It is the second time that 20-times Grand Slam champion Federer has lost at Wimbledon from two sets ahead, suffering the same fate against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the 2011 quarter-finals.
File: Switzerland's Roger Federer returns against South Africa's Kevin Anderson during their men's singles quarter-finals match on the ninth day of the 2018 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London. "I nearly could have".
The Japanese 24th seed is contesting his maiden Wimbledon quarter-final after finally overcoming his own wretched run with injury and backing up his third-round win over Nick Kyrgios with a fighting four-set victory over Latvian qualifier Ernests Gulbis. Could have ended things right then and there.
From there, the tall and powerful Anderson kicked on whilst Federer stalled.
Back to deuce. From there, it all began to change.
The comeback was just beginning. Maybe I don't have a good record with him, but I always enjoy playing him'. Federer is now 266-3 after winning the first two sets.
"He claims that he didn't see what Nishikori has done, but apparently he always sees what I do".
He might be world number two in the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) tour at the moment, but Federer's top of a batting ranking dreamt up by a cheeky social media curator. But there was more.
When Anderson broke in the second set it was the first time the Swiss had dropped serve at this Wimbledon. He even asked Federer if they could exchange notes on cricket and tennis after the latter won his ninth Wimbledon title.
"Obviously I'm very ecstatic to get through that match", 32-year-old Anderson said. "I couldn't really get the rallies going the way I wanted to, especially the 1-2 punch wasn't working at all today". Anderson, however, had other plans.More news: Rodolfo Rodriguez: Full Story of 92-Year-Old Assaulted In Texas
Continuing with the conversation, the right-hand batsman agreed to give the twenty times Grand Slam champion some "straight drive" lessons in exchange of "backhand" tips.
Anderson never had made it beyond the fourth round at Wimbledon until this week, carried by his booming serve. Nothing could separate the rivals in the fifth set and it was Anderson who finally clinched a break in game 23 (he saved a break point at 4-3 as well), sealing the deal to enter the last four. That sometimes there is a set like this against a player who is not the biggest server, it can happen.
He then let rip at Ramos for failing to sanction Nishikori for a similar act in the fourth set. Federer double-faulted on 30-30, then drove a shot into the net on 40-30 to turn the advantage to Anderson.
Anderson then served it out, ending things with a 128 miles per hour service victor, and raised both arms overhead.
Anderson will take on the victor of Milos Raonic and American John Isner.
The South African is through to the last eight for the first time, and he said: 'Playing somebody like Roger Federer is going to be a great experience.
The gentleman player, who authored a spirited turn around on Court No.1 pulled off a 2-6, 6-7 (5-7), 7-5, 6-4, 13-11 win in 4 hours and 14 minutes.
Reaching his first grand slam final at the US Open previous year, where he lost to Nadal, gave him great confidence and it was noticeable even early on that he was able to push Federer back, a rare sight, especially on grass. That earned a code violation from chair umpire Carlos Ramos.
Later, Ramos warned Djokovic for a time violation, but that didn't seem to faze the Serb. Others still in the running for this year's men's singles title include Spanish star Rafael Nadal and Argentina's Juan Martin Del Potro, now duking it out in their own quarterfinal.
It will be Djokovic's first semi-final at a major since the 2016 French Open when he completed the career Grand Slam. "I don't want to stop here". I had my chances and blew them.