The eight-time champion lost to eighth seed Kevin Anderson
Eight-time champion Roger Federer is out of Wimbledon after losing to Kevin Anderson in an epic five-set encounter.
The Swiss maestro threw away a two set to love lead to lose 2-6 6-7 7-5 6-4 13-11 against his 6ft 6ins opponent in four hours and 13 minutes.
Federer equalled his own record of 34 consecutive sets won at Wimbledon as he went 2-0 up but was unable to break his own record after dropping the third set.
Anderson, seeded eighth at this year’s championships, saved three break points before taking the set 7-5.
When Anderson broke again in the fourth, Federer was suddenly on the ropes.
The 20-time grand slam winner lost the set 6-4 as Anderson’s relentless, powerful serve sent the match into a fifth and deciding set.
A marathon final set eventually went the way of Anderson, denying Federer a 13th Wimbledon semi-final and a 44th appearance in the last four of a grand slam.
Meanwhile, Novak Djokovic ended his near two-year absence from grand slam semi-finals by booking a place in the last four at Wimbledon.
The Serbian beat Kei Nishikori 6-3 3-6 6-2 6-2 to reach his first semi-final at any of the four tennis majors since the US Open in 2016.
After a slump following two years of almost total domination of the men’s game, Djokovic’s star appears to be back on the rise and he is a clear contender to win a fourth Wimbledon title.
This was his 13th win in a row against Nishikori, who is also on the way back up after an injury nightmare.
The Serbian secured the first set fairly comfortably but he then fell out with umpire Carlos Ramos after complaining of “double standards” when Nishikori was not punished for a racket throw.
The Japanese remained in control and served it out to level the match and he appeared in the ascendancy as, after saving a break point, he then raced to a 0-40 lead on Djokovic’s next service game.
But the three-time champion here turned the tables on Nishikori, holding his serve and then breaking in the next game to start a run of four successive games which allowed him to take the third set 6-2.
Djokovic then reeled off four games on the spin which helped send him into the last four.
He will meet Rafa Nadal who fought back from two sets to one down to defeat Juan Martin del Potro in a superb match.
When Del Potro sent a forehand rifling down the line to take the third set, it seemed Nadal might be following Roger Federer out of the tournament.
But the world number one recovered superbly to triumph 7-5 6-7 (7/9) 4-6 6-4 6-4 and keep alive his hopes of an 18th grand slam title.
Nadal should have led by two sets to love but was forced to come from behind before withstanding a supreme effort from his opponent in the fifth, to clinch victory after four hours and 47 minutes.
The second seed said: “It was a very emotional match, a great quality of tennis, especially in the last set. Sorry for Juan Martin, he’s an amazing opponent. In some ways he deserved the victory, too.
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“Today was for me. Last year I lost a match (against Gilles Muller) 15-13 in the fifth. It’s very important for me to be back in the semi-finals. It’s a great thing.”
Elsewhere, John Isner reached his first grand slam semi-final by beating Milos Raonic in a battle of Wimbledon’s biggest servers.
The 33-year-old American was edged out on the ace count by his Canadian opponent, who was runner-up to Andy Murray on the grass two years ago.
But he prevailed where it mattered on the Court One scoreboard, winning 6-7 (5/7) 7-6 (9/7) 6-4 6-3 to set up a semi-final against Federer’s conqueror Anderson.