Kevin Anderson would have seen his performance against Roger Federer as progress even if he had lost their five-set epic at Wimbledon.
Anderson became only the third man to come from two sets down to defeat Federer as he produced a remarkable recovery to prevail 2-6 6-7 (5-7) 7-5 6-4 13-11 in a thriller that lasted four hours and 13 minutes on No.1 Court.
The South African had been match point down in the third set, but now faces John Isner for a place in what would be his second grand slam final after the most unexpected of turnarounds.
"I haven't thought about it too much in the broader context of things," Anderson told a media conference when asked if the victory was the biggest of his career.
"It felt great to get that match. I mean, I think the toughest thing players face when going out playing somebody like Roger in this setting is giving yourself a chance. I feel like the times that I've played him before, or other guys with his ranking and history, I haven't really allowed myself to play.
"The first set was an example of that. I was really proud of myself the way I was able to relax, play my game. That's a big goal that I've had. Even if I'd lost that match in three sets or four sets, I still actually made some progress on that front. That was a good plus.
"Obviously it's infinitely better winning that match. But overall obviously a lot of positives to take from it."
Anderson, though, knows he cannot bask in the glory of his achievement, adding: "It's tough in the sense that I've got to get ready for my next match.
"I can't dwell on it too long. Obviously a lot of emotions going on. You try to calm down as quickly as possible. I've already started my recovery process.
"As I said in the beginning of the tournament, getting through to the quarters was a big goal of mine. But also putting myself in these positions where hopefully I'm able to get another step forward and be playing on Sunday."
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