February 21, 2019

Wimbledon glance: Nadal, Djokovic to renew rivalry in semis

14 July 2018, 07:33 | Anna Jefferson

GETTYRoger Federer is the Wimbledon favourite but Novak Djokovic has the support of Andy Murray

Roger Federer at Wimbledon

Records tumbled as Anderson eventually overcame John Isner in the longest Wimbledon semi-final and second-longest grand slam match in history.

Anderson defeated eight-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer in a 13-11 fifth set in the quarterfinals Wednesday.

Anderson will now have to recover quickly in order to overcome a giant of a different kind in the men's finals on Sunday: either the top-seeded Rafael Nadal of Spain, a two-time victor at Wimbledon, or three-time champion Djokovic, who posted a picture on social media of himself playing marbles. That one took three days to complete and officially lasted 11 hours 5 minutes.

"Just playing like that in those conditions was tough on both of us". I'd want in excess of [2.06] on Isner, in truth, but I'd much rather favour him at prices than Anderson, who obviously has the already-discussed negative of a long match against the tournament favourite in the last round, as well as losing their last five main tour head to head matches - albeit from a while ago.

Hitting with the ferocity and accuracy that made him the most feared player on the planet, the 12-time Grand Slam champion forced Nadal to net to clinch the break, before sealing the set with another cleanly struck victor.

"Most of the crowd would have preferred to see a fifth-set tiebreaker too". If I was on the opposite side I'm not sure how I would feel.

It was the same tit-for-tat in the fifth and sixth games of the fourth set before Anderson produced a moment of brilliance, a superb cross-court backhand, to break in the ninth and subsequently held serve to win 6-4.

When asked how he would recover and play in the final Sunday, Anderson said: "It's tough, I really don't know".

"It's by far the best Grand Slam I've ever played in my career, and I've been playing for 11 years".

Only seven of the previous 51 meetings between Nadal and Djokovic had been won by the player who lost the opening set, so it was a major boost to the Serb's hopes when he took the opener.

Great Britain's Jack Draper, 16, battled to victory in an incredible boys' singles semifinal that lasted 4 hours, 23 minutes, defeating Colombia's Nicolas Mejia on the 10th match point, 7-6 (5), 6-7 (8), 19-17.

But world No.1 broke twice in the second set and fended off more break points to level the match.

In the fifth set, Isner even jokingly asked the umpire if they could just play a tiebreak. "I think it needs to be done".

While Anderson-Isner was mostly a serving duel with a few longer rallies thrown in, Djokovic and Nadal repeatedly slugged it out from the baseline, chasing each other around the court and coming up with spectacular winners from every corner.

Anderson and Isner's main strength is their service game, which was pretty apparent given that three sets went to a tie-break.

Isner hadn't been broken in London throughout his run to his first Grand Slam championship semifinal.

NADAL-DJOKOVIC DELAYED That recovery process started as soon as he came off Centre Court at 7:46 p.m. on Friday.

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