Djokovic to face Anderson in Wimbledon final after Rafael Nadal

Roger Federer

Anderson's fifth set alone lasted almost 3 hours as his semifinal became a test of endurance more than skill.

The match was the second-longest in professional tennis history, behind only Isner's record 11-hour, five-minute first-round Wimbledon triumph over Frenchman Nicolas Mahut in 2010.

With this win, the 32-year old Anderson became the first South African male since Brian Norton (1921) to reach the Wimbledon final.

In less than 48 hours, he will play the victor of Friday's second semifinal between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in Sunday's final.

But the wrong-handed and off-balance shot was perhaps all Anderson needed to finally get his chance as he got a triple break point with a rather simple forehand drop as Isner didn't - or couldn't - run to the net.

"I have to say congratulations to John on a great tournament, semi-finals here is a remarkable achievement and hopefully he can come back stronger".

In addition to his own 161 aces, the 208cm-tall Isner has won every single one of his 95 service games, facing a measly seven break points in five matches.

Their 52nd match was held up by the previous semi-final on Centre Court, which Anderson won after six hours and 35 minutes.

Then came the full trailer in the third set, when Isner's serve was finally broken this Wimbledon after a whopping 110 games.

Nadal and Djokovic will have to resume their match on Saturday before the victor will play Anderson in the final on Sunday, meaning one of Djokovic or Nadal will not be well-rested heading into the final.

Between them, three-times champion Djokovic, Nadal, fellow dual victor Andy Murray and dethroned eight-times king Roger Federer have won every men's singles crown since 2003.

Which means not only will they not have a day off, but the start time of the Serena Williams-Angelique Kerber women's final could be pushed to much later in the day.

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.

This coming after they had already set the record for the tallest combined major matchup in the quarterfinals or later in the Open era.

The Serb will now take on South Africa's Anderson in Sunday's showpiece - his fifth final at SW19 - with both players having to recover from their epic last-four clashes. That one ranks 13th in men's tennis history. He criticized the lack of a deciding-set tiebreaker at Wimbledon, the Australian Open and the French Open.

Five-time Wimbledon champion Bjorn Borg enjoyed the Isner-Anderson contest with wife Patricia Östfeld.

As intense as any athletes in any sport, these two didn't exactly slowly ramp things up when they returned to Centre Court about 14 hours after they'd departed. Nadal has gotten the better of Djokovic in Grand Slam matches over the years, still holding a 9-5 edge.



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