Nadal-Djokovic: Day 2 beckons

Federer waves goodbye to fans on Court 1. Image GettyMore

Federer waves goodbye to fans on Court 1. Image GettyMore

The match was the second-longest in professional tennis history, behind only Isner's record 11-hour, five-minute first-round Wimbledon triumph over Frenchman Nicolas Mahut in 2010.

The Wimbledon semifinal between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic is their 52nd tour-level meeting, more than any other two men in tennis history. And after he dropped a back-and-forth fourth set, that's exactly what he did, vanquishing Spain's Rafael Nadal 6-4, 3-6, 7-6, 3-6, 10-8 in a marathon match.

"It's really tough on both of us, and at the end I feel like this is a draw between the two of us", Anderson said after stopping to sign autographs along with Isner after the match. John´s a great guy.

"Right now I feel bad".

"Of course you can't predict that they play that long. I apologize if I'm not more excited right now, so many mixed emotions". "At the end you don´t even feel that great out there, but at the same time I´m through to the final".

After covering a distance of 7,288.6 feet, Anderson lost his balance and fell while returning at 15-0 on Isner's serve, got back up on his feet and hit a hasty, left-handed forehand shot to keep himself in the game. Nadal saved a single break point in the eighth game before Djokovic saved two of his own one game later.

Anderson will now attempt to overturn a losing record against his final opponent.

Saturday on Twitter, Isner not only thanked Anderson for responding to the epic with humility and empathy, but he also wished the South African player the "best of luck" in the final.

But that break in the eighth game of the third set did not hurt anything like the moment when he finally slapped a tired forehand wide at 7.46pm local time to surrender his title hopes.

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Kerber had endured a significant slump a year ago after wining her previous major titles at the Australian and US Opens in 2016. Then came her singles return, at Indiana Wells in March, when she won her first two matches before losing to her sibling.

It's also the longest match of Anderson's career in terms of total time on court. With the fifth and final set to decide the finalist, Nadal gave it his all to win 9-7 and won the match 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 6-7 (3), 9-7.

Sets one and two were all about sending down their trademark rocket serves on grass, keeping the rallies short, getting points on errors and holding on serve till the tiebreak.

It was a similar tale in the fourth set where the South African broke for 3-2 only to hand the break straight back.

Then came the full trailer in the third set, when Isner's serve was finally broken this Wimbledon after a whopping 110 games.

As member of the ATP players' Council, the opinions of Anderson and Isner carry significant weight.

Djokovic eventually took the tiebreaker 11-9, promptly at 11 p.m. local time, when Wimbledon officials suspended play.

And after a shattering quarter-final exit at this year's Roland Garros, which saw his world ranking slump to its lowest in 12 years, the Serb even considered sitting out Wimbledon where he has been champion in 2011, 2014 and 2015.

That semi-final only finished just before 8pm making it impossible for Nadal and Djokovic to finish before the 11pm curfew.

He is chasing an 18th Grand Slam title which would put him just two behind Federer.

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