Wimbledon epic: American falls in 6 1/2-hour match


John Isner and Kevin Anderson were level at 20-20 with the match, which has crossed six hours, the second-longest singles contest ever at the All England Club.

They had played on and on, through 6½ hours of ho-hum hold after ho-hum hold, during the second-longest match in the history of a tournament that began in 1877, all the way until the never-ending serving marathon did, finally, end at 26-24 in the fifth set Friday, with Anderson claiming the most important of the 569 points - the last.

Nadal saved a match point in the 16th game of the final set, but Djokovic eventually mustered the strength to win the match 10-8 in the fifth set after an astonishing five hours and 17 minutes.

Anderson spent a total of 21 hours on the court prior to Sunday's finals, and said in a post-match interview he would have given "another 21 hours" to have the opportunity to play.

One of Wimbledon's quirky traditions came back to haunt them in a semifinal match that took over 6 hours and featured almost nothing but aces

Only one match at Wimbledon lasted longer: Isner's 2010 first-round victory over Nicolas Mahut, the longest match in tennis history.

Paulina Dedaj is a writer/ reporter for Fox News.

"It's long overdue", said Isner, who suggested changing the rule to using a tiebreaker at 12-all in the fifth set. "I personally think a sensible option would be 12-All", said Isner. It was Nadal's first ever semifinal defeat at Wimbledon.

The 32-year-old has worked tirelessly to improve his game and has seen the rewards over the last two years, including a first slam final at the US Open last summer and a place in the top 10. Whether it is the 6ft 8in South African or the 6ft 10in American who prevails in the day's first semi-final, the victor will be the tallest man ever to grace a men's singles final at Wimbledon.

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"I'm trying to get to where he's already been", said Isner, who has won all 95 of his service games this fortnight, thanks in part to a tournament-leading 161 aces.

"I don't really know what to say right now", Anderson told the BBC, after winning the match on his first match points as Isner hit a forehand wide. "I'll just have to accept the circumstances and try to recover as best as I can", said Djokovic.

The South African won his only match against the Serb in 2008 while Djokovic has beaten him twice at Wimbledon.

Nadal, the world number one and second seed, came through a classic Centre Court battle against Juan Martin del Potro as a 7-5 6-7 (7/9) 4-6 6-4 6-4 victor.

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"Just playing like that in those conditions was tough on both of us", added. I don't think he has much to lose. We call these matches marathons, but elite marathoners complete those races in a little more than two hours.

"Today being in his first Wimbledon final he didn't play his best for two sets but in the third set he was a better player".

Kevin Anderson edged a tight opening set 7-6 (6) against American John Isner.

Kerber, a two-time Grand Slam champion, is playing in her first Major final since her triumph at the 2016 US Open.

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