John Isner could barely run after an exhausting battle with Kevin Anderson who beat the American 7-6 (8/6) 6-7 (5/7) 6-7 (9/11) 6-4 26-24.

The only match to last longer at Wimbledon was Isner's win over Nicolas Mahut in 2010, which ended 70-68 in the fifth set after 11 hours, 5 minutes.

After all this was at 24-all in the fifth set of a semi-final against John Isner that had been going on for what seemed like forever but was in fact well past the 6-1/2 hour mark. You feel like this is a draw between the two of us, but somebody has to win.

"I've known John for such a long time, he is a great guy".

"I feel pretty bad", Isner said afterward. "I'm sort of more focused on that than getting too excited about the overall picture".

Anderson will be hoping that is not the fate that awaits him on Sunday when he faces one of the fittest athletes in sport in the shape of either Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic - who between them own 29 Grand Slam titles.


Anderson, who had dethroned eight-time champion Roger Federer in the quarterfinals in a five-set thriller, advanced to his second grand slam finals.

Anderson's prize for his bittersweet victory over his former USA college friend and rival is a date on Sunday with either world No.1 Rafael Nadal or fellow grand slam giant Novak Djokovic.

"Very, very happy to be in this position right now in the semi-finals". Each of the first three sets went to tiebreakers before a 6-4 victory from Anderson in the fourth set up a winner-take-all fifth set. They play well a set and then they give up.

The almost endless semifinal saga had many arguing for a deciding set tiebreak, from ESPN commentator John McEnroe to Anderson himself.

The 33-year-old American´s composure wasn´t helped by a delay caused by a ball boy slipping and falling.

A 19th ace of the match bailed American Isner out of a potentially hard situation.


However, soon after Djokovic had gone on social media to show he had been reduced to playing a game of marbles on the locker room floor - a message punctuated with three laughing emojis - Anderson delivered the knockout blow to reach the Wimbledon final at the 10th time of asking.

He couldn´t capitalise, however, and was broken straight back before Isner claimed the ensuing tiebreak having saved two set points.

The question South African fans are asking now, however, is whether Anderson will have time to recover sufficiently before Sunday's final.

But while both men are big servers, nobody could've expected the final set to reach 50 games, as Anderson eventually broke to take a 25-24 advantage and was able to close things out.

Add in Nadal, 32, and Djokovic, 31, and it's the first time in the half-century of professional tennis that all four male semifinalists at any Slam are in their 30s.

But an athletic Djokovic had Nadal running around the court in the next game, bringing him forward to the net and lobbing the Spaniard before breaking back with a beautifully angled forehand.


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