Kei Nishikori became the first Japanese man in 23 years to reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals on Monday and then predicted a "war" with Novak Djokovic to get to the last four.
Djokovic was able to regain his composure, though, and managed to win by four sets to one. Since then, he's been far more consistent, making it to the quarterfinals of the French Open and the finals of the Queen's Club Championships.
But, Anderson, the 2017 US Open runner-up, rallied and fought back to level things before prevailing in a marathon final set to triumph 2-6, 6-7, 7-5, 6-4, 13-11. "Anything could have happened, so this is a big achievement for me to get to the semi-finals at Wimbledon".
Yet the 22-year-old, playing in the last 16 for the second successive grand slam, saw his hopes severely hindered by mistakes and a sliced forehand wide gave Djokovic a pair of break points - only one of which he needed. He was within touching distance as he held to 30 for a 5-2 buffer and, much like the preceding set, he rammed home his superiority to seal the set - and the match - with a double break.
With Kevin Anderson taking nearly 3-1/2 hours to tame French showman Gael Monfils in the previous match, Djokovic knew he had about two hours of daylight left if he wanted to avoid coming back on Tuesday's rest day to finish off the contest.
The three-time Wimbledon champion was broken in the opening game of the fourth set, but won the next four games and broke again to clinch victory.
Djokovic spent a lot of time on the sidelines recovering from a terrible elbow injury that had many fans worrying that he may never return to his scintillating best.
The Japanese remained in control and served it out to level the match and he appeared in the ascendancy as, after saving a break point, he then raced to a 0-40 lead on Djokovic's next service game.
Nishikori initially stayed with his opponent and hit back in another superb game, but a wild backhand late on handed Djokovic the first set.
"I think it's not fair, but it is the way it is in the midst of the emotions of a match".
The Serbian fired early in the match to take the first set 6-3, but his smooth progress was halted by a strong Nishikori fightback in the second set.
"You're saying in the point if I toss my racket like this I'm ruining the court?"
When asked what he admired about defending champion Federer, the 32-year-old Anderson was happy to reel off an exhaustive check-list.
"I want to use today's result as a spring from which to aim for a final place".