Djokovic outlasts Nadal in classic Wimbledon semi-final

Novak Djokovic

Until the last shot I didn't know if I was going to win. Only in this overtime, there is no time limit, and they keep playing until one team gets a stop.

In less than 48 hours, he will play the victor of Friday's second semifinal between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in Sunday's final.

Djokovic sent the strongest signal yet he is back at the top of tennis by reaching his fifth Wimbledon final with a 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (9), 3-6, 10-8 victory over rival Rafael Nadal on Saturday in a match suspended overnight. Because it was so late, the All England Club shut the retractable roof above the main stadium between the matches and turned on the arena's artificial lights. He'll resume his duel against the Spanish World No.1 at 2pm SA time on Saturday.

The last men's semifinal to be finished on Saturday was in 2007, between none other than Nadal and Djokovic.

The 12-time Grand Slam victor, who lifted the Wimbledon trophy in 2011, 2014 and 2015, is back in a major final for the first time since the 2016 US Open.

The match was the second-longest in professional tennis history, behind only Isner's record-setting 11-hour, five-minute first-round Wimbledon triumph over Frenchman Nicolas Mahut in 2010. Isner, who didn't have a single break point through the fifth set, was knackered and Anderson served for the match. "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.

The US Open is the only grand slam to use tiebreakers in the fifth set, with the Australian Open and French Open, like Wimbledon, both playing advantage sets.

"Honestly, I really hope this is a bit of a sign for grand slams to change the five sets".

"To win against the best player in the world, in one of the longest matches I ever played, I'm just overwhelmed".

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Victory in the semi-final would put him in a sixth Wimbledon final and 25th at the majors.

TBD. Yes, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic did not finish their semifinal, with the Serb up two sets to one. The official time was 11 hours, 5 minutes. That one ranks 13th in men's tennis history.

After saving set point Anderson conspired to double fault on his own set point moments later and Isner took advantage to gain command of the contest. Indeed, the only error the South African committed in the second set was on set point.

"We don't want it to be 70-68, John", someone shouted from the crowd at 8-8.

He never got a break point in the fifth set.

With Isner serving at 24-24, 0-15, the right-handed Anderson fell down, dropped his racket, got up and played the point left-handed.

Anderson again broke the hard-serving American in the fourth set on his way to forcing a deciding set.

Meanwhile, Anderson didn't face a break point in the fifth set.

In a column in the London Evening Standard, nine-time Wimbledon champion Martina Navratilova said her "dream match" would have been on Centre Court against Serena Williams.

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