The semi-final forced Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokoic to start their clash late with the first ball hit at 8:09pm (local time), meaning there was never really a chance the clash would be over before 11pm curfew. Djokovic cashed in on his second when Nadal's backhand found the net after an 18-stroke exchange.
South Africa's tennis gladiator Kevin Anderson was so exhausted after a six-hour 35-minute marathon against John Isner that he was barely able to enjoy the finest moment of his career - reaching the Wimbledon final.
Some fans were shocked and awed by the sheer length and absurdity of the contest, while others also voiced a frustration with the first match of the day delaying the real headliner - the semifinal matchup between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. After six straight points for the servers, Kevin made pivotal mini-break at 7-6 to wrap up the opening set after a grueling battle that lasted for more than an hour.
The victor of the match will face off against the victor of John Isner and Kevin Anderson.
"You know, a few days' rest, maybe more than that, and I'll recoup an Isner said that being part of yet another record-breaking match did not help ease his pain".
"John's such a great guy".
Anderson had already won the first point of the game but was blown back while returning yet another of Isner's monstrous serves. "My left heel is killing me", said Isner. Anderson had 49 aces in the victory.
Indeed, one tired spectator had had enough in the 27th game of a grueling fifth set that seemed to be dragging on with no end in sight as he heckled: "C'mon guys, we want to see Rafa!"
"It's by far the best Grand Slam I've ever played in my career, and I've been playing for 11 years".
Kevin Anderson outlasted John Isner in the second longest match ever played at Wimbledon, winning the fifth set of their semifinal 26-24 after more than 6 ½ hours.
Isner, 33, stands 6ft 10in and come the final points he looked nearly too tired to move for the ball.
The next set proved to be similar to the opener with no breaks of serve and needed another tiebreaker to separate the two, which Isner won 7-5 to tie things up at a set apiece.
"Either Nadal or Djokovic - neither needs any introduction". At 13-13 in the final set, one spectator screamed "we want to see Rafa!"
While the U.S. Open would have a 6-6 fifth set end in a tiebreaker race to win by two, with every point building in importance and drama, Wimbledon uses advantage sets and insists that you must break your opponent's service game and win the set by two games to win the match.
These victories certainly cannot be viewed as a positive for subsequent rounds, although it's probably fair to say that if one player can be fresh after a five-hour match, it will be Nadal. I apologize if I'm not more excited right now. I know, as everything in life, we are evolving. Anderson hasn't defeated Nadal in five previous encouters, while he holds a 1-5 ledger all-time against Djokovic.
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