Anderson outlasts Isner in an epic battle of giants

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     COURT SIDE Mirka is a constant presence on the court at Federer's matches

GETTY COURT SIDE Mirka is a constant presence on the court at Federer's matches

Anderson will face a giant of a different kind in the men's final Sunday - either twice champion Rafael Nadal of Spain or three-time victor Novak Djokovic, who posted a picture on social media of himself playing marbles while waiting for Isner and Anderson to finish.

This was a match with two of the biggest servers in the game and neither disappointed in the aces department with 102 served, 49 by Anderson and 53 by the American eighth seed.

One key area in which Anderson held the edge throughout was in unforced errors, as Isner committed 59 to just 24 for Anderson.

The right-handed Anderson slipped and fell, but scrambled back to his feet in time to hit a return left-handed and continue the point before Isner eventually pushed a forehand just wide.

Isner, who lost his second-round match in 2010 because he could barely move after beating Mahut, agreed. "I personally think a sensible option would be 12-All", said Isner who was bidding to reach his first Slam final at the 41st attempt.

Anderson would create that turning moment when he resorted to using his non-dominant hand to win a point after tumbling to the grass. The contest surpassed the previous record of 4 hours and 44 minutes set by Novak Djokovic and Juan Martin del Potro in 2013.

The ridiculous length of the Anderson-Isner clash left Nadal and Djokovic waiting until 8pm local time before stepping on court for their box office semi- final. "I'm sort of more focused on that than getting too excited about the overall picture".

"I really hope we can look at it and address this, because at the end, you don't even feel that great out there".

He had also gone five sets to beat eight-time champion Roger Federer in the quarter-finals, winning the decider 13-11.

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But Isner dug deep, and the final set turned into a seemingly interminable quest between two tall men with scorching serves for that elusive break.

However, Friday's main event at The Championships was the second semifinal matchup between heavyweights Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.

The last set alone lasted five minutes shy of three hours and Anderson said it was unfair on both players. With the set tied 7-7, Anderson had the chance to break Isner but the American fought him back to take an 8-7 lead, and so it continued as neither player seemed willing to blink.

"I'm a proponent of changing that rule".

But only one of these men can move through to take on Anderson on Sunday, and they will resume on Saturday, when ticket holders for the women's final will get an unexpected treat.

He never got a break point in the fifth set.

The last men's semifinal to be finished on Saturday was in 2007, between none other than Nadal and Djokovic. Earlier, at 5-5, ninth seed Isner made it 100 straight service games unbroken in this year's tournament.

One shouted "come on someone", while another yelled "come on guys, we want to see Rafa", as the match rattled on. Anderson moved to his first Wimbledon final as Isner produced his 59th unforced error.

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