenham striker with a last-ditch save.
It was more of the same at the start of the second half, but once again England couldn’t find the killer touch.
That profligacy looked as though it would prove fatal when Croatia snatched the lead after 56 minutes.
Kramaric was allowed time and space to turn in the area and the Hoffenheim forward took full advantage, clipping a shot that deflected off Eric Dier and looped over Pickford’s despairing dive.
Southgate responded by sending on Lingard and the change reaped an instant reward as England equalized in the 78th minute.
Joe Gomez’s long throw was flicked on by John Stones and Kane prodded past Kalinic, leaving Lingard with the simple task of tapping in from virtually on the goal-line.
England’s deserved winner arrived in the 85th minute.
Ben Chilwell curled over a teasing low free-kick and Kane timed his run to perfection, guiding his shot past Kalinic from close-range.
Kane’s first goal in eight games for England sparked a wild celebration from Southgate, who leapt into the air as he punched the air on the touchline.
Kane had joked with his fiancee this week that he would cry if England ever win a trophy, but he couldn’t guarantee he would weep when they get married.
Thanks to their thrilling comeback, England could bring a tear to Kane’s eyes in the Finals next year.