Anderson beats Isner in epic, record-setting Wimbledon semifinal

John Isner at Wimbledon

Kevin Anderson and John Isner began their semi-final contest on Centre Court on Friday.

Anderson, who had dethroned eight-time champion Roger Federer in the quarterfinals in a five-set thriller, advanced to his second grand slam finals. Of those 11 matches, all bar one has been played on a hard court, with the sole exception coming on the grass at Queen's in 2008 where Isner won 7-6 6-4.

After being kept on the run for six hours and 36 minutes, the longest ever singles semi-final at the All England Club, how the 32-year-old was still standing was anyone's guess.

"I hope this is a bit of sign for Grand Slams to change this format", Anderson said.

"John is a great guy and I feel for him", Anderson told the BBC after Friday's match.

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

Anderson had already won the first point of the game but was blown back while returning yet another of Isner's monstrous serves. Isner beat Mahut: 6-4, 3-6, 6-7 (7), 7-6 (3), 70-68. This is Isner's first-ever Grand Slam tournament semifinal in his 41st appearance. They combined for 102 aces: 53 by Isner, 49 by Anderson.

The 32-year-old will face the victor of the match between former champions Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal - that match started after 20:00 BST, once the Wimbledon Centre Court roof was closed to allow floodlights to be switched on.

The final set lasted just five minutes short of three hours.

While one might think that such a closely fought match was an enthralling display of athleticism, as the game teetered back and forth in the fifth set, the opposite was true.

When Anderson finally broke Isner, he halted the American's streak of 110 consecutive holds at Wimbledon.

The 12th-seeded Peschke and Melichar came from a break down in the final set to see off the sixth-seeded pairing of Dabrowski of Canada and Xu of China.

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

As it became clear that Isner was due for another endless fifth set, tennis fans were far from delighted.

In a match between two of the game's biggest servers, Anderson started the match with a double-fault. "I don't know", Isner said.

"Rafa and Djokovic, I don't even know, can they finish tonight?"

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