Anderson wins; No. 2 semifinal gets suspended
history. It went more than 11 hours over three days and finished 70-68 in the fifth on Court 18, which now bears a plaque commemorating it.
The contestFriday lasted so long, the day’s second semifinal didn’t finish.
Novak Djokovic was leading Rafael Nadal, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (9), in a compelling showdown filled with entertaining points that was suspended as soon as the third set concluded at just past 11 p.m., the curfew at the All England Club. Some people in the stands booed the decision to halt the match after a fantastic tiebreaker in which Nadal wasted three set points at 6-5, 7-6 and 8-7. Djokovic cashed in on his second when Nadal’s backhand found the net after an 18stroke exchange.
Because Nadal and Djokovic didn’t begin playing until after 8 p.m., the retractable roof above the main stadium was shut between the matches and the arena’s artificial lights were turned on. Now they’ll come back Saturday to figure out who will face Anderson in the final, resuming at 1 p.m. local time, under the roof.
The women’s final between Serena Williams and Angelique Kerber will then follow. 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.
Anderson certainly will appreciate the chance to put his feet up ahead of the final Sunday, while Nadal and Djokovic — who have a combined 29 Grand Slam titles between them, five at Wimbledon — push each other some more.
Anderson’s fifth set alone lasted nearly 3 hours as his semifinal became a test of endurance more than skill.
“He stayed the course incredibly well,” said No. 9seeded Isner, 33, an American playing in his first major semifinal. “Just disappointed to lose. I was pretty close to making a Grand Slam final andit didn’t happen.”
Anderson finally earned the must-have, go-ahead service break with the help of a point in which the righthander tumbled to his backside, scrambled back to his feet and hit a shot lefty.
“That definitely brings a smile to my face,” said Anderson, the runner-up to Nadal at the 2017 U.S. Open. “At that stage, you’re just trying to fight in every single moment, andI was like, ‘Just get up!’”
No. 8-seeded Anderson eliminated eight-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer in a 13-11 fifth set Wednesday in the quarterfinals. Between that and the energysapper against Isner, it’s hard to imagine how Anderson will have much left for his second Slam final.
Wimbledon doesn’t use tiebreakers in the fifth set for men, or third set for women, so there’s nothing to prevent a match from continuing ad infinitum. Isner and Anderson said they’d like to see that change.
At one point in the fifth set, a spectator shouted, “Come on, guys! We want to see Rafa!”
John Isner receives medical treatment during Friday’s Wimbledon semifinal that he lost after 6½ hours of play.