LONDON: Eight-time champion Roger Federer was sensationally knocked out of Wimbledon on Wednesday, surrendering a two-sets lead and a match point at the hands of South African giant Kevin Anderson.
Defending champion Federer, chasing a 21st Grand Slam title, lost a Court One epic, 2-6, 6-7 (5/7), 7-5, 6-4, 13-11 as 32-year-old Anderson became the first South African in the Wimbledon semi-finals since Kevin Curren in 1983. “Down two sets to love I tried my best to keep fighting. Beating Roger Federer here at Wimbledon will be one I remember, especially in such a close match,” Anderson said. “I kept telling myself to keep believing.
I said today is going to be my day.” In a nail-biting four hour and 13-minute classic, it was 36-year-old Federer’s earliest exit at the All England Club since his shock second-round defeat against Sergiy Stakhovsky in 2013. “Sometimes you don’t feel good, and you try your best. Today was one of those days. I didn’t see it coming,” said Federer. “I think it went in spells a bit also, how I was able to return his serve. “I had moments where I was great, I felt like I was reading his serve, other moments where I don’t know where the hell I was moving to.”Eighth seed Anderson will play 2016 runner-up Milos Raonic or American ninth seed John Isner on Friday for a place in Sunday’s final.
Three-time champion Novak Djokovic, meanwhile, reached his first semi-final at the majors in more than two years by seeing off Japan’s Kei Nishikori 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2.
The 12-time Slam champion will face either world number one Rafael Nadal or Juan Martin del Potro for a place in the final.
For the only the second time at Wimbledon, Federer was beaten after holding a two-set lead, with his previous loss from that position coming against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the 2011 quarter-finals.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion appeared to be moving towards his fifth successive Wimbledon semi-final after taking the opening two sets.
That initial burst gave Federer 34 successive sets won at Wimbledon, equalling his own record set between 2005 and 2006.
But, playing on Court One for the first time in three years, Federer was unusually error-prone.
Anderson had failed to take a single set off Federer in their previous four meetings.
Yet once he had ended Federer’s run of holding serve for 85 consecutive games — a streak dating back to last year’s semi-final — Anderson’s confidence soared.
Only once before had Federer played more games at a Grand Slam and on that occasion, he prevailed 16-14 in the 2009 Wimbledon final against Andy Roddick.
But this time Federer cracked, serving his first double fault at 11-11 in the decider to give Anderson the crucial break that ushered the Swiss to the exit door.
Djokovic reached his eighth Wimbledon semi-final and 32nd at the majors after a stormy Centre Court clash against Nishikori.
It will be the 31-year-old Serb’s first semi-final at a Slam since the 2016 French Open when he completed the career Grand Slam.
The 12-time major winner prevailed despite picking up two code violations and accusing umpire Carlos Ramos of “double standards”.
“I think the first warning was unnecessary,” said Djokovic, who was sanctioned in the second set for spearing his racquet into the court.
“It didn’t harm the grass. Kei did the same in the fourth set but wasn’t warned.
“The umpire said he didn’t see it. I don’t think it’s fair but it is what it is.”
Despite his anger — and picking up a time violation in the fourth set — 12th seed Djokovic still reeled off 10 of the last 12 games.
Nishikori was bidding to become the first Japanese man to make the semi-finals in 85 years.
“Well, maybe wasn’t my best, but I thought I was playing good enough,” said Nishikori.
“But he was making me run all the time. Especially with his backhand, he can go both ways. That gave me real trouble.”
Nadal, who has made the quarter-finals without dropping a set, takes a 10-5 winning record over Del Potro into his quarter-final.
Two-time Wimbledon champion Nadal, who is chasing an 18th Grand Slam title, won the pair’s most recent clash in the semi-finals of the French Open last month.
He allowed the giant Argentine just seven games in Paris.
The 32-year-old is playing in the last eight at the All England Club for the first time since finishing runner-up to Djokovic in 2011.
Nadal is bidding to reach a sixth Wimbledon semi-final and 28th at the majors.
Del Potro, the 2009 US Open champion, is trying to reach the semi-finals for the second time, five years after losing to Djokovic in the longest last-four match ever played at the tournament.
Cricket: Sri Lanka thrash S.Africa to sweep series 2-0
COLOMBO: Sri Lanka has completed a 2-0 Test sweep of South Africa today to record their first series win over the Proteas since 2006 after Rangana Herath wreaked havoc with six wickets.
The visitors were all out for 290 in the second session of day four in Colombo, 200 runs short of their highly improbable winning target of 490.
It was South Africa’s first Test whitewash since they went down in the island nation 2-0 in a two-match series almost 12 years ago.
Theunis de Bruyn and Temba Bavuma kept the spinners at bay for most of the first session after the visitors started the day on 139 for five.
De Bruyn was especially impressive, sweeping judiciously and defending doggedly on a tough surface, while Bavuma was also adept at picking gaps on the leg side and rotating the strike.
