Wimbledon 2018: Anderson outlasts Isner in marathon semifinal, Djokovic and Nadal match suspended due to curfew
After a record-breaking six-and-a-half hour opening match, the Wimbledon men's semifinals won't conclude until Saturday
Friday's semifinal round of the men's singles at Wimbledon delivered a full day of action, quite literally.
After an insanely long first match between Kevin Anderson and John Isner, the second and final match between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic was not able to be completed before 11 p.m. curfew in London. As a result, we'll have to wait until Saturday to find out which of Nadal/Djokovic will move on to face Anderson in Sunday's championship match.
In the early match between Anderson and Isner, the two competitors went back-and-forth in an ridiculously long match that. That contest took an astounding 6 hours and 36 minutes to find a winner, making it the longest semi-final match in the history of Wimbledon, and the second-longest in total. (Isner's eight-hour 2010 victory against Nicolas Mahut is the record-holder.)
Ultimately, it was Anderson who prevailed, defeating Isner, 7-6, 6-7, 6-7, 6-4, 26-24. The 50-game final set took over three hours alone.
The eighth-seeded Anderson continues his improbable run on the men's side. This incredible semifinal victory follows a shocking upset win over Federer, who entered the tournament as the top seed and reigning champ.
Isner and Anderson combined for over 100 aces in the match, and the American set a new record for the most aces in a single tournament.
It's a tough loss to swallow for Isner. Besides the sheer devastation that comes with losing a match so long, Isner seemed to have Anderson on the ropes for much of the contest. He misses an opportunity to become the first American man to reach a Grand Slam final since Andy Roddick did it at Wimbledon in 2009. Roddick lost to Federer that year, as he did in 2004 and 2005. The last American man to win Wimbledon was Pete Sampras, who took four straight titles from 1997-2000.
In the second semifinal match of the day, Djokovic and Nadal went head to head under a closed roof at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. The late finish between Anderson and Isner forced the roof closed as the following match was sure to play into the night.
And play into the night it did. Djokovic and Nadal traded the first few sets, with Djokovic taking the first 6-4, and Nadal pulling even in the next, 6-3. It was Nadal who took the third set, 7-6, on an intense tiebreak (10-8) just before the curfew struck. As a result, Djokovic will have a one-set lead when play resumes Saturday.
Men's Saturday Wimbledon results
- No. 8 Kevin Anderson defeats No. 9 John Isner, 7-6, 6-7, 6-7, 6-4, 26-24.
- No. 12 Novak Djokovic leads No. 2 Rafael Nadal 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (Suspended)
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