Saturday, 17 November, 2018

Final Four: Which two will reach the Wimbledon title match?

American Isner reaches 1st Grand Slam semifinal at Wimbledon Anderson beats Isner in longest semi-final in history
Cassandra Gardner | 14 July, 2018, 06:03

Novak Djokovic led Rafael Nadal 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (11/9) in their Wimbledon semi-final when it was halted for the night on Friday.

With the clock slipping past 11pm - the official curfew time for action at the All England Club to end for the day - Djokovic survived three set points in a gripping tiebreak before outlasting Nadal in a 17-stroke rally to edge ahead in the match.

Only one match at the All England Club has been longer: Isner's 2010 first-round victory over Nicolas Mahut, which went more than 11 hours over three days and finished 70-68 in the fifth.

It was also the second longest match at a Slam, beating the six hours and 33 minutes which Fabrice Santoro spent seeing off Arnaud Clement in the 2004 French Open. That's also the a year ago Djokovic and Nadal met at the All-England Club, with Djokovic winning 6-4, 6-1, 1-6, 6-3 in the final. Isner served to start the fifth set, for which there is no tiebreaker, and both players continued to hold serve game after game. "For us to be out there for that amount of time, I really hope we can address this", the South African, who won the fifth set 26-24 to beat Isner, said.

Djokovic and Nadal had met 51 times before Saturday's semi-final - the most prolific rivalry in men's tennis.

Djokovic was in the lead two-sets to one when play was halted.

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Isner had nothing left to give, and his wait for a first Grand Slam final appearance will not come until at least the 42nd attempt, which is the record begrudgingly held by David Ferrer. At 6-5, Anderson saved a set point with a smash, and went on to take the first set 7-6 (8) in 63 minutes on two errors by his opponent.

Isner and Anderson smacked 102 aces during their lengthy showdown.

John Isner laid his aces on the table but found a way into the Wimbledon semi-finals by breaking the Milos Raonic serve. Watch Nadal vs Djokovic live stream online on ESPN TV this morning at 11 am EST / 8 am PST for what could and hopefully will be a five set marathon to determine the victor.

"So do I. I think it will be just like the last final; it will be a really good final".

Both players were strong on serve, though it was a tiring Isner, plagued with a blister on his finger, who was under threat, routinely needing to draw on his reserves to close service games out.

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