Novak Djokovic pips Rafael Nadal in second longest Wimbledon semi-final ever

Novak Djokovic pips Rafael Nadal in second longest Wimbledon semi-final ever

6-4, 26-24 in 6 hours, 36 minutes - the longest recorded men's semifinal at a major and longest match ever on Centre Court - to reach Sunday's men's final at the All England Club, with the deciding set lasting almost three hours.

Mathieu won 18-16 in the fifth set of a match that last five hours and 41 minutes.

Anderson had a break point at 7-7 and at 10-10, but he missed the first one as Isner hit an ace and the second one as he erred on a backhand passing shot.

Remarkably, the only Wimbledon semi-final that has ever been longer in the tournament's history was the first this year, between John Isner and Kevin Anderson.

A showdown between two tennis skyscrapers - with Isner topping the 6 foot 8 Anderson by two inches - predictably featured three tiebreaks and 102 thunderbolt aces but it was the 32-year-old South African who delivered the knockout blow.

In less than 48 hours, he will play the victor of Friday's second semifinal between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in Sunday's final. Because the match started Friday with the roof closed, it remained closed when Nadal and Djokovic took the court to resume action Saturday.

Nadal saved two break points and when he finally held, the owner of 17 major championships punched the air and yelled as if he'd won the match.

"Right now I feel bad", the 33-year-old Isner said, noting he developed a foot blister at some point in the match.

Afterwards, the two exhausted players made it clear that there should be a cut-off point in the fifth set deciders, where the match is decided by a tie break.

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Now the superstar quartet 's reign is under siege from serving bombers Isner and Anderson, who have rocketed down some 284 untouchable deliveries in their first-time forays to the final four at The All England Club.

Finally, however, Anderson's grit, athleticism and stamina - and one brilliant bout of ambidextrousness - paid off, and he clinched the match after playing the equivalent of nine sets in total, to win 7-6, 6-7, 6-7, 6-4, 26-24.

The pair were forced to play the match over two days after reaching the 11pm curfew on Friday.

The ridiculous length of the Anderson-Isner clash left Nadal and Djokovic waiting until 8pm local time before stepping on court for their box office semi- final.

There are no tiebreakers in the fifth set of matches at Wimbledon. It was the longest semifinal in Wimbledon history and set off a new round of debates regarding rule changes.

After 31 games of holds, we had back-to-back breaks and another tiebreak as Isner led two sets to one.

Remarkably, Isner broke straight back as Anderson failed to serve it out from 5-3, 30-15.

He had also gone five sets to beat eight-time champion Roger Federer in the quarter-finals, winning the decider 13-11. Isner took that set on his third chance, when Anderson flubbed a forehand.

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