SA's Kevin Anderson foils John Isner to reach maiden Wimbledon final

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After so much speculation about a possible Wimbledon final between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, 10 years after their last, the tennis world instead will get a semifinal featuring another outstanding rivalry: Nadal vs.

Anderson notably broke Isner in the eighth game of the third set to lead 5-3, only to play an ill-advised forehand in the next game, which allowed his opponent to roar back from 15-30 down and break right back.

It was the second longest singles match ever played at a Grand Slam.

Boos greeted the announcement that the match would have to resume on Saturday before they were replaced by cheers as the players headed off court.

Isner also took part in the longest match - period, no caveats - in tennis history, which, astoundingly, almost doubled the duration of Friday's contest.

The 31-year-old is eyeing a 13th major after making the semi-finals of a Slam for the first time since finishing runner-up at the 2016 US Open.

Anderson finished with 49 aces and 118 winners; Isner had 53 aces and 129 winners.

THEY say there's no such thing as a free lunch but if you share a name with one of two famous tennis players you could be enjoying just that this week. After six hours and 36 minutes, Anderson beat Isner 7-6 (6), 6-7 (5), 6-7 (9), 6-4, 26-24.

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Prior to Djokovic and Nadal, though, the first semi-final takes place, although with such a big-serving nature of the two players, Kevin Anderson and John Isner, it might delay the second semi-final somewhat. The couple have a son who is now the highest ranked 14-year-old in Sweden. Isner leads their head to head 8-3, and he has won their last five meetings; the last time Anderson turned the tables against his fellow flamethrower was in 2012.

Djokovic won a first set marked by sumptuous tennis, but Nadal hit back in the second to level matters.

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.

The reason the match went on for so long comes down to one of Wimbledon's quirks - a five-set match can not end on a tiebreaker, a tradition shared at the French Open and the Australian Open. At 13-13 in the final set, one spectator screamed "we want to see Rafa!"

Anderson is 0-5 in his career against Nadal, with his last bout coming in a three-set loss at the 2017 U.S. Open.

"So I apologise if I'm not more excited right now because the mix of emotions getting through something like that is quite different". I know, as everything in life, we are evolving.

But the struggle to hold serve continued into the next game with Nadal immediately regaining his break advantage with a wonderful forehand victor.

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