Anderson, Isner demand change after epic as Nadal and Djokovic halted


Before the women's final, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal will take to Centre Court to resume their semifinal that was suspended Friday night after the third set.

That set the record for the longest semi-final at the tournament and became the second longest Grand Slam singles match ever played.

"I don't know what I expected from this tournament".

His ultramarathon loss to Kevin Anderson, by that score and over all those hours, in the Wimbledon semifinals on Friday amounted to the longest Grand Slam singles semifinal in tennis history.

Let's start with the score: 7-6 (6), 6-7 (5), 6-7 (9) 6-4, 26-24.

Yet Anderson's previously impenetrable serve suddenly looked vulnerable and in the very next game Isner broke back, once again taking the set thundering towards another tie-break.

With that three-day epic being just a first round contest, when Isner returned for his next match, he folded very, very quickly - in just 75 minutes and without an ace in sight.

Anderson won the opening set before Isner bounced back to take the next two.

Anderson also played an extended fifth set in the quarterfinals, eliminating eight-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer 13-11 in the final set. Between that and the energy-sapper against Isner, it's hard to imagine how Anderson will have much left for Sunday's final, his second at a major.

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

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With Anderson serving for the final at 25-24, Isner handed his opponent two match points when a return sailed long.

He has also only lost one match against Anderson in six meetings, and given the fact that Anderson has just come through to marathon five-setters, most will be expecting the former world number one to come out on top. "I really do. I think with the performances I've had, I deserve to be in the semifinals", he continued.

Yet when Djokovic's serve was placed under scrutiny it promptly caved in, Nadal breaking to 15.

Anderson is the first South African to make the last-four since Kevin Curren in 1983.

"For the first time in my life I have someone screaming, 'Daddy, daddy, '" the champion said, as the camera zoomed in on his son and wife clapping in the crowd.

The 33-year-old agreed with Anderson that all Slams should introduce a tiebreak in the final set and fall in line with the US Open. "I can say he deserve (the win), because he deserve it". I have so many mixed emotions getting through something like that.

It was the longest semi-final in grand slam history, and the second longest match ever at a major championship.

Nadal gifted a break back with a suddenly sloppy service game but when he struck again for 5-3 Djokovic's frustration boiled over and he began hammering the sole of his shoe with his racket. John is such a great guy and I really feel for him because, if I'd been on the opposite side, I don't know how you can take that, playing for so long and coming up short. I give it my best, and that's it.

Nadal was flagging, though, and it told in the 18th game of a 91-minute final set.