Cyril Ramaphosa leads praise of Kevin Anderson's shock defeat of Roger Federer

12 July 2018 - 11:22 By AFP
South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa arrives in Jeddah, for his State Visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on Thursday July 12 2018. 2 July 2018.
South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa arrives in Jeddah, for his State Visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on Thursday July 12 2018. 2 July 2018.
Image: The Presidency via Twitter

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday led South Africa in congratulating Kevin Anderson after he sensationally knocked Roger Federer out of Wimbledon to become the first South African to reach the semifinals in 35 years.

The 32-year old Anderson defeated defending champion Federer in a five-set thriller that lasted slightly more than four hours.

"Congratulations to Kevin Anderson for reaching the men's singles semi-finals," Ramaphosa tweeted on Thursday.

Switzerland's Roger Federer greets South Africa's Kevin Anderson after losing 2-6, 6-7, 7-5, 6-4, 13-11 in their men's singles quarter-finals match on the ninth day of the 2018 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 11, 2018.
Switzerland's Roger Federer greets South Africa's Kevin Anderson after losing 2-6, 6-7, 7-5, 6-4, 13-11 in their men's singles quarter-finals match on the ninth day of the 2018 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 11, 2018.
Image: Oli SCARFF / AFP

Anderson became the first South African in the Wimbledon semifinals since Kevin Curren in 1985 and just the sixth in history.

"We have always considered him an ambassador and he continues to wave the flag. We are very excited," Mickey Modisane, the sports ministry spokesman, told AFP.

"From a social cohesion and nation-building perspective, it's a great achievement for South Africa."

"Over 3 hours these two men gave their all to stay alive. Fight, determination, hunger... you name it they showed it all," tweeted South African cricketer Morne Morkel, who was in the crowd of spectators at Wimbledon.

Eighth seed Anderson will play American ninth seed John Isner on Friday for a place in Sunday's final.

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