Djokovic, Nadal can't be separated, Wimbledon semi-final runs into second day

Annette Crawford
July 14, 2018

However, soon after Djokovic had gone on social media to show he had been reduced to playing a game of marbles on the locker room floor - a message punctuated with three laughing emojis - Anderson delivered the knockout blow to reach the Wimbledon final at the 10th time of asking.

The tournament referee informs Nadal the match is over.

It led to the unusual situation of both players leaving the court to a huge ovation - and applauding the fans in return - but without there being a clear victor or loser.

"The effort they both put in and the performance and the guts, the way they competed - a lot to be proud of", said Justin Gimelstob, one of Isner's coaches.

"I hope this is a sign for Grand Slams to change".

That is likely to delay the start of women's final between Serena Williams and Angelique Kerber, which is scheduled to commence at 2pm.

"Friday is another important match against an opponent that is one of the most hard ones that you can face". With the set tied 7-7, Anderson had the chance to break Isner but the American fought him back to take an 8-7 lead, and so it continued as neither player seemed willing to blink. Isner finished with 53 aces to Anderson's 49, and Isner during the fifth set broke the single-tournament aces record with his 214th.

At least Anderson can boast of one runner-up finish, and it was recent, against Nadal at last year's U.S. Open. After six hours and 36 minutes, Anderson beat Isner 7-6 (6), 6-7 (5), 6-7 (9), 6-4, 26-24.


The last set alone lasted five minutes shy of three hours and Anderson said it was unfair on both players.

Djokovic won a first set marked by sumptuous tennis, but Nadal hit back in the second to level matters. Having reached the US Open final a year ago, Anderson will also be one-up on Isner in the big-stage experience department.

It was the third longest match in tennis history and the second-longest match Wimbledon has ever hosted.

Anderson, who was runner-up to Nadal in last year's US Open final, becomes the first South African man to reach the Wimbledon decider since Brian Norton in 1921.

WIMBLEDON, England-When John Isner and Kevin Anderson walked on to Centre Court for their semifinal match on Friday, everyone knew they would play for hours.

Moreover, Djokovic has historically been a better grass-court player and could potentially be a little more rested, as he wasn't pushed almost as hard in his quarterfinal matchup. All Anderson did was eliminate Roger Federer in the quarterfinals, erasing a match point and a two-set deficit. On Wednesday, we saw Nadal's confidence, and even his intensity, briefly wane when Juan Martin del Potro forced his way into their quarterfinal late in the second set.

It was the same tit-for-tat in the fifth and sixth games of the fourth set before Anderson produced a moment of brilliance, a superb cross-court backhand, to break in the ninth and subsequently held serve to win 6-4.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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