Wimbledon final will be ‘tough’ for Kevin Anderson: John Isner explains why

Ross Houston
July 14, 2018

Friday's semifinals match between Kevin Anderson and John Isner on the men's singles side of Wimbledon was an an incredible, epic and frustrating back-and-forth affair.

The match has surpassed the previous record of 4 hours, 44 minutes when the score was tied 9-9 in the deciding set.

With a spot in the Wimbledon final on the line, the two power players beat each other to a standstill in a match that stretched nearly seven hours.

"Honestly, I really hope this is a bit of a sign for grand slams to change the five sets. You're never really safe", Roger Federer said of Anderson after his five-set loss Wednesday to the former Illini.

The match lasted more than six hours, making it the longest semi-final match in the history of Wimbledon, and the second-longest in total.

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.

The Isner-Anderson semi-final was expected to serve as a warm-up to Friday's main event on Centre Court between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

Djokovic, meanwhile, is seeking a fifth final at the All England Club and 22nd at the Slams.

Anderson's prize for his bittersweet victory over his former United States college friend and rival is a date on Sunday with either world number one Rafael Nadal or fellow grand slam giant Novak Djokovic.

An Isner ace fittingly concluded the 12 games in the first, before Anderson recovered from a mini-break down to take a one-set lead after an hour and three minutes.

Although the game was dominated by big serving, there were some fantastic highlights, including a key moment deep in the fifth set.

How do you sum up Kevin Anderson and John Isner's Wimbledon semi-final?

Prediction: Anderson in four sets.

Sporf shared a meme highlighting how Isner and Anderson spent more time playing than Germany did at the Fifa World Cup in Russian Federation.

Anderson finally broke Isner to go up 25-24, including winning a point that featured him slipping and falling and then getting up to hit a return with his left (non-dominant) hand that continued the rally.

Assuming Anderson is able to walk and raise his serving arm, Sunday will make his second major final appearance after the 2017 US Open, when he lost in straight sets to Nadal. There was this: the tumble Anderson took late in the match, only to somehow hop up, hit the ball left handed and ultimately claim the point - all as the typically stoical Wimbledon crowd gasped and screamed above them.

Isner finished the tournament with a record 221 aces. "I don't know", Isner said.

"I don't know what to say right now".

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