Nadal-Djokovic match suspended after 3rd set

Rafael Nadal

It finished 7-6 (8/6) 6-7 (5/7) 6-7 (9/11) 6-4 26-24. After more than a year of trouble, Djokovic finally had surgery in February, then took a while to find his groove.

Serving at 0-1 and with the score at deuce, he came to the net as Nadal could only loft a return high up in the air. The American roared and turned to his box as he took the third set on his third set point.

Anderson was the runner-up to Rafael Nadal at last year's U.S. Open.

It is the third-longest match in tennis history, falling short of the 11 hours and five minutes that it took for Isner to beat France's Nicolas Mahut 70-68 in the fifth set in their first-round match at Wimbledon in 2010.

Friday's fifth set wasn't quite as long, but still, it lasted almost 3 hours as the semifinal became a test of endurance more than skill.

"I feel pretty bad", said Isner.

"We've been lined up against each other for about 14 years now, because he left IL when I left Georgia. I have an bad blister on my right foot". "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.

After taking out Federer in spectacular fashion from two sets down in their quarter-final, Anderson is a win away from a potential repeat of his 2017 US Open decider against Nadal.

The reason the match went on for so long comes down to one of Wimbledon's quirks - a five-set match can not end on a tiebreaker, a tradition shared at the French Open and the Australian Open.

Additionally, Anderson called for a change in the tournament format so that players won't have to go through such long matches.

"I need a lot of treatment in terms of getting the body back balanced and stuff, but at the same time obviously sleep is important, too".

Isner, the ninth-seeded American and Anderson, the eighth-seeded South African, are both power servers who struggle with their returns.

Pre-match, many underplayed Anderson and Isner's all-round on-court talents, thinking that it would be a long slog between two "serve-bots".

The second semi was suspended after three sets at cut-off time on Friday night, with Djokovic ahead 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 - the third set going to yet another tie-break, which the Serb won 11-9. That one ranks 13th in men's tennis history.

Anderson weighed in with 49 aces to reach 172 so far.

Anderson would create that turning moment when he resorted to using his non-dominant hand to win a point after tumbling to the grass.

Back and fully healthy, Djokovic and Nadal should give us a match to see.

Isner defeated Yannick Maden 6-2 7-6 7-5 to open his tenth Wimbledon.

Friday's contest lasted so long, the day's second semifinal didn't finish.

One shouted "come on someone", while another yelled "come on guys, we want to see Rafa", as the match rattled on.

After watching Isner strike a tired forehand wide, Anderson advanced to the Wimbledon final at the 10th time of asking.

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