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Ex-Illini star Anderson advances to Wimbledon Final after longest match ever

Ex-Illini star Anderson advances to Wimbledon Final after longest match ever”

It will go down as one of the greatest matches in tennis history and a huge moment in the career of Novak Djokovic as he beat world No. 1 Rafael Nadal in a five hour and 15 minutes epic to return to a Grand Slam final for the first time in almost two years.

Mathieu won 18-16 in the fifth set of a match that last five hours and 41 minutes.

Djokovic led by two sets to one when play was halted on Friday evening and the Serb returned under the Centre Court roof to win the second longest men's semi-final in Wimbledon history at five hours and 14 minutes.

Draper is the first British boy to reach the singles final at Wimbledon since 2011 and is aiming to be the first British boys' champion since Stanley Matthews in 1962.

Anderson will need to continue waiting to find out his next opponent, as Friday's later semifinal between second-seeded Spaniard Rafael Nadal and 12th-seeded Serbian Novak Djokovic was suspended after three sets due to darkness. At 3-4, Nadal saved a break point.

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I made the semi-finals, my first ever Grand Slam semi-final.

That game proved the key as Djokovic went up 0-30 in the next game and, when Nadal slipped and could not recover a backhand, he had three match points.

The three-time champion had a tiny bit more than Nadal at the end and grabbed the crucial break of serve at 9-8 up to close out another phenomenal match. Anderson broke Isner's serve for the first time in 110 service games at Wimbledon earlier in the set.

Nadal and Djokovic will have to resume their match on Saturday before the victor will play Anderson in the final on Sunday, meaning one of Djokovic or Nadal will not be well-rested heading into the final.

This was Nadal and Djokovic's 52nd meeting - more than any other two men in the Open era - and the pair did not disappoint as they finally resumed their long-standing rivalry on the Grand Slam stage. "People who saw the match here, it was very clear that very few things separated the two players".

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Sets one and two were all about sending down their trademark rocket serves on grass, keeping the rallies short, getting points on errors and holding on serve till the tiebreak.

To say that Kevin Anderson won this interminable Wimbledon semifinal, and that John Isner lost it, didn't really seem fair.

Out of the four tennis majors - the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open - fifth-set tiebreakers have been introduced only at Flushing Meadows. He defeated Roger Federer 13-11 in the decider of their quarterfinal match Wednesday.

If there were two tennis players prepared for this long-drawn combat, they were these two.

Then, 122 minutes into the fifth set, the crowd went wild as a tired-looking Isner faced two more break points, only to save them with back-to-back aces as dark rain clouds gathered over Centre Court.

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"This is awesome. It's by far the best grand slam I've ever played in my career, and I've been playing for 11 years".



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