Anderson sympathises with Isner after marathon clash

Anderson sympathises with Isner after marathon clash

Anderson sympathises with Isner after marathon clash

"It really could have gone either ways. I go for holidays proud of the things that I'm doing." .

Arriving at the gates on Friday morning, he said: "Rafael Nadal". "I deserved it, too".

Kevin Anderson and John Isner made history in their astonishing Wimbledon semi-final on Friday.

The first semifinal at Centre Court, between No. 8 seed Kevin Anderson of South Africa and No. 9 John Isner of the US, features two powerful servers with similar games who have a lot less star power and considerably fewer Grand Slam trophies, to say the least: The Nadal-Djokovic combined count is 29, including five at Wimbledon. It's been a roller-coaster for him in the last couple of rounds but he had a day off and that means a lot. "I wish I had one", Djokovic said.

And another all-time great awaits him on Sunday in either Nadal or Djokovic.

Nadal was flagging, though, and it told in the 18th game of a 91-minute final set.

"It's hard to pick the words", said Djokovic, who has won his past eight five-setters at Wimbledon.

By the latter stages, with break chances so rare, murmurs would spread through the Centre Court stands whenever a game's returner just got to love-15 or love-30.

The American's serving stats were highly impressive, as he put 73 percent of his first serves in play and won 90 percent of those points.

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Wimbledon doesn't use tiebreakers in the fifth set for men, or third set for women, so there's nothing to prevent a match from going on and on and on - and that's precisely what Isner and Anderson did, often thanks to one ho-hum hold after another.

Novak Djokovic has reached his first Wimbledon final since 2015 courtesy of a five-set win over Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals of the famous competition. The other instance was in 2001. That one took three days to complete and officially lasted 11 hours 5 minutes.

The match is being played with the Centre Court roof closed - the same conditions that the first three sets were played under.

The final set of a men's singles match at Wimbledon is traditionally decided by a difference of two games, like at the Australian Open and French Open.

After being kept on the run for six hours and 36 minutes, the longest ever singles semi-final at the All England Club, how the 32-year-old was still standing was anyone's guess.

Djokovic was cursing himself for missing a return as the clock ticked to 11pm but on the final lung-busting rally, it was Nadal who faltered first. "Both of us deserve it", Nadal said wearily. Djokovic retired in that match because of a toe blister.

Djokovic increased his all-time lead over Nadal to 27-25 and took a 2-1 edge in five-set matches between the two.

It was one of three successful drop shots from the Spaniard in the tiebreaker alone, but Djokovic answered with one of his own to save the second set point at 7-6.

He also improved to third all-time with his 13th career victory against a player ranked No. 1 since the world rankings were introduced in 1973. Nadal now holds the first rank in men's singles.

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