Published: Sat, July 14, 2018
Sports | By Brandy Patterson

Anderson topples marathon man Isner in longest-ever Wimbledon semi-final

Anderson topples marathon man Isner in longest-ever Wimbledon semi-final

Novak Djokovic led Rafael Nadal 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (11/9) in their Wimbledon semi-final when it was halted for the night on Friday.

John Isner of the US leaves the court after being defeated by Kevin Anderson of South Africa in the men's semifinal match at Wimbledon on Friday.

It is the third-longest match in tennis history, falling short of the 11 hours and five minutes that it took for Isner to beat France's Nicolas Mahut 70-68 in the fifth set in their first-round match at Wimbledon in 2010.

It was also the second longest match at a Slam, beating the six hours and 33 minutes which Fabrice Santoro spent seeing off Arnaud Clement in the 2004 French Open. "I can feel the crowd (get) pretty antsy for us to get off the court".

The longest match ever seen on Centre Court went extraordinarily deep into the fifth set before Anderson broke Isner and served out for the win to seal a 7-6 6-7 6-7 6-4 26-24 win.

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Experience will play a big part here for Anderson - he has been in this position before and alas he capitulated completely to Rafael Nadal in the US Open final previous year, but it is a series of matches that will have served him in good stead.

The match will get back under way at 1pm, tournament organisers said, and it will be played under the roof again, given it began in those conditions.

Update: Anderson and Isner are tied at one Set a piece.

Anderson had nearly surely forced the game back to deuce with a close-range dink over the net, but a exhausted Isner somehow stormed across the court to slam home a passing victor.

Djokovic and Nadal had met 51 times before Saturday's semi-final - the most prolific rivalry in men's tennis.

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The momentum was with Nadal but Djokovic's serve kept him just about out of danger.

Anderson won the first set 7-6 (8/6) before Isner claimed the next two, 6-7 (5/7), 6-7 (9/11) with the South African claiming the fourth 6-4 to level the semi-final.

That's how the U.S. Open settles things at 6-all in the fifth set of a men's singles match - or at 6-all in the third set for women - and has since 1970.

All the 32-year-old had left in him was to give Isner a sympathetic hug after he came out on top in the second-longest match ever contested at the All England Club.

"I don't know what to say right now".

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