South Africa’s Kevin Anderson won the ‘battle of the big-servers’ against America’s John Isner to reach his first ever Wimbledon final on Friday.
It all boiled down to who was going to be the better server and while they were at it, thundering down aces – a staggering 102 in total, the match became the second longest match in Wimbledon history and third longest match in tennis history.
Anderson eventually outlasted Isner 7-6, 6-7, 6-7, 6-4, 26-24 in 6 hours and 36 minutes to become the first South African man since Brian Norton in 1921 to reach the Wimbledon final.
Take a bow, @KAndersonATP
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 13, 2018
“Coming through that match, obviously I’m ecstatic to be through to the finals,” Anderson said. “At the same time, you know, you feel like it should be a draw. But somebody has to win.”
For Isner, though, it’d not be the first time he’s stayed on court this long. Eight years ago, the American took part in the longest match in history in his 11 hours and 5 minutes conquest of Nicolas Mahut at SW19. This time around, however, it didn’t go his way.
“I feel pretty terrible,” Isner said. “My left heel is killing me. I have an awful blister on my right foot.”
“It stinks to lose, but I gave it everything I had out there. I just lost to someone who is a little bit better at the end.”
Anderson has continued to defy the odds at SW19. He came into the semi-final match having defeated Roger Federer in 4 hours and 14 minutes on Wednesday, in what was his first victory over the great Swiss. He was also on court for 3 hours and 29 minutes in his fourth round over France’s Gael Monfils, whom he had never beaten before. Now, he just defeated Isner for the first time in six years. Bet against him at your peril!
The South African will now await the winner of the second semi-final between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in Sunday’s final.
Djokovic was leading 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 when play was suspended at 11pm on Centre Court.