Kevin Anderson: First South African Wimbledon Men's Singles Finalist In 97 Years

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic

Known for his marathon matches, the ninth-seeded Isner lost to the eight-seeded Anderson in a grueling six-hour-and-36-minute match, with the final set alone lasting for almost three hours. He got back to his feet and played a left-handed forehand which landed in before going on to win a crucial point. It was that kind of a bonkers contest. At 6-5, Anderson saved a set point with a smash on his serve and went on to take the opener 7-6 (10-8) in 63 minutes on two errors by his opponent.

At stake is a place in Sunday's men's final against Anderson, the man who was partly at fault for keeping Nadal and Djokovic out there so late after South African eighth seed outlasted Isner 7-6 (8-6) 6-7 (5-7) 6-7 (9-11) 6-4 26-24 in the second-longest match in professional tennis history.

Pre-match, many underplayed Anderson and Isner's all-round on-court talents, thinking that it would be a long slog between two "serve-bots".

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

That service hold - helped by a 129 miles per hour (207.6km/h) second serve - took the American to 100 service games unbroken at this Wimbledon.

Additionally, Anderson called for a change in the tournament format so that players won't have to go through such long matches.

"You're really in a war of attrition out there".

And the tennis served up in their 52nd encounter was at another level from the earlier match.

"Just playing like that in those conditions was tough on both of us".

To say that Kevin Anderson won this interminable Wimbledon semifinal, and that John Isner lost it, didn't really seem fair.

"Fortunately, I was able to find a way over the finish line".

"John is a great guy and I really feel for him".

"If I was on the opposite (losing) side I don't know how you take it". Seven years after his last semi-final in SW19, he was at his relentless best. "At the end you don´t even feel that great out there, but at the same time I´m through to the final".

The match was the second longest singles match in the history of Wimbledon - after the 11 hour five minute epic in 2010, in which Isner also played.

John Isner of the U.S.in action during his semi final match against South Africa's Kevin Anderson.

Anderson will face a giant of a different kind in the men's final Sunday - either twice champion Rafael Nadal of Spain or three-time victor Novak Djokovic, who posted a picture on social media of himself playing marbles while waiting for Isner and Anderson to finish.

Djokovic looked longingly at his box after dumping a return into the net and then screamed out after another missed chance - his third of the opening three games in the second set.

"Right now I feel bad. Can't finish them off, if one person can't finish the other off before 12-All, then do a tiebreaker there", Isner said. "It stinks to lose, but I gave it everything I had out there. I was pretty close to making a Grand Slam final, and it didn't happen".

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