Some people speculated that a good, competitive match Wednesday would sharpen top-seeded Roger Federer for the Wimbledon semifinals.
Others fretted that such a match might wear him out, when he’d need that energy to win the tournament for a ninth time.
In the end, it was door No. 3 — a jaw-dropping defeat, a surprising Fed-Exit.
The so-called King of Grass was unceremoniously clipped, with 6-foot-8 South African Kevin Anderson coming back from the brink of defeat to win, 2-6, 6-7 (5), 7-5, 6-4, 13-11. The match lasted four hours, 14 minutes and left the packed-to-the-rafters crowd at Court 1 as wrung out as the participants.
“I think the toughest thing players...