Anderson, Isner in second-longest Wimbledon singles match

Anderson, Isner in second-longest Wimbledon singles match

South African eighth seed Kevin Anderson has reached his first Wimbledon final, beating American ninth seed John Isner 7-6 (8/6) 6-7 (5/7) 6-7 (9/11) 6-4 26-24 in the longest semi-final in the tournament's history.

The only match to last longer at Wimbledon was Isner's win over Nicolas Mahut in 2010, which ended 70-68 in the fifth set after 11 hours, 5 minutes.

Anderson will face either Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic in the final on Sunday.

When their semi-final ticked past the five-hour 31-minute mark, it beat the previous mark set by Marin Cilic and Sam Querrey in the third round in 2012.

"John I think has got arguably one of the best serves of all time on the tour", Anderson said. I really feel for him.

"I think going into the finals, there was maybe a bit too much relief that, "Hey, I'm in the finals" and didn't give myself as much of a chance to win that match from a mental side. As of right now, I'm sort of more focused on that than getting too excited about the overall picture".

Anderson had landed on his back giving a return from the baseline, losing his racquet in the process.

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For the first time in the Open era, the semi-finals were made up exclusively of players over 30.

The Isner-Anderson match was the first Grand Slam men's semifinal to go past 6-all in the deciding set since the 2013 French Open, and the first at Wimbledon since 2001.

The reason the match went on for so long comes down to one of Wimbledon's quirks - a five-set match can not end on a tiebreaker, a tradition shared at the French Open and the Australian Open.

He then converted his first match point when Isner sent a shot wide - after 6 hours, 36 minutes.

As the fifth set dragged on and on, the American Isner appeared more visibly exhausted and had to survive more scares on his own serve than Anderson.

He fashioned three break points from the next rally and took the second, the first break in 49 games.

As it became clear that Isner was due for another endless fifth set, tennis fans were far from delighted. The two went back and forth all the way to 12-all, essentially playing a full sixth and seventh set.

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