Wimbledon 2018 -- Novak Djokovic-Rafael Nadal semifinal halted by Wimbledon curfew
14 July, 2018, 12:42 | Author: Delia Walker
It started at 1 p.m. local time. "If I was on the opposite side, I don't know how you take it - getting through something like that is quite different".
"Just playing like that in those conditions was tough on both of us".
The second semifinal of the day, pitting Rafael Nadal against Novak Djokovic, was easily the most highly-anticipated match of the tournament so far - and its start was delayed well over three hours as the city of London waited for either Isner or Anderson to blink.
Djokovic took the first 6-4 and the third 7-6 (9), Nadal the second 6-3.
Nadal and Djokovic will meet for the 52nd time.
Through the first three sets, Djokovic holds a decisive edge in aces (13-2).
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. Each of the first three sets went to tiebreakers before a 6-4 victory from Anderson in the fourth set up a winner-take-all fifth set.
"I feel pretty bad", Isner said afterward. "I've hit a lot of left-handed balls throughout my life". My left heel is killing and I have an terrible blister on my right foot.
The first men's semi-final of Wimbledon 2018 between the two most unsafe servers in the field - John Isner and Kevin Anderson has become a piece of history now. The US Open is the lone major that has a tiebreak in the deciding set.
He is chasing an 18th Grand Slam title which would put him just two behind Federer.
Isner, who lost his second-round match in 2010 because he could barely move after beating Mahut, agreed. "I think I can keep doing damage here".
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.
Blake tweeted during the match: "Maybe time for a fifth set tiebreaker at Wimbledon?".
Anderson's fifth set alone lasted almost 3 hours as his semifinal became a test of endurance more than skill.
At five hours and 53 minutes, it was the longest final ever at a Slam.
The almost endless semifinal saga had many arguing for a deciding set tiebreak, from ESPN commentator John McEnroe to Anderson himself. The Spaniard fought off two break points to win the set in the ninth game.
Although Djokovic had chances to recover the break in the final game of the second, Nadal ultimately held as he levelled the match.
A total of 569 points were played, with Anderson winning 298 points and Isner winning 271.
"We don't want it to be 70-68, John", someone shouted from the crowd at 8-8.
Anderson had break points in the 15th, 21st and 35th games of the decider before taking victory when a tired Isner hit long.
John Isner and Kevin Anderson simply refused to lose.
Anderson notably broke Isner in the eighth game of the third set to lead 5-3, only to play an ill-advised forehand in the next game, which allowed his opponent to roar back from 15-30 down and break right back.
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