Novak Djokovic vs Rafael Nadal, Wimbledon 2018 semi-final

Saturday, 14 Jul, 2018

This is the first time in the professional era that all four male semifinalists at a major are older than 30.

It will be the second Grand Slam final for Anderson, who reached the final of the US Open previous year to Rafael Nadal.

Kevin Anderson outlasted John Isner in the second longest match ever played at Wimbledon, winning the fifth set of their semifinal 26-24 after more than 6 ½ hours.

"Emotional match for both of us", said Nadal, who is ranked No. 1 and seeded No. 2 and won two of his 17 major championships at Wimbledon.

They have met on 51 previous occasions, but not at this stage of a Slam since the 2014 French Open semi-finals. He's one of the more complex players that I ever saw on our sport.

"You know that you can't win against him if you don't play very well". But when Nadal had a third opportunity to close out the set, the first on his serve, he double-faulted. The fifth set at Wimbledon isn't decided by a tiebreaker, and the two players eventually set a record for playing the longest semifinal in Wimbledon history - with no end in sight. He seems to have returned to form, as he has been excellent at Wimbledon. All Anderson did was eliminate Roger Federer in the quarterfinals, erasing a match point and a two-set deficit. He said the only time he has played on Centre Court was during the London Olympics, and admitted: "I have no clue what that court looks like".

Isner, who leads Anderson 8-3 in past meetings, is making his debut in the final four of a Grand Slam tournament in his 41st appearance at one.

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That match spanned 11 hours and five minutes, with Isner eventually triumphing 70-68 in an astounding final set.

The next two games went with serve and the match was well into its fifth hour when the tiebreak began. Because of the length of the first match, that semifinal will be played with the roof closed.

Anderson is the first South African to make the last 4 since Kevin Curren in 1983.

Their clash, however, may not be easy on the eye.

Isner hasn't been broken in 95 service games and has fired 161 aces, fuelled by a sweet tooth.

"After surgery I didn't think it was going to take me so much time to really get on the desired level. I felt like I did some good business here in the past already", he said.

But, for all that Isner is on a high, literally and figuratively, Anderson's win over Federer could be the key to this match.