Against the Swiss legend, Anderson replicated and improved on the form which saw him become the first South African to reach the quarters at Wimbledon in 24 years.
In what was arguably the best performance of his career, Anderson showed incredible fight against the eight-time Wimbledon champion Federer, best demonstrated by Anderson saving a match point to avoid losing in straight sets at two sets to love down. That save would prove vital, as the momentum in the match shifted as Anderson would go on to take the encounter to five sets.
Without a tiebreak in the fifth set, it would be Anderson who eventually prevailed 13-11 in a marathon match that lasted four hours and 13 minutes.
“Down two sets to love I tried my best to keep fighting, and I was able to scrape through the next two sets. At the end I was really in the flow of the match, this will be one I remember,” said Anderson afterwards.
“I just kept telling myself to believe, and that today was my day. You really need that mindset against someone like Roger. If you have doubts it won’t be your day.
“I want to put myself in these positions. Matches like this are very special.”
The 32-year-old Anderson began the match in the worst possible fashion as Federer broke the South African’s serve in the opening game. Federer would go on to break again to quickly take the first set 6-2.
In the second set, Anderson held his serve in the opening game, and in what seemed against the run of play broke the Federer serve in the second game to race out to a 2-0 lead. That quickly became 3-0, but Federer soon broke back to reel the score back in to 3-2.
The set would proceed on serve as the players marched into a tiebreak. Federer displayed his champion resolve as he played a couple vital points well to close out the breaker 7-5 and take a 2-0 lead in sets.
The third set was tightly-contested, and at 5-4 down Anderson on his serve faced a break point, which was also a match point that he managed to save. A break of serve followed for Anderson as the momentum shifted with the SA player suddenly 6-5 up and serving to take the match to a fourth set.
Anderson’s first serve though, seemed to break down under the pressure as he was quickly 0-40 down. Once more, Anderson turned his fortunes around to get the score to deuce.
A long rally followed in which Anderson emerged victorious to bring up a set point, and finally the booming first serve returned with a powerful ace down the middle to take the set 7-5.
Incidentally, it was the first set Federer lost at Wimbledon since 2016.
In the sixth game of the fourth set, Anderson found himself 15-40 up on the Federer serve. Though he lost the first break point, Anderson converted at the second opportunity to take a 4-3 lead. Anderson would go on to serve out the set 6-4 to take the match to a fifth set.
The fifth set was another tight affair, which did not feature any breaks of serve as the juggernauts of the men’s game could not be separated as the score reached 6-6. By that stage though, Federer was holding his serve much more easily than Anderson.
The flow of the match continued to sway, but ultimately it would be Anderson who broke to forge a 12-11 lead. He then held his composure to win 13-11 and book his spot in the last four, with his semi-final scheduled for Friday.