Playing Isner who is enshrined in Wimbledon folklore for winning the "endless match" - an 11 hour five minute humdinger against Nicolas Mahut in 2010 - Anderson needed five nerve-shredding sets to topple the American and become the first South African man to reach the Wimbledon final for 97 years.
It was the second longest singles match ever played at a Grand Slam.
The final set alone lasted for two hours and 50 minutes. "I can feel the crowd (get) pretty antsy for us to get off the court".
Instead, the two players - and a disappointed audience - were sent home after the third set on Friday with Djokovic leading 6-4 3-6 7-6 (11-9) after a tense tiebreaker that had more entertaining rallies than some entire matches. That's also the previous year Djokovic and Nadal met at the All-England Club, with Djokovic winning 6-4, 6-1, 1-6, 6-3 in the final. "Honestly, I really hope that this is a bit of a sign for Grand Slams to change this format of five sets", a visibly drained Anderson said in a post-match TV interview.
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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.
A full but slightly tired Centre Court crowd geared up for a long decider, and on and on and on it went until, after six hours and 35 minutes, Anderson sealed his place in the final.
Both players had set points on their own serve, and both were denied until Anderson scooped a forehand wide and Isner was ahead.
Isner and Anderson smacked 102 aces during their lengthy showdown. After the break, Anderson closed out the match on his serve 26-24, after more than six and a half hours. South African-born Kevin Curren contested the 1985 final but he had become a USA citizen by then. After losing the second set, he turned into Vintage Djoker and won 12 of the next 16 games to return to the Wimbledon semis for the seventh time.
He can play a net game and now is the time to choose to, to mix things up.
"I'm very, very happy to be in this position right now", said the ninth seed, who has never played on Centre Court at Wimbledon.