- Kevin Anderson is a step closer to being crowned Wimbledon champion after winning the tournament’s longest ever semi-final.
- The South African defeats John Isner after six hours and 35 minutes in what was the second longest ever grand slam singles match.
The South African beat American John Isner 26-24 in the deciding set of what was the second longest ever grand slam singles match.
The pair battled for an incredible six hours and 35 minutes. After a testing five-set match, Anderson eventually won 7-6 6-7 6-7 6-4 26-24.
The only Wimbledon match to last longer was Isner’s win over Nicolas Mahut in 2010, which ended 70-68 in the fifth set after 11 hours and five minutes. The match took place over three days.
This year’s semi-final proved to be a real test of stamina for both players as well as those anxiously watching on.
It surpassed the four hours and 44 minutes Novak Djokovic and Juan Martin del Potro took in 2013. Before today, that match held the title of longest ever Wimbledon semi-final.
The Anderson-Isner match meant a long wait for Rafael Nadal and Djokovic, who are playing in the other semi-final.
Some members of the crowd grew restless as the game went on, with one person shouting “come on someone” and another yelling “come on guys, we want to see Rafa”.
Reflecting on the gruelling game, Anderson called on grand slam authorities to consider changing the format of matches.
“I really hope this a sign for grand slams to change this format. For us to be out there for that amount of time, I really hope we can address this,” he said.
“At the same time I’m through to the final. I’m definitely going to have to recover as much as I can. It’ll take a long time to process what’s happened today but I’m into the final and that’s a dream come true.”
The 33-year-old, who knocked out Roger Federer on Wednesday, becomes the first South African man to reach a Wimbledon final since 1921.