John Isner loses to Anderson in Wimbledon's second-longest semifinal match

Heather Diaz
July 14, 2018

South Africa's Kevin Anderson hugs John Isner of the United States, right, after the longest Wimbledon semi-final in history. After a testing five-set match, Anderson eventually won 7-6 6-7 6-7 6-4 26-24.

The Wimbledon semifinal between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic is their 52nd tour-level meeting, more than any other two men in tennis history.

"I hope this is a bit of sign for Grand Slams to change this format", Anderson said. "At the end you don´t even feel that great out there, but at the same time I´m through to the final".

While the Isner-Anderson marathon was taking place on Centre Court, there was another epic match being played under the radar over on Court 3.

Anderson will now attempt overturn a losing record against both Nadal (5-0) and Djokovic (5-1). Isner beat Mahut: 6-4, 3-6, 6-7 (7), 7-6 (3), 70-68.

And the friendship and rivalry between the two was evident in both of their post-match interviews, with Isner quick to congratulate the South African for reaching his first Wimbledon final.

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Isner also broke the record for most aces at Wimbledon, hitting 214 at the tournament and 53 on Friday.

Krejcikova and Siniakova missed two chances to serve out the first set from 5-2 up, but regained their composure to break once more at 5-5 and served out at the third attempt.

And repeatedly, the answer was, of course, "No", even when Anderson smacked a return victor at Isner's feet to get to break point at 7-all, 30-40. Another set point came at 9-8, but this time on Isner's serve, who saved it with a 138 miles-per-hour serve. Anderson finally earned the must-have, go-ahead service break with the help of a point in which the right-hander tumbled to his backside, scrambled back to his feet and hit a shot lefty. The fifth set alone contained the number of games that would typically take up four sets.

One of Anderson's best plays came in that lengthy final set.

Assuming Anderson is able to walk and raise his serving arm, Sunday will make his second major final appearance after the 2017 US Open, when he lost in straight sets to Nadal. There were two crucial moments in the opening set before the tie break, when Anderson saved three break points in game three to survive an early scare and in game 10 when John repelled a set point.

Greensboro native John Isner was eliminated in the Wimbledon semifinals Friday. I really feel for him. "I don't know", Isner said.

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