Anderson sympathises with Isner after marathon clash

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In Friday's opening set, Djokovic's serve proved crucial after not faced any break points and earning the crucial break on Nadal's serve in the seventh game with a forehand victor to claim the set 6-4.

A FEROCIOUS fightback from Rafael Nadal wasn't enough for the Spaniard to fight off Novak Djokovic in a thrilling finish to Wimbledon's two day, five-set semi-final.

The match was not pretty but it was enthralling, Isner leading by two sets to one after three tie-breaks before 32-year-old Anderson made a break of serve count to level up.

Anderson advanced Friday with a 7-6 (6), 6-7 (5), 6-7 (9), 6-4, 26-24 victory over John Isner - a match that took 6 hours, 36 minutes to play, a record for a Wimbledon semifinal.

"Hopefully we can both play!"

Nadal battled back in the second, taking leads of 3-1 and 5-2 while breaking Djokovic twice.

Anderson's win was only the first semifinal of the day.

In the ensuing game, Anderson held serve one last time and clinched the victory when an Isner mishit drifted wide.

Of course, there was another player on the other side of the net - for whom Anderson's triumph was a tragedy: Isner.

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Three-time victor John McEnroe said in commentary that there should be fifth-set tie-breaks at grand slams and Anderson agreed, adding: "I really hope we can address this". Anderson broke Isner's serve for the first time in 110 service games at Wimbledon earlier in the set. I really hope we can look at this and address this. The American giant did it again, smashing records at Wimbledon with another epic marathon. But while Anderson and Isner's titanic tussle was more an exercise in totting up aces, this was a cast-iron classic.

While Anderson-Isner was mostly a serving duel with a few longer rallies thrown in, Djokovic and Nadal repeatedly slugged it out from the baseline, chasing each other around the court and coming up with spectacular winners from every corner.

It took 99 games and three tiebreakers over five sets that took well over 6 hours, but South African Kevin Anderson finally reached the final at Wimbledon on Friday.

It wasn't enough, though, and Rafa found a way to advance to his first Wimbledon semi-final since 2011.

In a match between two of the game's biggest servers, Anderson started the match with a double-fault.

"I don't think he has much to lose really tomorrow". It's fair to say that it was a great match and he beat me. The last American man to win a Grand Slam singles title was Andy Roddick at the 2003 US Open.

Although Djokovic held more convincingly for most of the first set and some of the second, Nadal in the third reverted to the drop shot that had proved so effective towards the end of his five-set win over Juan Martin del Potro in the quarter-finals on Wednesday, and he began to trouble his old rival in the 52nd meeting of their rivalry. I give it my best, and that's it.

"If you ask majority, I'm sure they would have preferred to see a fifth-set tiebreaker, too". He lost to Nadal in last year's US Open.

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