John Isner loses to eight seed in longest semifinal match at Wimbledon

Kevin Anderson reacts after defeating John Isner on Friday

The Serbian 12th seed fired five aces and 14 winners.

Djokovic and Nadal had met 51 times before Saturday's semi-final - the most prolific rivalry in men's tennis.

When Kevin Anderson was interviewed shortly after his epic victory in his Wimbledon semifinal against John Isner on Friday evening, it was nearly as if he knew people were divided on his progression to the final.

Anderson suggested in the aftermath that change was needed at the Grand Slams to stop players from being forced to keep playing for so long. "They've paid to see two matches, and they came pretty close to only seeing one match", Anderson said.

"At the same time I'm through to the final. I'm definitely going to recover as much as I can to try and be as ready and fresh as possible", Anderson said. John is such a great guy and I really feel for him because, if I'd been on the opposite side, I don't know how you can take that, playing for so long and coming up short.

Anderson had a break point at 7-7 and at 10-10, but he missed the first one as Isner hit an ace and the second one as he mishit a backhand. He plays Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic in Sunday's title clash.

It was the third longest match in tennis history and the second-longest match Wimbledon has ever hosted.

Ultimately, it was Anderson who prevailed, taking the match 7-6, 6-7, 6-7, 6-4, 26-24.

Djokovic signs autographs after his semi-final was suspended.

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Kevin Anderson edged a tight opening set 7-6 (6) against American John Isner.

John Isner of the US leaves the court after being defeated by Kevin Anderson of South Africa in the men's semifinal match at Wimbledon on Friday. However, Melichar and Peschke won the next two games to seal it.

Each player held his next serve before Anderson broke Isner again to go up 5-4 and then proceeded to serve out the set to send the match to a decisive fifth set. Isner has won all 95 of his service games so far.

But he broke right back with some fearless aggressive play, taking this set as well to a tie-break, which witnessed some incredible tennis and some dramatic mini-breaks and nervous double-faults.

The first two sets had taken just under two hours. In the end, it finished 7-6 (8-6) 6-7 (5-7) 6-7 (9-11) 6-4 26-24 in favour of the South African. This is Isner's first-ever Grand Slam tournament semifinal in his 41st appearance.

The 6ft 10in American beat his Canadian counterpart through ruthless returning and now we await Donald Trump's answer to an invitation for Thursday's last-four contest.

Fast facts: Isner leads Anderson 8-3 in head-to-head matchups on the ATP tour. Isner, the ninth seed, sealed the tie by sending a backhand victor down the line.

Although the All England Club has a retractable roof with lights, in the past it has stopped play for the day at 11 p.m. local time in order not to disturb its residential neighbors in southwest London.

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