Kevin Anderson Outlasts John Isner in a Five-Set Marathon at Wimbledon

Kevin Anderson Outlasts John Isner in a Five-Set Marathon at Wimbledon

Kevin Anderson is the first finalist at Wimbledon after an incredible 7-6 6-7 6-7 6-4 26-24 win over John Isner in six hours and 35 minutes, in what has been the third longest singles match of all time!

The fifth set alone lasted almost 3 hours as the semifinal became a test of endurance more than skill.

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 took the American 11 hours and five minutes to beat France's Nicolas Mahut at Wimbledon in 2010. That was played over on Court 18, which now bears a plaque commemorating the record-setter.

The 33-year-old, who knocked out Roger Federer on Wednesday, becomes the first South African man to reach a Wimbledon final since 1921.

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. There could be a rematch now.

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The expectation was that the first semifinal would be a tight contest filled with tiebreakers - and that's precisely what it was.

A fifth and deciding set must be won by two clear games in majors. At 13-13 in the final set, one spectator screamed "we want to see Rafa!"

"He's obviously a very good player, a contemporary of mine", Isner added.

Not much difference between them. "With Anderson standing 6'8" and Isner two inches taller still, both men are capable of hammering down aces at will and have done so throughout the Championships. Isner was representing the university of Georgia, while Anderson was at the university of IL. But this one was as close as can be. The serving, though, was something else. Isner pounded his at up to 142 miles per hour; Anderson reached 136 miles per hour.

Isner also broke the record for most aces at Wimbledon, hitting 214 at the tournament and 53 on Friday. Some people in the stands booed the decision to halt the match after a fantastic tiebreaker in which Nadal wasted three set points at 6-5, 7-6 and 8-7. But where Isner is yet to be broken this tournament, Anderson has dropped serve nine times. They're getting on the court at 8:15, whatever it is. Could this be it?

The right-handed Anderson slipped and fell, but scrambled back to his feet in time to hit a return left-handed and continue the point before Isner eventually pushed a forehand just wide.

But Isner, after missing his first serve, sent up a bold swat of a second serve of 129mph to level at deuce.

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