Wimbledon 2018: Anderson Ousts American Isner in Nearly 7-Hour Semifinal

Wimbledon
UPI Photo/Hugo Philpott

July 13 (UPI) — South African Kevin Anderson beat American John Isner in a 6-hour-and-36-minute Wimbledon semifinal on Friday at the All England Club in London.

Isner was the last remaining American in the men’s bracket. Anderson moves on to play Novak Djokovic or Rafael Nadal in the men’s 2018 Wimbledon final.

“I don’t really know what to say right now,” Anderson told the BBC. “Just playing like that in those sort of conditions, it’s really tough on both of us. At the end you feel like this is a draw between the two of us.”

“You know somebody has to win. John is such a great guy. I really feel for him because if I had been on the opposite side, I don’t know how you can take that playing for so long and coming out short.”

Kevin Anderson – down but not out

Reaching a #Wimbledon final the hard way…In the blink of an eye, Kevin Anderson falls, drops his racket, regains his feet, plays the shot with the wrong hand – and wins the point!

Posted by Wimbledon on Friday, July 13, 2018

The No. 8 seed beat the No. 9 Isner 7-6, 6-7, 6-7, 6-4, 26-24. Isner and Anderson smacked 102 aces during their lengthy showdown. The match went a Wimbledon semifinals record 99 games and broke the record for length for a semifinal at the All England Club, which was previously 1:52. Isner also holds the record for longest match ever at Wimbledon, when he battled Nicholas Mahut in a 11:05 thriller in 2010 in London.

Isner also broke the record for most aces at Wimbledon, hitting 214 at the tournament and 53 on Friday. Anderson had 49 aces in the victory. The fifth set lasted 175 minutes.

One of Anderson’s best plays came in that lengthy final set. The South African fell on the ground and lost his racket, before getting up and hitting a left handed forehand to maintain control.

Fans grew tired, as well as the players, during the thriller. 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. He also fell to the Spaniard in the round of 16 at the 2015 Australian Open. The South African is 1-5 against Djokovic. Anderson fell to the Serbian in five sets in 2015 at Wimbledon and in three sets in 2011 in London. His only victory against Djokovic came in three sets at the 2008 ATP Masters Series in Miami.

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