Anderson wins six-hour marathon to reach men's singles final

Novak Djokovic

Rather overshadowed by a certain football match on Wednesday was the men's quarter-finals, which saw the odds-on tournament favourite, Roger Federer, dumped out by Kevin Anderson in a dramatic fifth set.

"I don't really know what to say right now", Anderson told the BBC. Just playing like that in those sort of conditions, it's really tough on both of us.

Twitter was abuzz with jokes that the Anderson-Isner match could well stretch beyond the 70-68 final-set scoreline that Isner won with over Mahut eight years ago.

It was a severe test of stamina for both players, as well as those watching, and meant a long wait for Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic who were due on next in the second semi-final. But Anderson roared back, outlasting the great Swiss to win 2-6 6-7 7-5 6-4 13-11.

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. Standing in her way is 2016 runner-up Angelique Kerber in a repeat of Williams' last match at Wimbledon prior to maternity leave.

By the latter stages, with break chances so rare, murmurs would spread through the Centre Court stands whenever a game's returner got to love-15 or love-30.

After a grueling semifinal clash against No. 9 seed John Isner, South Africa's Kevin Anderson reached his first ever Wimbledon final on Friday night. Hopefully they appreciated the battle that we faced out there against each other, but if you ask majority, I'm sure they would have preferred to see a fifth-set tie-breaker, too. "I'm not going to hang my hat on that, for sure", he said. "I've hit a lot of left-handed balls throughout my life".

"I apologize I'm not more excited right now", he continued.

That's how the U.S. Open settles things at 6-all in the fifth set of a men's singles match - or at 6-all in the third set for women - and has since 1970.

Anderson made it clear Grand Slam tournament organisers should consider a rule change to make the deciding set of five-set matches less gruelling.

It was the third longest match in tennis history and the second-longest match Wimbledon has ever hosted. "I think I can keep doing damage here". In the United States, the match is scheduled to start after the John Isner vs Kevin Anderson match and will be broadcast on ESPN.

A big-serving match tends to have shorter points than one featuring at least one return-orientated player, and so it proved in these - Anderson and Federer played 67 games in 257 minutes (3.84 minutes per game), while it took Nadal and Del Potro 292 minutes to play 55 games (5.31 minutes per game). That one ranks 13th in men's tennis history.

After 6ft 8in Anderson edged the opening tie-break he eked out another break point in the second set, but once again Isner repelled it and this time the tie-break went the way of the American.

Anderson weighed in with 49 aces to reach 172 so far. The most important came with Isner serving at 24-24.

Anderson would create that turning moment when he resorted to using his non-dominant hand to win a point after tumbling to the grass.

He couldn´t capitalise, however, and was broken straight back before Isner claimed the ensuing tiebreak having saved two set points.

Boy, would we have loved to see that!

Anderson had break points in the 15th, 21st and 35th games of the decider before taking victory when a tired Isner hit long.

The match was ironically labelled "pointless" by viewers who complained Anderson would be left worn out for Sunday's final.

After watching Isner strike a tired forehand wide, Anderson advanced to the Wimbledon final at the 10th time of asking.

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