JOHANNESBURG - 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 semi-finals 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.
Congratulations to Kevin Anderson for reaching the men’s singles semi-finals and to Raven Klaasen for reaching the men’s doubles semi-finals at #Wimbledon. All the best to Kgothatso Montjane who’s going to become first SA black woman to play at Wimbledon. We are proud of you all. pic.twitter.com/hVW9CZKIiG— President Cyril Ramaphosa (@CyrilRamaphosa) July 12, 2018
Anderson became the first South African in the Wimbledon semi-finals since Kevin Curren in 1983 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.
Over 3 hours these two men gave their all to stay alive. Fight, determination, hunger ... you name it they showed it all...well done @kandersonatp for crossing the line... thanks for a… https://t.co/NHgLZFUKz1— Morne Morkel (@mornemorkel65) July 9, 2018
Eighth seed Anderson will play American ninth seed John Isner on Friday for a place in Sunday's final.
One of the great South African performances at Wimbledon. Kevin Anderson advances to the semi-finals of Wimbledon after defeating the eight time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer. Kevin fought back from two sets down to win a five set thriller in a match that lasted over 4 hours. pic.twitter.com/i2Adoe1Xur— Tennis South Africa (@TennisSA) July 11, 2018
We are privileged to have witnessed such incredible sportsmanship and drive from one of South Africa's greatest tennis talents. Congratulations Kevin Anderson! --— Dunlop Sport SA (@DunlopSportSA) July 12, 2018
"As the match went on, I kept telling myself, 'This is going to be my day.'" - Kevin Anderson ---- #Wimbledon #Dunlop pic.twitter.com/ge3YOgdAnY