Friday's semifinals match between Kevin Anderson and John Isner on the men's singles side of Wimbledon was an an incredible, epic and frustrating back-and-forth affair.
The No. 8 seed Anderson eliminated eight-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer in a 13-11 fifth set in the quarterfinals Wednesday. Of those 11 matches, all bar one has been played on a hard court, with the sole exception coming on the grass at Queen's in 2008 where Isner won 7-6 6-4.
It was the longest men's semifinal in Wimbledon history at six hours and 36 minutes.
"I don´t really know what to say right now, playing like that in those conditions was really tough for the both of us", said eighth seed Anderson. "I really hope we can look at this, because at the end you don't feel great", said Anderson who has been on court for over 21 hours at these championships.
The reason the match went on for so long comes down to one of Wimbledon's quirks - a five-set match can not end on a tiebreaker, a tradition shared at the French Open and the Australian Open. Isner beat Mahut: 6-4, 3-6, 6-7 (7), 7-6 (3), 70-68.
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.
Anderson finished with 49 aces and 118 winners; Isner had 53 aces and 129 winners.
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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.
The last set alone lasted five minutes shy of three hours and Anderson said it was unfair on both players.
Many would argue Anderson and Isner deserve similar recognition after the friends warmly embraced at the net before receiving a standing ovation from tennis's most famous centre-court crowd.
Anderson would create that turning moment when he resorted to using his non-dominant hand to win a point after tumbling to the grass. It was the South African who played the much better game this set, returning serve extremely well and making very few unforced errors.
Assuming Anderson is able to walk and raise his serving arm, Sunday will make his second major final appearance after the 2017 US Open, when he lost in straight sets to Nadal. The record, funnily enough, was set by Isner.
'This Isner vs Anderson semifinal is ridiculous and nearly a waste of time, ' wrote one Twitter user.
Quotable: "I like the level of tennis that I'm playing on right now".
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