But the wrong-handed and off-balance shot was perhaps all Anderson needed to finally get his chance as he got a triple break point with a rather simple forehand drop as Isner didn't - or couldn't - run to the net.
Djokovic was cursing himself for missing a return as the clock ticked to 11pm but on the final lung-busting rally, it was Nadal who faltered first. Djokovic racked up 73 winners to 42 unforced errors, showcasing his relentless defense and tremendous groundstrokes.
The extraordinary length of the match, in turn, delayed the start of Nadal-Djokovic, which promised to deliver higher-caliber tennis.
The match wasn't just notable because it was long.
"Of course, we want this trophy. Rules should be made to benefit the players". Djokovic hasn't always exuded happiness over the past two weeks - there came a point when he looked like he might flick the Vs at Kate and Meghan in the Royal Box yesterday - and it's unusual to think he's the 12th seed given that he's lifted this title three times. Anderson's serve will keep him in this match when other parts of his game desert him, and this can be enough to see him take the contest to five sets. "Yes, I mean, it's hard for me to play tennis and not believe that I can be the best in what I do". It was quite clear that there was very little to separate us, just small details. So if I would have won in straight sets, then it could have been all right, you know, because I would have had a great first set, and second set was whatever it was.
When Nadal broke in Saturday's second game, a dismayed Djokovic grabbed a spare ball and whacked it with his racket against the wall behind the baseline.
Phillies, Brewers among Machado finalists
Olney reports that the Philadelphia Phillies and Milwaukee Brewers are among the finalists for the services of the star shortstop. Each team would not only acquire the most prized asset on the trade market, but it'd also keep Machado from its biggest rival.
You will be able to watch the match live on Seven and can follow all the action on the Wide World of Sports live blog.
The win puts Djokovic in the Wimbledon final for the fifth time.
Emotions were running high for the 31-year-old on Saturday, as expected.
The world was a demonstrably different place when Kevin Anderson and John Isner first took the court Friday for what would become a marathon Wimbledon semifinal. Anderson, who had crushed a similar unbroken record against Federer, expertly tackled a body serve and sent it back as a backhand victor.
Klaasen and his partner Michael Venus were beaten finalists on Saturday, losing in five sets to the American duo of Jack Sock and Mike Bryan, while Montjane lost in the semi-finals to top seed Died de Groot.
The final scorecard was 6-4 3-6 7-6 3-6 10-8 in Djokovic's favour. Pinning the Serbian in his backhand corner, Nadal's number one tactic, only plays to Djokovic's strength, and his speed and ability to not just soak up pace but send it back with interest left his opponent looking rushed. "It's been a roller-coaster ride for him".
Djokovic hasn't won a major in more than two years, dealing with an injured right elbow that was so painful in 2017 he quit his quarterfinal at Wimbledon and sat out the rest of the season. At Wimbledon he's shown the hunger to go a step further.