Endurance man Anderson downs Isner in ultra marathon to reach final

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South Africa's Kevin Anderson celebrates a point against United States player John Isner during their men's singles semi-final match on the eleventh day of the 2018 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon.

Known for his marathon matches, the ninth-seeded Isner lost to the eight-seeded Anderson in a grueling six-hour-and-36-minute match, with the final set alone lasting for almost three hours.

Isner won the longest match in tennis history, defeating Nicolas Mahut 70-68 in the fifth set of the first round at the 2010 Wimbledon Championships.

Anderson, a 32-year-old South African, reached the U.S. Open final last year and pulled off a quarterfinal upset Wednesday of top-seeded Roger Federer, which went to 13-11 in the fifth set.

With the win, Anderson will face off against the victor of Nadal-Djokovic match in the final at Wimbledon, with the hopes of winning the first major title of his career.

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The American fends off another break chance at 10-10 and this insane encounter has turned into the longest Wimbledon semi-final in terms of time and the number of games, passing the insane semi-final clash between Goran Ivanisevic and Richard Krajicek that Goran won 15-13 in the fifth. Just playing like that in those sort of conditions, just really tough on both of us.

In one of the most epic matches in Wimbledon history, John Isner's run at this year's tournament ended in disappointment.

The 33-year-old agreed with Anderson that all Slams should introduce a tiebreak in the final set and fall in line with the US Open. The fifth set lasted 175 minutes. "My left heel is killing me", said Isner. But the ex-Illini had his serve broken in Game 9 of that set before he double-faulted while up 8-7 in the tiebreaker. I really feel for him, because if I had been on the opposite end of this, I don't know how you can take that playing for so long and coming up short.

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.

Both players oozed confidence before they came off court at 11.02pm with the scoreline poised at 6-4 3-6 7-6 (11-9) in Djokovic's favour.

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"I think it's long overdue", Isner said.

Isner, who leads Anderson 8-3 in past meetings, is making his debut in the final four of a Grand Slam tournament in his 41st appearance at one.

Most, but not all, signs point to an Isner win in this battle of the geriatric-i.e., over 30-giants. I don't think it needs to continue. Between them, the two players combined for 102 aces and just six breaks. But with the set tied at 24, Anderson finally broke Isner's serve to make it 25-24.

Anderson will now attempt overturn a losing record against both Nadal (5-0) and Djokovic (5-1). But if and when Djokovic does break serve, or win a set, or save a set point, or do something to fire himself up and sow doubt in Nadal's head, all of that could be turned upside-down in a hurry, the same way their rivalry has been turned upside-down in a hurry in the past.

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