Wimbledon 2018: Anderson outlasts Isner in an epic battle of giants

Milos Raonica

The Wimbledon semifinal between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic is their 52nd tour-level meeting, more than any other two men in tennis history.

In 2010, Isner famously won the longest tennis match of all time, beating France's Nicolas Mahut 70-68 in the final set, in a contest that lasted 11 hours, 5 minutes, took three days to complete and featured 215 aces.

It will resume Saturday at noon local time (7 a.m. ET), ahead of the women's final between Serena Williams and Angelique Kerber.

It was the second longest singles match ever played at a Grand Slam.

"I played two matches over six hours in my career".

Fast food chain Nandos, which originated from South Africa, has pledged to give away free meals to people who share names with the two players, until Anderson is knocked out of the tournament or wins the final.

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.

"I don't really know what to say right now", said Anderson.

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Ostapenko was more efficient, serving her match out at love and converting her first match point with her 14th backhand victor . The key game was when Williams powered to a 2-1 lead in the decisive set, against the serve, without conceding a point.


Nadal, 32, and Djokovic, 31, meet in a highly anticipated Wimbledon semi-final at about 16:30 BST on Friday.

Carried by this momentum, John grabbed the tie break 11-9 after saving two break points, clinching another marathon set to move closer to his first Grand Slam final.

The exhausted players embraced at the net after a classic encounter eventually finished 7-6 (8/6) 6-7 (5/7) 6-7 (9/11) 6-4 26-24 in South African Anderson's favour after six hours and 36 minutes. Anderson then took the fourth set 6-4, breaking the Isner serve twice in the set. Anderson finally came through on his sixth to lead 25-24, then served out the victory when Isner sailed a forehand wide.

Nadal and Djokovic had to wait a further 20 minutes while Wimbledon ground staff closed the roof on Centre Court to protect against the forecasted rain.

"I really do. I think with the performances I've had, I deserve to be in the semifinals", Djokovic said.

Djokovic and Nadal repeatedly slugged it out from the baseline, chasing down seemingly the impossible and hitting spectacular winners from every corner.

Almost three punishing hours later they both left Centre Court with their title hopes still intact.

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