South African Kevin Anderson earned his second Grand Slam final berth after a marathon Wimbledon semifinal against American John Isner on Friday. He won 7-6, 6-7, 6-7, 6-4, 26-24.
It was the longest men's semifinal in Wimbledon history at six hours and 36 minutes. It was the second-longest match in Wimbledon history and longest one-day match in Wimbledon history. Because of the length, the second semifinal between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic began with the Centre Court roof closed and started after 8 p.m. local time.
On Friday in the semifinals, Anderson won the first set 7–6(6) in 63 minutes. Isner took the second set tiebreaker 7–6(5), punctuating it with an ace.
In the third set, the 33-year-old American fended off two set points and won the tiebreak 11-9.
Anderson took a medical timeout after the third set.
In the fourth set, Anderson broke Isner's serve twice to win it 6–4. It was a drama filled set that went back-and-forth, similar to the third set.
The fifth set got off to a quick start but then turned into a marathon. Isner in particularly started to appear fatigued at the set wore on.
There was some fear that the match would be stopped when rain began to fall in the fifth, and the grounds crew sprung into position, but play continued.
On the most crucial point of the match, Anderson recovered after a fall and hit a lefty forehand to go up 0-30 while Isner was serving at 24-24. He would go on to break the big American and then served out the match.
Anderson was coming off a huge upset win in the quarterfinals over Roger Federer. He beat the defending champion 2-6, 6-7, 7-5, 6-4, 13-11 in a match that lasted over four hours.
Isner was famously apart of the longest match in tennis history. In 2010 at Wimbledon, he beat Nicolas Mahut 70-68 in the fifth set in a match that lasted over 11 hours and was played over three days.
Anderson will face either Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic in the final on Sunday.