Former Illini tennis star Kevin Anderson is headed to the semifinals of Wimbledon after defeating No. 1 seed Roger Federer on Wednesday.
One of the biggest comebacks #Wimbledon has ever seen?— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 11, 2018
From match point down in the third set, @KAndersonATP recovers to beat defending champion Roger Federer 2-6, 6-7(5), 7-5, 6-4, 13-11 and reach the semi-finals pic.twitter.com/1MbczdEmtD
After dropping the first two sets 6-2, 7-6, Anderson roared back with two straight set wins, 7-5, 6-4.
Anderson trailed in the fifth set, 11-10, but won the final three games en route to a 13-11 set.
Federer had won a record 34-straight sets at Wimbledon until the third set. He was also 266-2 in a major when taking the first two sets.
Anderson is still one step away from a Grand Slam final, which he achieved last September, becoming the first Illini to ever go that far.
A former All-American with Illinois in the mid-2000s, Anderson defeated Pablo Carreño Busta to reach the U.S. Open Singles Final and a date with then-world No. 1 Rafael Nadal, who defeated Anderson.
Anderson — also the tallest finalist in Grand Slam history at 6-foot-8 — became the first Illini to reach the final of Grand Slam ever with the win.
A Johannesburg, South Africa, native, was the lowest-seeded player in U.S. Open history to reach the singles final. Most world-class tennis players never compete at the collegiate level, but Anderson, 32, did, and ESPN ran a story about that last year.
Most people are impressed with Anderson’s backhand. He may be a late bloomer, but he has four ATP singles titles and 12 runner-up finishes.
Here’s some of the response on Twitter to Anderson’s win:
#ILLINI!!!! What an incredible performance by one of our all-time greats! Gritty win by a fierce competitor! Congrats @KAndersonATP! https://t.co/F3TU4gWsGq— Josh Whitman (@IlliniAD) July 11, 2018
And Fed goes down.— Dan Rubenstein (@DanRubenstein) July 11, 2018
Biggest moment for Illini sports since Juice Williams singlehandedly beat Ohio State?
He's #B1G, and he just took down No. 1.— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) July 11, 2018
Congrats to the former @IlliniMTennis star. https://t.co/uT57xAxzA0
We are so proud of our former Illini. #illiniforlife https://t.co/wgShmK3WeL— Net Nuts (@Illini_NetNuts) July 11, 2018
I-L-L!!!! https://t.co/ksf1fji5P0— Will Leitch (@williamfleitch) July 11, 2018
ANDERSON DEFEATS FEDERER.@KAndersonATP stuns the defending champ, defeating @RogerFederer 2-6, 6-7, 7-5, 6-4, 13-11.#Wimbledon pic.twitter.com/WfWO1b7Q5I— Tennis Channel (@TennisChannel) July 11, 2018