CAPE TOWN – While South Africa’s Wimbledon hero Kevin Anderson paid tribute to the master Roger Federer after their epic five-set quarter-final, South Africa’s Wimbledon hero was hailed by Sports Minister Tokozile Xasa as a “great ambassador of our country”.
Anderson produced an unbelievable comeback from two sets down – and facing a match point in the third set – to reach the Wimbledon semi-finals for the first time with a 2-6 6-7 (5-7) 7-5 6-4 13-11 victory over eight-time champion Federer on Wednesday.
Federer was in command for the opening two sets, especially the first, with Anderson appearing overawed in his maiden Wimbledon quarter-final.
He did seem to find his rhythm in the second set, and was a bit unfortunate to lose it via a tie-breaker after leading 2-0. But the tall 32-year-old fought back to break in the 12th game of the third set to clinch it 7-5, and never looked back.
Even with the final set going with serve and into double figures, Anderson kept his cool and claimed victory with a 13-11 score-line.
“All my respect to Roger. It was an honour to share the court with you. Thanks to all the fans for your support and nice messages. #wimbledon Keep believing. Keep going #semifinals #wimbledon,” Anderson tweeted afterwards.
In a statement, Xasa paid tribute to the right-hander, who went one step further than Wayne Ferreira did in 1994 by reaching the semi-finals, where he will face American ninth seed John Isner on Friday.
“It shows amazing resilience that Kevin Anderson came from a two-set (deficit) to win the whole match. It also highlights the calibre of player Anderson is. I have all the confidence that he will win the tournament and the title of Wimbledon champion,” Xasa said.
“I urge all South Africans to support this great ambassador of our country. This will inspire many of our youth to play this great sport,” Xasa concluded.
Anderson tweeted the following image on Thursday: