Published: Sat, July 14, 2018
Sport | By Floyd Cook

Curfew halts Djokovic, Nadal Wimbledon SF

Curfew halts Djokovic, Nadal Wimbledon SF

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

Former Illini Kevin Anderson put together a slightly cleaner game than foe John Isner.

Anderson's opponent for the title will be Nadal or Novak Djokovic, who did not set foot on Centre Court until just before 8 p.m. on Friday evening, after waiting around all day.

Djokovic took the first 6-4 and the third 7-6 (9), Nadal the second 6-3.

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 Nadal netted a backhand to give Djokovic a two sets to one lead. "It'll take a long time to process what's happened today but I'm into the final and that's a dream come true".

The only silver lining for Anderson, if it can be called that, is that the length of his match had a knock-on effect on the Nadal-Djokovic semi-final. And he held the upper hand Friday after saving three set points in the gripping tiebreak.

It's not the first time that Isner has played to a marathon match - back in 2010, he defeated Nicolas Mahut 6-4, 3-6, 6-7 (7), 7-6 (7), 70-68 in the first round at Wimbledon in a match that lasted over 11 hours and was played over three days.

Friday's fifth set wasn't quite as long, but still, it lasted almost 3 hours as the semifinal became a test of endurance more than skill. All I can say is congratulations to John on such a great tournament. "My left heel is killing me".

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"I apologise if I'm not more excited right now but I've got so many mixed emotions". It goes past the 2013 semifinal encounter between Djokovic and Juan Martin Del Potro which ended in the Serbian's favour 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (2), 6-7 (6), 6-3 after 4 hours and 44 minutes.

Anderson agreed, adding: 'I really hope we can address this'.

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

"I personally think a sensible option would be 12-All".

Anderson, the first South African Wimbledon men´s finalist since Brian Norton in 1921, faces Novak Djokovic or Rafael Nadal in Sunday´s showpiece.

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. Anderson's win over John Isner lasted 6 ½ hours and went to 26-24 in the fifth set.

Soon, they were meeting for an embrace, with Anderson being the first South African man in 97 years to reach the Wimbledon final. So even was the contest that at one stage late in the third set Djokovic had won 89 points and Nadal had won 88. Anderson, who typically shows a reserved demeanor, would frequently fist-pump after winning a point. Kevin Anderson dispatched tournament favorite Roger Federer in five sets during the quarterfinals, opening the tournament to all competitors.

A showdown between two tennis skyscrapers - with Isner topping the 6 foot 8 Anderson by two inches - predictably featured three tiebreaks.

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