Roger Federer, the No. 1 seed at these Wimbledon championships, came into his quarterfinal match riding a 32-set winning streak and having held serve 82 straight times at the All England Club.
On Wednesday, he went up two sets to love against Kevin Anderson, a formidable but clearly overmatched player. Federer even held a match point at 5-4 in the third.
Everything was working seamlessly for Federer -- until it wasn't.
From that point on, he found himself in a dogfight. More than two hours after that match point, Federer and Anderson battled and battled. In the penultimate game, Federer hit a shot that went close to the line, the crowd gasped, but Anderson was able to get the ball back in play. Federer made his way into net, but the crowd made more noise as Federer flubbed the volley, leading to the break and ultimately the match.
Stunned and defeated, Federer's run toward a record ninth Wimbledon title ended with the loss. The final score: 6-2, 7-6 (5), 5-7, 4-6, 13-11 in 4 hours, 14 minutes. It was only the seventh OT match (meaning longer than 7-6 in the fifth) in Federer's career, and his first since beating Andy Roddick 16-14 in the 2009 Wimbledon final.
How crazy was this upset? Here's some more perspective:
For only the fifth time (and third in 269 Grand Slam matches), Federer squandered a two-set lead.
How rare was it that Federer would lose after holding a match point in a major?
Federer became the first No. 1 men's seed to lose any Grand Slam match when holding a two-set lead since Lleyton Hewitt fell to Tommy Robredo in the 2003 French Open. (For what it's worth, Robredo is the player responsible for another one of the memorable Federer upsets, when he beat the Swiss in the fourth round of the 2013 US Open.
Oddly enough, the final set of the match lasted 90 minutes, as long as each of Federer's first two matches.