Kevin Anderson vs John Isner: Wimbledon semifinal preview and prediction

Milos Raonica

Milos Raonica

The fifth set involved 50 games with Anderson eventually triumphing 7-6 (8-6) 6-7 (5-7) 6-7 (9-11) 6-4 26-24 in the longest single-day match ever at the grass court tournament.

"I hope this is a sign for Grand Slams to change".

He continued: "John's such a great guy, and I really feel for him, because if I'd been on the opposite side, I don't know how you can take that, playing for so long and coming up short".

It was the longest semi-final ever played at Wimbledon, surpassing the four hours 44 minutes it took Djokovic to beat Juan Martin del Potro in 2013.

WIMBLEDON, England-When John Isner and Kevin Anderson walked on to Centre Court for their semifinal match on Friday, everyone knew they would play for hours. One break of serve was enough to see them through the second set against their unseeded opponents.

Carried by this momentum, John grabbed the tie break 11-9 after saving two break points, clinching another marathon set to move closer to his first Grand Slam final. In most cases, this is still a compelling finish, but when you put two heavy-hitting goliaths against each other, what results is a six-hour slog that can cause delays across the tournament.

Now the No. 8 seed Anderson will face Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic in Sunday's final.

The crowd had a glimpse of what was in store in just the third game, which consisted of three break points and eight deuces before Anderson held serve after 13 minutes.

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While one might think that such a closely fought match was an enthralling display of athleticism, as the game teetered back and forth in the fifth set, the opposite was true.

Isner had won the last five meetings with Anderson but their history together goes even further than their first professional encounter back in 2008. They have not, however, met since 2015 in Indian Wells where Isner won in straight sets 7-6 6-2.

That point ended up actually setting up the winning break for Anderson.

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

The match was ironically labelled "pointless" by viewers who complained Anderson would be left tired for Sunday's final.

And repeatedly, the answer was, of course, "No", even when Anderson smacked a return victor at Isner's feet to get to break point at 7-all, 30-40.

"I feel pretty bad", Isner said afterward. "I say that because our rivalry, what have you, goes back way before the pro tour".

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