Djokovic leads Nadal as Wimbledon semi-final halted for night

Roger Federer and Kevin Anderson

Rafael Nadal described long-time rival Novak Djokovic as "one of the more complex" players he's ever met as they prepare to clash for the 52nd time on Friday with a Wimbledon final spot at stake.

Anderson agreed, adding: 'I really hope we can address this'.

Nadal has won the last two matchups, but those were both on clay, and Djokovic won the previous seven pre-2017 and pre-elbow injury.

The following year, Nadal downed the Serb, who was world number one at the time, 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 6-7, 9-7 in the semifinals in Paris, this time in four hours and 37 minutes.

Djokovic and Nadal repeatedly slugged it out from the baseline, chasing down seemingly the impossible and hitting spectacular winners from every corner.

Now, Anderson will face American John Isner, who will be making his Grand Slam semi-final debut on the Centre Court. That creates an unusual situation: Instead of a standard 2 p.m. start, Williams and Kerber won't know exactly when their match will begin.

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However, on the other side of the draw, a mouth-watering semi-final has been set up between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

American tennis player John Isner lost to Kevin Anderson in a record-setting semifinal at Wimbledon that lasted over six hours on Friday. Having reached the US Open final past year, Anderson will also be one-up on Isner in the big-stage experience department. "Just disappointed to lose". Then he might stand half a chance of a first Grand Slam title on Sunday.

Anderson had break points in the 15th, 21st and 35th games of the decider before taking victory when a tired Isner hit long.

These victories certainly cannot be viewed as a positive for subsequent rounds, although it's probably fair to say that if one player can be fresh after a five-hour match, it will be Nadal.

The ball was in Kevin Anderson's court when he defeated Roger Federer on Wednesday to book a semifinal spot in the 2018 Wimbledon. Given the drama of Anderson's prolonged tie-break-fest against John Isner, that is no certainty. They both serve like demons, and don't return serves particularly well.

Nadal was knocked out in the fourth round, losing 13-11 in the final set to Luxembourgish journeyman Gilles Müller. Isner pounded his at up to 142 miles per hour; Anderson reached 136 miles per hour.

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I'm really happy that now I'm finally here. "So I'm really glad and happy to be here". He had an incredible season last year and I hope he can do it this year too.


"I'm a proponent of changing that rule, for sure". Isner wasted a set point in the opener.

Isner has won eight of the 11 professional matches against Anderson and is projected by many to advance from this battle of two of the game's biggest servers.

Furthermore, the women's doubles final may not even be played on Centre Court because as of Saturday morning, the schedule reshuffle had left it without an assigned court. But with the set tied at 24, Anderson finally broke Isner's serve to make it 25-24. The 10-all game ended with Isner hitting a forehand passing victor on the run to hold, then letting his momentum carry him directly to his sideline chair, where he plopped himself down.

By the end, he was looking exhausted, leaning over to rest a hand on a knee between points. "My left heel is killing me and I have an very bad blister on my right foot".

He never got a break point in the fifth set. The Spaniard dumped a final backhand and it was over - for the night.

The match took a flabbergasting six hours and 36 minutes from first serve to the moment Anderson clinched the match.

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