Monday, 19 November, 2018

John Isner loses to eight seed in longest semifinal match at Wimbledon

Kevin Anderson John Isner GETTYKevin Anderson beat John Isner in dramatic fashion
Frederick Owens | 13 July, 2018, 23:24

Anderson and Isner's main strength is their service game, which was pretty apparent given that three sets went to a tie-break.

Isner had already featured in the longest men's tennis match in history, when he beat French player Nicolas Mahut in the 2010 Wimbledon championship, taking the final set on a scarcely believable scoreline of 70-68.

Anderson became the first South African male to reach the final since 1921 with a 7-6 (6), 6-7 (5), 6-7 (9), 6-4, 26-24 victory on Centre Court. But at 6-10 (Isner) and 6-8 (Anderson), their games are also as similar as the two sides of a Rorschach print, relying heavily on a massive serve and forehand.

The eighth seed will face either twice champion Rafael Nadal or three-times victor Novak Djokovic in Sunday's final.

John Isner and Kevin Anderson simply refused to lose.

He then converted his first match point when Isner sent a shot wide - after 6 hours, 36 minutes.

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Roanic had only been broken three times this Wimbledon previously but Isner doubled that tally alone to triumph 6-7, 7-6, 6-4, 6-3. Because of the length of the first match, that semifinal will be played with the roof closed.

It was a similar tale in the fourth set where the South African broke for 3-2 only to hand the break straight back.

It is common to hear the call of 15-all in tennis, but, in this instance, that was the score in games at one stage in the fifth set as both players continued to resolutely hold serve.

Isner and Anderson were no strangers to each other, facing off all the way back to their college days, when Isner defeated Anderson, who played at IL, in the 2007 NCAA Men's Team Final.

Anderson had beaten 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer to reach the semifinal against Isner.

Nadal and Djokovic will battle for Sunday's final on the same court at 4pm.

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