Saturday, 17 November, 2018

Anderson tops Isner 26-24 in epic 5th set of Wimbledon semifinal

Roger Federer Wimbledon GETTYRoger Federer has been knocked out of Wimbledon
Cassandra Gardner | 14 July, 2018, 07:34

That is the only Wimbledon clash to have lasted longer than his 7-6 (8-6) 6-7 (5-7) 6-7 (9-11) 6-4 26-24 loss to Anderson, who reached his second major final in under a year courtesy of a colossal effort on Centre Court.

The two didn't begin their semifinal until after 8 p.m., as they had to wait out the conclusion of the 6-hour, 36-minute, five-set marathon between John Isner and Kevin Anderson.

The only match to last longer at Wimbledon was Isner's win over Nicolas Mahut in 2010, which ended 70-68 in the fifth set after 11 hours, 5 minutes. He did it in more spectacular fashion than Isner, too, coming back from two sets down to beat Roger Federer 13-11 in the fifth.

Anderson next faces Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic.

Wimbledon officials have set the match to re-start at 1pm local time (10pm Saturday night AEST), which is just an hour before Serena Williams aims to equal the Grand Slam wins record in the women's final against Angelique Kerber. Just playing like that in those sort of conditions, just really tough on both of us.

John Isner of the U.S.in action during his semi final match against South Africa's Kevin Anderson.

The 33-year-old agreed with Anderson that all Slams should introduce a tiebreak in the final set and fall in line with the US Open.

"If you ask majority, I'm sure they would have preferred to see a fifth-set tiebreaker, too".

"I feel pretty bad", Isner said afterward.

The next set proved to be similar to the opener with no breaks of serve and needed another tiebreaker to separate the two, which Isner won 7-5 to tie things up at a set apiece.

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The two have played some memorable matches over the years.

And that's where he'll meet Rafael Nadal for the 52nd time.

Anderson eventually won the tiebreaker with a 7-6, 6-7, 6-7, 6-4, 26-24 victory on Centre Court, making him the first South African male to reach a final since 1921.

"I think it's long overdue", Isner said. The South African would then hold his serve and book his trip to the Wimbledon final. I don't think it needs to continue. Isner finished with 53 aces to Anderson's 49, and Isner during the fifth set broke the single-tournament aces record with his 214th.

To say it was a close match would be drastically underselling what took place between the two players, whose history against one another dates back to their college days when Isner played at Georgia and Anderson played at IL.

Anderson added that it was not just the players who were losing out but fans, who had paid 170 pounds ($225) to see two semi-finals, were also being short-changed.

This is the first time all four male semifinalists at a Grand Slam tournament are in their 30s.

Isner said he agreed with Anderson that tiebreakers - at some point in the fifth set - were the way to go.

Anderson saved three break points in the third game of the first set before Isner had to save a set point in the 10th. Anderson finally came through on his sixth for a 25-24 lead, when Isner wearily put a backhand into the net.

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