Sports

Anderson sympathises with Isner after marathon clash

Anderson sympathises with Isner after marathon clash

"Just playing like that in those sort of conditions is really tough on both of us".

Djokovic and Nadal will be able to play on Centre Court until the curfew of 11pm. Because it was so late, the All England Club shut the retractable roof above the main stadium between the matches and turned on the arena's artificial lights. Standing in her way is 2016 runner-up Angelique Kerber in a repeat of Williams' last match at Wimbledon prior to maternity leave.

Records tumbled as Anderson eventually overcame John Isner in the longest Wimbledon semi-final and second-longest grand slam match in history.

Twitter was abuzz with jokes that the Anderson-Isner match could well stretch beyond the 70-68 final-set scoreline that Isner won with over Mahut eight years ago. 'I personally think a sensible option would be 12-all. "My left heel is killing me".

The previous longest semifinal match at Wimbledon was in 2013, when Djokovic beat Juan Martín del Potro in 4 hours, 44 minutes.

Finally, however, Anderson's grit, athleticism and stamina - and one brilliant bout of ambidextrousness - paid off, and he clinched the match after playing the equivalent of nine sets in total, to win 7-6, 6-7, 6-7, 6-4, 26-24.

"I don't really know what to say right now", a clearly drained Anderson said immediately after the match.

The 33-year old Isner who is not new to such historical battles also holds the record of winning the longest match in the history of tennis (at Wimbledon or any other tournament).

With this win, the 32-year old Anderson became the first South African male since Brian Norton (1921) to reach the Wimbledon final. But for now, there is another question: How long will Nadal and Djokovic take, as they play on Centre Court ahead of the women's final. That match lasted 11 hours and five minutes.

More news: What just happened in North Korea?

Anderson gradually grew in confidence as both players traded quick fire service holds before Isner saved his first break point, a set point, in the 10th game. But Djokovic remained cool and got the break back, with a run of 12 points out of 13 as he levelled at 3-3.

After saving two set points in the third set tiebreak, Anderson blew his first set point at 8-7 with a double fault.

The 6-foot-8 Anderson and 6-foot-10 Isner go way back, to their college days, Isner at Georgia, Anderson at IL. Isner failed to convert a set point in the opener.

Games went with serve in the third set with Nadal failing to convert three set points in the tie-break, allowing Djokovic to take the set when his opponent netted a backhand.

He never got a break point in the fifth set. Isner pounded his at up to 142 miles per hour; Anderson reached 136 miles per hour.

- Anderson broke Isner's serve four times in the match.

At one point in the fifth set, a spectator shouted, "Come on, guys!"

Should Nadal prevail in the duo's record 52nd showdown, the Spaniard will play Anderson in a repeat of last year's US Open final in NY.


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