Bavuma made 63 but his resistance ended just after he was caught behind off left-arm spinner Herath, who also had wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock lbw for eight on the stroke of lunch.
After lunch de Bruyn recorded his maiden century – South Africa’s only one of the series – but was bowled by Herath for 101.
In their first innings, Sri Lanka scored 338 and South Africa could only respond with 124 as Akila Dananjaya took five wickets.
The hosts then scored 275 for five before declaring. Sri Lanka had wrapped up the first test in Galle within three days, reducing South Africa to 73 in the second innings – their lowest Test total since readmission to international cricket.
Cricket ODI sweep: Fakhar Zaman sets records!
BULAWAYO (Zimbabwe): Captain Sarfraz Ahmed hailed “a great team effort” as Pakistan completed a series whitewash over Zimbabwe with a 131-run win in the fifth and final match on Sunday.
On another record-setting day in Bulawayo for the visitors, Fakhar Zaman became the fastest player in history to reach 1,000 career runs in one-day international cricket as Pakistan amassed 364 for 4.
“It was a great team effort to win 5-0 against Zimbabwe,” said Ahmed. “Everyone wanted to bat…but at the same time it’s really good to see young players performing like this, like Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq have been doing, which is good for the team.”
Ahmed looked ahead to the six-team Asia Cup in Abu Dhabi and Dubai in September. “We learned lots of things here, and hopefully we’ll take that to the Asia Cup,” he said. “We definitely need some rest now, so we’ll go home for a bit before returning to training to prepare for the Asia Cup.”
Zaman and opening partner ul-Haq were in the runs once again, the pair adding their fourth-century stand of the series. They had reached 168 in the 25th over when Zaman was caught behind for 85. While he missed out on what would have been his third hundred of the series, he set a string of records.
Zaman passed 1,000 ODI runs in just his 18th innings, breaking the record of 21 innings held by five players, including Viv Richards and team-mate Babar Azam.
He claimed the record for most runs by a Pakistan batsman in a five-match bilateral series with 515, passing Salman Butt’s total against Bangladesh in 2008. Only Virat Kohli, who hit 558 for India in South Africa last winter, has scored more.
Zaman also broke the record for most runs between dismissals in ODIs, with 455, passing the 405 set by another Pakistani, Mohammad Yousuf, also against Zimbabwe, in 2002-3.
“I really enjoyed my time in Zimbabwe,” said Zaman, who was named Player of the Series.
“In 2016 I was here with Pakistan A, and now I’m back with the full Pakistan team and really enjoying my time here. I’m taking my time at the start and just punishing the bad deliveries. That was the main thing for me. I’ll work hard and hopefully, you’ll see me scoring more runs for my country.”
On a morning for batsmen, Imam ul-Haq went on to reach his third century of the series, and though Shoaib Malik and Asif Ali fell cheaply, the carnage continued with Azam then racing to a century from 72 deliveries, his second fifty having taken just 17 balls.
— Stickability —
In response, Zimbabwe showed much more stickability with the bat than in the first four games of the series. Hamilton Masakadza and Tinashe Kamunhukamwe shared a 66-run opening stand, Zimbabwe’s best of the series.
Though Zimbabwe never looked like threatening Pakistan’s total, the middle order did at least hold firm. Prince Masvaure made 39 and Ryan Murray contributed 47 – personal bests for both players in their short careers. Peter Moor finished off 44 not out in a 67-run stand with Elton Chigumbura, allowing Zimbabwe to reach 233 for 4.
“We were slightly better today, we weren’t 3 down for 30 for a change,” said Zimbabwe captain Masakadza. “A few of the guys have been introduced to international cricket. We’ve been shown just how big the gap is, and how much work there is to be done before our next series.”
Polish daredevil skies down K2 mountain in world first
ISLAMABAD: Daredevil Andrzej Bargiel has become the first person to ski down the world’s second-highest mountain, the Polish national said Sunday.
Bargiel whizzed down from the summit of Pakistan’s 8,611-metre (28,251-feet) K2 to the mountain’s base camp after reaching the peak with around 30 others on Saturday.
“Andrzej Bargiel reached the base of the mountain. The first complete descent on ski from K2 is done!” he posted on his Facebook page.
The feat was the 30-year-old’s second bid to enter the record books, after an attempt, last year was scotched by bad weather.
Three years ago Bargiel became the first skier in the world to descend from the nearby 8,015-meter Broad Peak.
He has now skied from the summits of five of the 14 highest mountains in the world after earlier conquering Shishapangma and Manaslu peaks in the Himalayas, according to Polish media.
Known as “Savage Mountain” among climbers, K2 is often deemed a more challenging ascent than Mount Everest, the world’s highest peak.
Less than 350 people have made it to the top of K2 since it was first summited in 1954. A further 80 have died trying, including a Canadian national who fell to his death earlier this month.