Published: Sat, July 14, 2018
Sports | By Ivan Ross

Rafael Nadal v Novak Djokovic: Wimbledon semi-final to resume on Saturday

Rafael Nadal v Novak Djokovic: Wimbledon semi-final to resume on Saturday

The future is looking beyond bright for Dallas' resident tennis darling John Isner.

As a result, Friday's second semifinal between world No. 1 Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic will finish Saturday after Friday's 11 p.m. local curfew stopped the match.

So there's not much better an authority to weigh in on whether it's time for fifth-set tiebreakers at all Grand Slam tournaments. Mathieu won 18-16 in the fifth set of a match that last five hours and 41 minutes. "I have to say congratulations to John on a great tournament, semi-finals here is a remarkable achievement and hopefully he can come back stronger". I apologize if I'm not more excited right now.

Friday's epic, which finished shortly before 8pm forcing Nadal and Djokovic to start under the roof, was the longest semi-final ever played at Wimbledon, surpassing the four hours 44 minutes it took Djokovic to beat Juan Martin del Potro in 2013. "I had surgery when I was quite young, and my dad, who coached me throughout my career, said, 'learn to play left-handed.' I didn't know that was going to come into play at this point in my career, at this stage, but that was obviously a vital point for me in the end".

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"I hope this is a sign for (grand) slams to change this format out of five sets", Anderson told media in his postmatch interview (per thescore.com).

"I personally think a sensible option would be 12-All".

Isner, who previously said Wimbledon had become "a house of horrors" for him since his 2010 match, had been trying to become the first American man to reach the final since Andy Roddick in 2009. In the course of the match, Isner delivered 53 aces, and Anderson responded with 49.

Instead, the two players - and a disappointed audience - were sent home after the third set on Friday with Djokovic leading 6-4 3-6 7-6 (11-9) after a tense tiebreaker that had more entertaining rallies than some entire matches.

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Anderson, the No. 8 seed, ultimately prevailed 6-7 (6), 6-7 (5), 6-7 (9), 6-4, 26-24, with the fifth set alone lasting almost three hours. At 13-13 in the final set, one spectator screamed "we want to see Rafa!"

Then Anderson served out the victory, with Isner sailing a forehand wide on match point. Each man also took a turn shouting toward the crowd after capturing a set, and Isner waved a hand toward the crowd during the third-set tiebreaker to generate more cheering.

The next set proved to be similar to the opener with no breaks of serve and needed another tiebreaker to separate the two, which Isner won 7-5 to tie things up at a set apiece. All Anderson did was eliminate Roger Federer in the quarterfinals, erasing a match point and a two-set deficit.

A showdown between two tennis skyscrapers - with Isner topping the 6 foot 8 Anderson by two inches - predictably featured three tiebreaks.

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Isner had, incredibly, not dropped serve once during the championships until, at the 111th time of asking, he was broken. He made it 0-30 in that game by winning a point after falling on his back behind the baseline but still got up in time to return Isner's shot.

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