Published: Sat, July 14, 2018
Sport | By Cameron Gross

Wimbledon glance: Nadal, Djokovic to renew rivalry in semis

Wimbledon glance: Nadal, Djokovic to renew rivalry in semis

Anderson finally managed to become the first player who has taken John's serve at this year's Wimbledon, earning a break in game eight of the third set but his lead didn't last for long, getting broken in the following game when he served for the set. He converted his second set point when Nadal netted a backhand, minutes past the tournament's 11 p.m. curfew.

With the time approaching 10pm, that made it highly unlikely there would be a victor and both players knew how important that third set was likely to be.

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

In the end, and to the surprise of no one, they did not come close to finishing after two hours and 54 minutes of play on Friday night.

This was a match with two of the biggest servers in the game and neither disappointed in the aces department with 102 served, 49 by Anderson and 53 by the American eighth seed. However, Nadal made a strong comeback in the second set to win it 7-5.

Isner had won the last five meetings with Anderson but their history together goes even further than their first professional encounter back in 2008.

And the friendship and rivalry between the two was evident in both of their post-match interviews, with Isner quick to congratulate the South African for reaching his first Wimbledon final.

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It was the kind of ingeniousness that was needed to break the serve-hold-serve-hold deadlock that went on for nearly three hours in the deciding set alone as Anderson became the first South African man in 97 years to reach the Wimbledon final.

The US Open is the only grand slam to use tiebreakers in the fifth set, with the Australian Open and French Open, like Wimbledon, both also playing advantage sets. Anderson took a tumble but managed to get to his feet and hit a left-handed shot inside the baseline, taking the point for 0-30.

Nadal and Djokovic have faced one another 51 times, the most any Men's player has faced another in the Open era since 1968.

While Isner's match back in 2010 was a fun side note that helped garner interest in the tournament for fans it might not usually reach, to have a never-ending saga played in the semifinal doesn't look great for the sport.

All the 32-year-old had left in him was to give Isner a sympathetic hug after he came out on top in the second-longest match ever contested at the All England Club.

Rafael Nadal will resume his match on Sunday (NZT).

"I'm a proponent of changing that rule, for sure".

"I don't really know what to say right now", Anderson told the BBC. For us to be out there for that amount of time, I really hope we can address this.

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