Nadal will rue missing two returns, while he got a taste of his own medicine on the second chance when Djokovic feathered a drop shot over the net.
He also said his semi-final should have been played before the Anderson-Isner match on Friday. Djokovic also revealed on Instagram that he has been relying on healthy, gluten-free and plant-based foods like green juice to power him through Wimbledon.
A number of signature crosscourt forehand winners from Nadal looked to keep him from losing his first semi-final at the historic tournament, but the Djoker had the last laugh with the final break after the five hour mark.
The 2018 Wimbledon final features Serbian superstar Novak Djokovic, a three time Wimbledon champion, facing off with Kevin Anderson, a South African veteran in his second career Grand Slam final. "When playing for 3, 4, 5 hours straight, you need the right fuel... and for me, the right fuel is plant-based".
"I managed to overcome challenges and obstacles, get myself to the final of a Slam", added Djokovic.
Federer did not even make it past the quarter-finals as Anderson fought back from two sets and match point down to win 13-11 in a dramatic fifth set. Just like we may know rationally that new fault lines discovered under London are likely to cause a major tremor once every 1,000 years, we don't really think it will ever happen.
The men's final on Sunday, meanwhile, will face stiff competition for global viewers as it coincides with the World Cup final in Moscow. In the last two rounds alone he defeated eight-time champion and tournament favorite Roger Federer in a five-set comeback, then played John Isner in what became the longest match in Wimbledon history finally winning the final set, 26-24.
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And play resumed on Centre Court under the roof on Saturday, despite it being a warm and sunny day.
In nine years since Roddick's last Grand Slam final, USA women have reached a combined 21 Grand Slam finals (16 via Serena Williams). He had surgery in February, but results on the court since had been shaky.
Until now, that is.
Nadal said afterwards he was of the opinion that it was a match both deserved to win and his opponent agreed. I was too far away.
Instead, the two players - and a disappointed audience - were sent home after the third set with Djokovic leading 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (9) following a tense tiebreaker that had more entertaining rallies than some entire matches.
Djokovic was overcome with emotion following his victory: "It's hard to pick the words [for how this feels]". We're out there playing for seven hours. He'll try to get back on top of the tennis world. It included a 23-stroke exchange and three others of at least 11.
In the Wimbledon final Sunday, Anderson will face the victor of the Rafael Nadal-Novak Djokovic match, which continued from Friday to Saturday because of the long-delayed start time after Anderson and Isner's brutally long semifinal.