Anderson keeps Wimbledon dream alive, reaches final

Ross Houston
July 14, 2018

With no end in sight to his Wimbledon semi-final, American John Isner sat slumped in his chair deep into the fifth set and pleadingly looked up at umpire Marija Cicak with a request: "Can we play a tiebreak please?" It started at 1 p.m. local time. He did it in more spectacular fashion than Isner, too, coming back from two sets down to beat Roger Federer 13-11 in the fifth.

"I don't really know what to say right now", said Anderson. Just playing like that in those conditions was really tough on both of us.

Anderson will need to continue waiting to find out his next opponent, as Friday's later semifinal between second-seeded Spaniard Rafael Nadal and 12th-seeded Serbian Novak Djokovic was suspended after three sets due to darkness.

Although the All England Club has a retractable roof with lights, a curfew of 11 p.m.is implemented in order not to disturb its residential neighbors in southwest London.

Looking to watch a live stream of Djokovic vs Nadal?

Although Djokovic had chances to recover the break in the final game of the second, Nadal ultimately held as he levelled the match.


Twitter was abuzz with jokes that the Anderson-Isner match could well stretch beyond the 70-68 final-set scoreline that Isner won with over Mahut eight years ago. But Rafa has won the last two in straight sets. "My left heel is killing me".

"I apologise if I´m not more excited right now".

Anderson agreed, adding: 'I really hope we can address this'. That one took three days to complete and officially lasted 11 hours 5 minutes. He criticized the lack of a deciding-set tiebreaker at Wimbledon, the Australian Open and the French Open. It is also the second-longest match in Wimbledon history.

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

Anderson became the first South African male to reach the final since 1921 with a 7-6 (6), 6-7 (5), 6-7 (9), 6-4, 26-24 victory on Centre Court.

When Kevin Anderson lost his footing and fell on his backside while hitting a backhand in the men's semi-final at Wimbledon on Friday nobody would have blamed him if he did not bother getting up again. Isner finished with 53 aces to Anderson's 49, and Isner during the fifth set broke the single-tournament aces record with his 214th.


Tennis writers also took aim at how the officials were quick to reschedule the women's final but stopped short of moving the time of the men's final because of a clash with the World Cup final. Anderson served for the third at 5-3, got broken, and then had a pair of set points in that tiebreaker, double-faulting one away. Isner and Anderson have played each other before professionally and they were rivals in college (Isner, 33, played at the University of Georgia, and Anderson, 32, at University of Illinois).

Anderson began his Wimbledon with a 6-3 6-4 6-4 victory over qualifier Norbert Gombos before beating Andreas Seppi 6-3 6-7 6-3 6-4. The American roared and turned to his box as he took the third set on his third set point.

Boy, would we have loved to see that!

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

Anderson had break points in the 15th, 21st and 35th games of the decider before taking victory when a tired Isner hit long.

Meanwhile, Anderson didn't face a break point in the fifth set.


It was a sentiment echoed by an exhausted Anderson as soon as he came off court.

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