Anderson survives six and a half hour thriller


"I don't even really know what to say right now", an exhausted Anderson told ESPN in the immediate aftermath of the victory.

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

How do you sum up Kevin Anderson and John Isner's Wimbledon semi-final? The final score: 7-6 (6), 6-7 (5), 6-7 (9), 6-4, 26-24. Djokovic finally claimed it on his second chance.

The ridiculous length of the Anderson-Isner clash left Nadal and Djokovic waiting until 8pm local time before stepping on court for their box office semi-final.

Out of the four tennis majors - the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open - fifth-set tiebreakers have been introduced only at Flushing Meadows. The fifth set lasted 175 minutes.

"I'm a proponent of changing that rule, for sure", Isner said.

"We've been lined up against each other for about 14 years now, because he left IL when I left Georgia". "My left heel is killing me and I have an very bad blister on my right foot".

When asked how he would recover and play in the final Sunday, Anderson said: "It's tough, I really don't know".

But while both men are big servers, nobody could've expected the final set to reach 50 games, as Anderson eventually broke to take a 25-24 advantage and was able to close things out.

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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.

Isner, who lost his second-round match in 2010 because he could barely move after beating Mahut, agreed. "I think I can keep doing damage here".

No South African, male or female, has ever won a singles title at Wimbledon, and the last SA man to make the singles final at the prestigious tournament was Brian Norton in 1921, who finished runner-up to USA legend Bill Tilden, also in five sets. It's the 12th matchup between No. 8 seed Anderson and No. 9 Isner, who leads the head-to-head 8-3. Anderson then took the fourth set 6-4, breaking the Isner serve twice in the set.

In a final set that lasted almost 3 hours, Anderson had break points at 7-7, 10-10 and 17-17 before finally earning the decisive breakthrough to go 25-24 up - drawing a massive roar from the crowd.

After two-and-a-half hours of play, Anderson managed to clinch the first break of serve in the match, ending Isner's epic run of 110 straight service games won at Wimbledon. Isner was representing the university of Georgia, while Anderson was at the university of IL. Some people in the stands booed the decision to halt the match after a fantastic tiebreaker in which Nadal wasted three set points at 6-5, 7-6 and 8-7.

He never got a break point in the fifth set. Kevin Anderson dispatched tournament favorite Roger Federer in five sets during the quarterfinals, opening the tournament to all competitors.

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

How he does that after contesting the longest ever Grand Slam semi-final is anyone's guess.

One shouted "come on someone", while another yelled "come on guys, we want to see Rafa", as the match rattled on.