Anderson beats Isner in epic, record-setting Wimbledon semifinal

Roger Federer Wimbledon

South Africa's tennis gladiator Kevin Anderson was so exhausted after a six-hour 35-minute marathon against John Isner that he was barely able to enjoy the finest moment of his career - reaching the Wimbledon final. With the set tied 7-7, Anderson had the chance to break Isner but the American fought him back to take an 8-7 lead, and so it continued as neither player seemed willing to blink. "For us to be out there for that..."

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Having been warmed up by the longest semi-final in The Championships' history, the Centre Court crowd feasted on an excellent display of world-class tennis, lapping up the brilliance of two of the greatest sportsmen of all time under the roof on Friday night.

Friday's semifinals match between Kevin Anderson and John Isner on the men's singles side of Wimbledon was an an incredible, epic and frustrating back-and-forth affair.

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In the first set, as expected, there were no breaks of serve but Anderson did well to save three breaks points in the third game.

At five hours and 53 minutes, it was the longest final ever at a Slam. "I think it needs to be done".

Anderson finally managed to become the first player who has taken John's serve at this year's Wimbledon, earning a break in game eight of the third set but his lead didn't last for long, getting broken in the following game when he served for the set.

Most, but not all, signs point to an Isner win in this battle of the geriatric-i.e., over 30-giants.

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These victories certainly cannot be viewed as a positive for subsequent rounds, although it's probably fair to say that if one player can be fresh after a five-hour match, it will be Nadal. Both Isner and Anderson said they'd like to see that change. Having reached the US Open final past year, Anderson will also be one-up on Isner in the big-stage experience department. "My left heel is killing me", said Isner.

In the 50th game, Isner took down the opening point before Anderson captured the next four - including two on aces.

News of the women's final being moved to accomodate for the men's semi-final was greeted with shock and anger by many, who argued tournament organisers could instead make the men wait to play until after the women had their match.

Although the game was dominated by big serving, there were some wonderful highlights, including a key moment deep in the fifth set. Djokovic cashed in on his second when Nadal's backhand found the net after an 18-stroke exchange. On Wednesday, we saw Nadal's confidence, and even his intensity, briefly wane when Juan Martin del Potro forced his way into their quarterfinal late in the second set.

SA's Kevin Anderson foils John Isner to reach maiden Wimbledon final
The eighth seed will face either twice champion Rafael Nadal or three-times victor Novak Djokovic in Sunday's final. The duo smashed the record for the longest semifinal match at Wimbledon , and they weren't close to finished.

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