'Mixed emotions': Anderson wins record-breaking Wimbledon epic

Milos Raonic

Well into their 30s, the pair are in the form of their lives but it was the American who came up trumps to reach the final with a marathon7-6 (8-6) 6-7 (8-10) 6-7 (9-11) 6-4 26-24 win - the longest semi-final in the tournament's history.

Back in 2004 fellow college freshmen John Isner and Kevin Anderson stepped onto court to play one another in an inter-university match.

It's not the first time that Isner has played to a marathon match - back in 2010, he defeated Nicolas Mahut 6-4, 3-6, 6-7 (7), 7-6 (7), 70-68 in the first round at Wimbledon in a match that lasted over 11 hours and was played over three days.

So many mixed emotions. "I really hope we can look at this, because at the end you don't feel great", said Anderson who has been on court for over 21 hours at these championships.

South African Anderson eventually overcame Isner to reach the Wimbledon final.

"I don´t really know what to say right now, playing like that in those conditions was really tough for the both of us", said eighth seed Anderson.

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Anderson hit 49 aces and 118 winners in the epic contest on Centre Court. And now he's lost the second-longest one ever played at the All England Club.

Isner appeared to be struggling at times from 12-all to 18-all, but he held firm on his serve as Anderson, playing his second-consecutive five-set match, found a second (or third or fourth) wind.

The 31-year-old is eyeing a 13th major after making the semi-finals of a Slam for the first time since finishing runner-up at the 2016 US Open.

At Wimbledon, there are no fifth-set tiebreaks, a rule with which Isner is extremely familiar, so one of the players was going to have to break the other's serve at least once in order to reach the final. The third seeds face American Nicole Melichar and Czech Kveta Peschke, seeded 12th, in the title match. They have not, however, met since 2015 in Indian Wells where Isner won in straight sets 7-6 6-2.

Repeatedly, the answer was, of course, "No", even when Anderson held break points at 7-all, 10-all and 17-all. Isner failed to convert a set point in the opener.

The American fends off another break chance at 10-10 and this insane encounter has turned into the longest Wimbledon semi-final in terms of time and the number of games, passing the insane semi-final clash between Goran Ivanisevic and Richard Krajicek that Goran won 15-13 in the fifth.

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