Anderson in final after a marathon duel with Isner

Milos Raonic

A FEROCIOUS fightback from Rafael Nadal wasn't enough for the Spaniard to fight off Novak Djokovic in a thrilling finish to Wimbledon's two day, five-set semi-final.

Nadal is chasing an 18th Grand Slam title which would put him just two behind Roger Federer who was sensationally knocked out in the quarter-finals by Kevin Anderson.

"If I was on the opposite (losing) side I don't know how I would take it". Anderson's win over John Isner lasted 6 ½ hours and went to 26-24 in the fifth set.

Anderson weighed in with 49 aces to reach 172 so far.

"They've paid to see two matches, and they came pretty close to only seeing one match", Anderson said.

Playing in his 41st career major tournament and first ever major semifinal, the former Georgia star and national champion fell to Kevin Anderson of South Africa in five epic sets on Friday at the All England Club.

Isner had nothing left to give after his 70-68 record-setter eight years ago, and lost his next match. "Playing like that in those conditions is really tough on both of us", he said. The Centre Court roof was closed so that the players could continue to play under the lights.

Anderson almost managed to extend the match, holding five set points to force a fourth set. I don't think it's right.

"You know, a few days' rest, maybe more than that, and I'll recoup an Isner said that being part of yet another record-breaking match did not help ease his pain".

Manny Pacquiao vs. Lucas Matthysse results
His itinerary included watching Pacquiao's fight on Sunday before meeting Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad the following day.

The second set also came down to a tiebreaker, but this time it was the American who came out on top when he threw down an ace on the final point.

Djokovic immediately broke back, but then Nadal regained the advantage in the following game with a forehand victor. Anderson moved to his first Wimbledon final as Isner produced his 59th unforced error.

Wimbledon fans witnessed history as the longest semi-final ever at the Championships unfolded on Centre Court.

Nadal missed five break points in the decider and was eventually punished as 12-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic reached his first major final since the 2016 US Open.

That's how the U.S. Open settles things at 6-all in the fifth set of a men's singles match - or at 6-all in the third set for women - and has since 1970. I was for the roof because we started to play under it.

"I apologise if I'm not more excited right now, it's just coming through something like that leaves so many mixed emotions".

Nadal and Djokovic had not faced each other this deep into a Grand Slam since the 2014 French Open final, and they served up a classic at Wimbledon to resume their long-standing rivalry on the big stage.

After going 110 service games without being broken during Wimbledon, the seemingly indomitable Isner finally was undone during the third set - but he immediately broke back.

In Friday's opening set, Djokovic's serve proved crucial after not faced any break points and earning the crucial break on Nadal's serve in the seventh game with a forehand victor to claim the set 6-4.

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