Published: Sat, July 14, 2018
Sport | By Patty Hardy

Kevin Anderson, John Isner call for Grand Slam tiebreakers after match

Kevin Anderson, John Isner call for Grand Slam tiebreakers after match

South African Kevin Anderson won the second-longest match in Wimbledon history by outlasting American John Isner to reach the men's final.

Kevin Anderson dispatched tournament favorite Roger Federer in five sets during the quarterfinals, opening the tournament to all competitors.

"I don't really know what to say right now", Anderson told the BBC.

"Just playing like that in those conditions was tough on both of us", added. For us to be out there for that length of time. Second-seeded Rafael Nadal and 12th-seeded Novak Djokovic took the court after Isner and Anderson, about 8:10 p.m. local time.

Their eagerly-awaited semi-final was halted just after 11pm (2200GMT) under a curfew agreement with Djokovic leading Nadal 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (11/9).

NADAL-DJOKOVIC DELAYED That recovery process started as soon as he came off Centre Court at 7:46 p.m. on Friday. They will resume at 1pm, before the women's final between Serena Williams and Angelique Kerber, which is scheduled to start at 2pm. And he held the upper hand Friday after saving three set points in the gripping tiebreak. Djokovic won that meeting in five sets, 7-5, 4-6, 7-6, 6-7, 6-3. "I've hit a lot of left-handed balls throughout my life". I apologize if I'm not fully excited right now.

South Africa´s Kevin Anderson reacts after winning against U.S. player John Isner during the final set tie-break of their men´s singles semi-final match at Wimbledon, July 13, 2018.

One of Anderson's best plays came in that lengthy final set.

Tennis fans knew the Wimbledon semi-final between Kevin Anderson and John Isner might not be a short encounter, but surely they didn't expect it to last this long.

Isner, who lost his second-round match in 2010 because he could barely move after beating Mahut, agreed.

"We haven't played in a few years, which I think is a little bit weird", Isner said of his former American college rival.

Isner's 53 aces meant he beat Goran Ivanisevic's Wimbledon record haul - the Croatian sent down 213 in 2001 - but the 214th he served was his last of the tournament. Of those 11 matches, all bar one has been played on a hard court, with the sole exception coming on the grass at Queen's in 2008 where Isner won 7-6 6-4. At 6-5, Anderson saved a set point with a smash on his serve and went on to take the opener 7-6 (10-8) in 63 minutes on two errors by his opponent. With the players tied at 16-16 in the deciding set, they had gone past the previous record of 5 hours and 31 minutes between Sam Querrey and Marin Cilic's third round match in 2012.

Of course, there was another player on the other side of the net - for whom Anderson's triumph was a tragedy: Isner.

Into the decider they went, and a grim treadmill of service holds persisted until, at 17-17 all, Anderson found himself with two break points, only for two aces to prolong proceedings.

Yet Anderson's previously impenetrable serve suddenly looked vulnerable and in the very next game Isner broke back, once again taking the set thundering towards another tie-break. "We want to see Rafa!"

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