In­side

Sun Sentinel Broward Edition - - Sports - By Sam Farmer Los An­ge­les Times

Af­ter 6-hour, 35-minute match, Kevin An­der­son de­feats John Is­ner, of Del­ray Beach, to earn a spot in the men’s fi­nals against ei­ther No­vak Djokovic or Rafael Nadal, whose game was sus­pended at cur­few.

LON­DON — They were sup­posed to be the warmup act to a main course fea­tur­ing su­per­stars with 29 ma­jor cham­pi­onships between them.

But Kevin An­der­son and John Is­ner, with zero Grand Slam ti­tles to their name, doggedly re­fused to quit Fri­day at Wimbledon.

In a 6-hour, 35-minute semi­fi­nal match, An­der­son fi­nally won 7-6 (6), 6-7 (5), 6-7 (9), 6-4 and a whop­ping 26-24.

“I tried as much as I could to just keep fight­ing,” An­der­son said. “I take a lot of pride in that. For­tu­nately, I was able to find a way over the fin­ish line.”

That se­cured him a spot in Sunday’s fi­nal against No­vak Djokovic or Rafael Nadal, whose match was sus­pended Fri­day night be­cause of an 11 p.m. cur­few. That match will re­sume Satur­day with Djokovic up 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (9).

Also Satur­day, Ser­ena Wil­liams will play An­gelique Ker­ber in the women’s fi­nal.

Is­ner’s name was al­ready syn­ony­mous with marathons. At Wimbledon in 2010, his first-round match against Ni­co­las Mahut was the long­est in ten­nis his­tory, last­ing 11 hours, 5 min­utes over three days. But play­ing the two long­est matches in Wimbledon his­tory means lit­tle to him.

“That’s no con­so­la­tion to me,” he said. “It’s more just dis­ap­pointed to lose. I was pretty close to mak­ing a Grand Slam fi­nal, and it didn’t hap­pen.”

Is­ner, of Del­ray Beach, was look­ing to be­come the first Amer­i­can since Andy Rod­dick in 2009 to reach a Grand Slam fi­nal.

“I com­peted hard,” Is­ner said. “That’s what I have to be proud of. It stinks to lose, but I gave it ev­ery­thing I had.”

The ques­tion for An­der­son is: How does he re­cover af­ter such a gru­el­ing match? The win came on the heels of a quar­ter­fi­nal up­set of Roger Fed­erer that went to 13-11 in the fifth set.

“I need a lot of treat­ment in terms of get­ting the body back bal­anced and stuff, but at the same time, sleep is im­por­tant too,” he said.

Is­ner and An­der­son said their match should rekin­dle the de­bate about hav­ing some type of tiebreaker in the fifth set at Wimbledon.

MATTHEW STOCK­MAN/GETTY

Kevin An­der­son cel­e­brates a point in his marathon fiveset vic­tory over John Is­ner in the semi­fi­nals Fri­day.

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