After many, many hours, Anderson beats Isner in Wimbledon semis

Tanya Simon
July 14, 2018

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

Tennis matches generally do not carry on quite like this - unless they involve John Isner.

Anderson noted that some members of the Centre Court crowd were ready for his match to end, so that the day's second semifinal, between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, could begin.

Williams defeated Kerber with a 7-5 6-3 victory over the German at Wimbledon two years ago.

While one might think that such a closely fought match was an enthralling display of athleticism, as the game teetered back and forth in the fifth set, the opposite was true.

While the match was tense, it was far from compelling, with both power players simply blasting serves past one another and trading service in the final set.

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.

At one point in the fifth set, a spectator shouted, "Come on, guys!"

"I feel pretty awful", said Isner. My left heel is killing and I have an bad blister on my right foot.

In his last two matches alone, Anderson has been on court for nearly 11 hours.

"I really hope this is a bit of a sign for Grand Slams to change".

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Lesson for the kids out there: "no one should ever try to do the right thing with the expectation that it will ever be reciprocated".

"I personally think a sensible option would be 12-All". Six-and-a-half hours after Kevin Anderson and John Isner stepped out onto Centre Court, they finally finished.

This was a match with two of the biggest servers in the game and neither disappointed in the aces department with 102 served, 49 by Anderson and 53 by the American eighth seed.

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 (11-9) after a tense tiebreaker that had more entertaining rallies than some entire matches.

In a final set that lasted almost 3 hours, Anderson had break points at 7-7, 10-10 and 17-17 before finally earning the decisive breakthrough to go 25-24 up - drawing a massive roar from the crowd. At 13-13 in the final set, one spectator screamed "we want to see Rafa!" He lost the first two sets, and when Federer forced a match point up 5-4 in the third, the outlook seemed bleak. Between that and the energy-sapper against Isner, it's hard to imagine how Anderson will have much left for his second Slam final. With the score tied at 6-6, a tiebreaker was needed to separate the two players, which Anderson went on to win 8-6.

This is just the latest high point for Anderson over the course of an impressive last 11 months.

Having once again swapped breaks early on in the fourth set, Anderson broke Isner for the third time, and took the match into a decider on his fourth set point.

With a duration of 6 hours and 36 minutes, it is the longest semifinal in Wimbledon history.

The right-handed Anderson slipped and fell, but scrambled back to his feet in time to hit a return left-handed and continue the point before Isner eventually pushed a forehand just wide.

Isner had, incredibly, not dropped serve once during the championships until, at the 111th time of asking, he was broken.

It's also the longest match of Anderson's career in terms of total time on court.

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