Published: Sat, July 14, 2018
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Kevin Anderson Outlasts John Isner in a Five-Set Marathon at Wimbledon

Kevin Anderson Outlasts John Isner in a Five-Set Marathon at Wimbledon

He converted his second set point when Nadal netted a backhand, minutes past the tournament's 11 pm curfew.

Considering how Nadal and Djokovic played today, there's every chance they'll at least play for another couple of hours which would have to push back the women's final.

The Wimbledon semifinal between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal has been suspended.

Isner has history for playing long matches at Wimbledon, having endured a 70-68 fifth-set tiebreak against Nicolas Mahut in 2010, a match which spanned three days.

Instead, the two players - and a disappointed audience - were sent home after the third set on Friday with Djokovic leading 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (9) following a tense tiebreaker that had more entertaining rallies than some entire matches.

South African eighth seed Anderson, 32, has reached a major final before, losing to Nadal in last year's US Open showpiece.

What has impressed us about Anderson, certainly in his match against Gael Monfils was his movement and variety he managed to throw in to get around one of the game's more flamboyant characters.

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By the time the fourth set had begun, it was clear that this match, as some regarded it, was no warm-up act for the Nadal-Djokovic semifinal to be played later on the same court - not a starter for the main course. After six hours and 36 minutes, Anderson beat Isner 7-6 (6), 6-7 (5), 6-7 (9), 6-4, 26-24. They both serve like demons, and don't return serves particularly well. But with the set tied at 24, Anderson finally broke Isner's serve to make it 25-24.

Anderson finished with 49 aces and 118 winners; Isner had 53 aces and 129 winners.

He added: "It's a bit of a sign for the Grand Slams to change this five-set format".

Although the All England Club has a retractable roof with lights, in the past it has stopped play for the day at 11 p.m. local time in order not to disturb its residential neighbors in southwest London.

The US Open is the only grand slam to use tiebreakers in the fifth set, with the Australian Open and French Open, like Wimbledon, both also playing advantage sets.

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

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

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