Djokovic tops Nadal in 5 sets to reach 5th Wimbledon final

Sports       by Associated Press of Pakistan | Published

Sports by Associated Press of Pakistan | Published

While Anderson-Isner was mostly a serving duel with a few longer rallies thrown in, Djokovic and Nadal repeatedly slugged it out from the baseline, chasing each other around the court and coming up with spectacular winners from every corner.

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 Nadal and Djokovic's 52nd meeting - more than any other two men in the Open era - and the pair did not disappoint as they finally resumed their long-standing rivalry on the Grand Slam stage.

The South African was then on court for nearly seven hours as his semi-final tie with John Isner ended 26-24 in the final set.

Kevin Anderson advanced to his first Wimbledon final by outlasting John Isner 7-6 (8-6), 6-7 (5-7), 6-7 (9-11), 6-4, 26-24 in the longest semi-final in Grand Slam tennis history.

Nadal said: "It has been a great match - I think a fantastic level of tennis for both of us".

Along the way, they have fought out a series of classic and epic battles including Djokovic's 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-7 (5/7), 7-5 Australian Open final victory in 2012.

The expectation was that the first semifinal Friday would be a tight contest filled with tiebreakers - and that's precisely what it was.

In the ensuing game, Anderson held serve one last time and clinched the victory when an Isner mishit drifted wide. Novak finds another return winer to prolong the game and there's the second break point for him after a poor backhand from Rafa.

Twitter reacts as France takes the cup
It was not to be but world-class midfielder Luka Modric has illuminated this World Cup , while the energy, commitment and threat of Perisic stood out here.

Then, 122 minutes into the fifth set, the crowd went wild as a tired-looking Isner faced two more break points, only to save them with back-to-back aces as dark rain clouds gathered over Centre Court. "I think I can keep doing damage here", the No. 9 seed was quoted as saying afterward on the ATP World Tour's Web site.

It wasn't a short championship for either competitor - on Friday in the semi-finals Kevin Anderson and John Isner played a remarkable six and a half hour match.

Isner appeared to be struggling at times from 12-all to 18-all, but he held firm on his serve as Anderson, playing his second-consecutive five-set match, found a second (or third or fourth) wind.

"It's been a roller-coaster ride for him the last couple rounds, but he had a day off, which means a lot", Djokovic said. "I was pretty close to making a Grand Slam final and it didn't happen".

Until Friday, he had not dropped serve until Anderson halted that run at 110 service games in the third set.

"I've known John for such a long time, he is a great guy".

Djokovic is bidding to win his first Grand Slam title since 2016.

He also gives the worst line calls known to man so it is best to hit it inside the line when playing him. Next door to us was Sloane Stephens, the US Open champion and one of many seeded women to exit the tournament early.

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