Anderson wins to reach SW19 final

Eighth-seeded Kevin Anderson reached the Wimbledon final after winning the longest semi-final in the history of the event when beating John Isner on Friday.

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In a match lasting six hours and 35 minutes, the 32-year old South African somehow got past his 31-year-old opponent, in the longest match on Centre Court and the second longest grand slam match of all time, 7-6(6), 6-7(5), 6-7(9), 6-4, 26-24.

Anderson will next face the winner of the Rafa Nadal vs. Novak Djokovic in Sunday’s final.

This was a match with two of the biggest servers in the game and neither disappointed in the aces department with 102 served, 49 by Anderson and 53 by the American eighth seed.

In the latter stages of the fifth set, Anderson did look physically the stronger of the two and will hopefully have enough time to recover from this bruising battle, for the final on Sunday.

In the first set, as expected, there were no breaks of serve but Anderson did well to save three breaks points in the third game. With the score tied at 6-6, a tiebreaker was needed to separate the two players, which Anderson went on to win 8-6.

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.

The match proceeded with Anderson serving first in the third set, then with the South African leading 4-3, Isner’s serve was broken for the first time at Wimbledon after 110 consecutive service holds, for Anderson to lead 5-3.

Then with Anderson serving for the set the American somehow broke right back then held serve to make it 5-5. The set needed to be decided by another tiebreaker, which Isner won 11-9 to lead by two sets to one.

In the fourth set things went with serve until the fifth game, where Isner broke, but Anderson claimed the American’s serve the very next game to make it 3-3.

Anderson upped the ante and broke serve in the ninth game to lead 5-4 and then tied the match up by holding serve to win it 6-4.

The fifth and deciding set, which was a titanic battle, saw various records tumble, including, longest Wimbledon semi-final and the longest match in the history of Centre Court.

With the set tied at 24-24 Anderson somehow managed to break Isner’s serve to lead 25-24 and then held to win an astonishing final set 26-24 and a place in his first Wimbledon final.

After the match, Anderson said: “I don’t really know what to say right now. It’s really tough on both of us. At the end, I feel like it’s a draw between the two of us but someone has to win. John’s such a great guy.

“I apologise if I’m not more excited right now but I’ve got so many mixed emotions. All I can say is congratulations to John on such a great tournament. Hopefully, he can come back stronger.

I really hope this a sign for grand slams to change this format. For us to be out there for that amount of time, I really hope we can address this.

“But at the same time, I’m through to the final. I’m definitely going to have to recover as much as I can. It’ll take a long time to process what’s happened today but I’m into the final and that’s a dream come true.”

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