Kevin Anderson wins semifinal match, hopes for format change

With tiebreaks not permitted to conclude Wimbledon matches once players are knotted at six games each, Anderson and Isner were forced to play on - and on and on and on Friday - until one man took a two-game lead.

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.

"I don´t really know what to say right now, playing like that in those conditions was really tough for the both of us", said eighth seed Anderson.

"You feel like this is a draw for the two of us, but somebody has to win."
John's such a great guy, and I really feel for him.

"If I had been on the opposite side, I don't know how you can take that, playing for so long and coming out short".

"I apologise if I´m not more excited right now". In the six-plus hour match, he served 53 aces and hit 129 winners.

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Andy Murray's third-round match against Marcos Baghdatis in 2012 pushed the limit to 11.02pm, and the time was exactly the same when Spaniard Nadal netted a final backhand.

Djokovic and Nadal have five Wimbledon titles between them and met in the 2011 final, while Anderson and Isner had never made the semifinals before.

Nadal fended off one match point, serving at 7-8, with a devilish drop shot. The penultimate of those ultimately helped him to the only non-tiebreak victory of the first four sets, and the last allowed him to finally get a leg up on Isner in the final stanza. It required three days and a fifth set that became a global talking and gawking point as it stretched to 70-68.

With Anderson and Isner, known as two of the most powerful servers in the tournament, it was predictably hard for either player to break the other's serve.

A total of 569 points were played, with Anderson winning 298 points and Isner winning 271. The defeat especially stings because marathon play is nothing new to the 33-year-old American.

Play was halted Friday after 2 hours, 54 minutes, with Djokovic leading two sets to one, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (9).

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But this time he dug deep to break again in the ninth game on his way to levelling the semi-final at two sets apiece.

"I think it's long overdue".

That semi-final only finished just before 8pm making it impossible for Nadal and Djokovic to finish before the 11pm curfew.

The Serb dominated the men's game earlier this decade, holding the number one ranking for 223 weeks and completing a career Grand Slam when he claimed the title at Roland Garros two years ago.

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

"Yes, there were moments of doubt, of frustration, disappointment, where you're questioning whether you want to keep it going", said Djokovic back in a Slam final for the first time since finishing runner-up at the 2016 US Open.

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