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'Mixed emotions': Anderson wins record-breaking Wimbledon epic
14 July 2018, 07:35 | Pamela Mathis
GETTYRoger Federer is the Wimbledon favourite but Novak Djokovic has the support of Andy Murray
"Just playing like that in those sort of conditions is really tough on both of us". Isner was 8-3 lifetime versus Anderson coming into the match.
A record-breaking day at Wimbledon ended with the second men's semi-final between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic falling foul of the 11pm curfew.
Ultimately, it was Anderson who prevailed, taking the match 7-6, 6-7, 6-7, 6-4, 26-24.
THEY say there's no such thing as a free lunch but if you share a name with one of two famous tennis players you could be enjoying just that this week.
The match will resume at 1 p.m. local time on Saturday, before the women's final between Serena Williams and Angelique Kerber.
That was also the last time Nadal made it past the fourth round at the grass-court major; Djokovic, who holds a 26-25 head-to-head lead, beat him in that year's final.
That service hold - helped by a 129 miles per hour (207.6km/h) second serve - took the American to 100 service games unbroken at this Wimbledon.
In a battle of the big-servers, eighth seed Kevin Anderson takes on ninth seed John Isner with both men looking to reach their first Wimbledon final.
Isner has history for playing long matches at Wimbledon, having endured a 70-68 fifth-set tiebreak against Nicolas Mahut in 2010, a match which spanned three days.
"Most of the crowd would have preferred to see a fifth-set tiebreaker too".
"I'm trying to get to where he's already been", said Isner, who has won all 95 of his service games this fortnight, thanks in part to a tournament-leading 161 aces. "I've hit a lot of left-handed balls throughout my life".
The reason the match went on for so long comes down to one of Wimbledon's quirks - a five-set match can not end on a tiebreaker, a tradition shared at the French Open and the Australian Open.
"If one person can't finish the other off before 12-all, then do a tiebreaker there", said the American who was beaten 12-10 in the fifth set by Marin Cilic in 2015 and 19-17 by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in 2016.
"I hope this is a sign for (grand) slams to change this format out of five sets", Anderson told media in his postmatch interview (per thescore.com).
It was the third longest match in tennis history and the second-longest match Wimbledon has ever hosted.
"I personally think a sensible option would be 12-All".
This was his 300th ATP win, reaching his second Grand Slam final and becoming the first South African in the final of Wimbledon after Brian Norton in 1921! In a fifth set that lasted 2 hours 55 minutes, Anderson never faced a break point.
Remarkably, Isner broke straight back as Anderson failed to serve it out from 5-3, 30-15.
In the 50th game, Isner took down the opening point before Anderson captured the next four - including two on aces. The American roared and turned to his box as he took the third set on his third set point.
Anderson had a break point at 7-7 and at 10-10, but he missed the first one as Isner hit an ace and the second one as he erred on a backhand passing shot. Though Isner does have a bigger serve than the South African, he has less options should it come back.
The match was ironically labelled "pointless" by viewers who complained Anderson would be left tired for Sunday's final.
Anderson's win was only the first semifinal of the day.
Anderson's lefty shot takes him to Wimbledon final
Of course, there was another player on the other side of the net - for whom Anderson's triumph was a tragedy: Isner. Anderson finished with 49 aces and 118 winners; Isner had 53 aces and 129 winners.
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