Kevin Anderson defeats John Isner in record-breaking contest to reach maiden Wimbledon final
Anderson wins dramatic final set 26-24; Will meet Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic in final on Sunday
Last Updated: 13/07/18 10:28pm
Kevin Anderson defeated John Isner in a record-breaking Grand Slam semi-final contest to reach the Wimbledon final on Friday.
The 32-year-old won a near three-hour long final set to become the second South African to reach the final, after Brian Norton 97 years ago in 1921, prevailing 7-6 (8-6) 6-7 (5-7) 6-7 (9-11) 6-4 26-24.
Did you know...
Even though Kevin Curren was South African by birth he became a naturalised American citizen in April 1985, before reaching the Wimbledon final later that year. The 27-year-old had switched nationalities so he could continue competing during his birth country's isolation from the international sporting stage due to apartheid.
Anderson will now meet either world No 1 Rafael Nadal or three-time champion Novak Djokovic in Sunday's showpiece after winning the longest ever singles semi-final at the All England Club, which lasted six hours and 36 minutes.
In a meeting between two of the sport's biggest servers, it was Isner who began the quickest but was left to rue squandering three break points in the third game of the match, which featured eight deuces.
Anderson gradually grew in confidence as both players traded quick fire service holds before Isner saved his first break point, a set point, in the 10th game. But after initially falling a mini-break it was the South African who pinched the opener on a tie-break.
Serve continued to dominate in the second set but Isner, seeded ninth, was forced to save a break point to avoid enabling Anderson to serve for a two sets to love lead.
After both players held serve to bring up a second tie-break, it was Isner who took control winning the opening two points against the eighth seeds serve before hammering down an ace to level up the match.
As the contest appeared on track for a third tie-break, Anderson found his range off the return of serve to secure the first break of the match and snap Isner's streak of 110 consecutive service holds in the competition.
Despite the setback, Isner broke back immediately to stay in the third set before resuming usual service on his way to forcing another tie-break.
After saving set point Anderson conspired to double fault on his own set point moments later and Isner took advantage to gain command of the contest.
Anderson broke Isner for the second time in the match to move ahead in the fourth set but just like in the third was broken back immediately but the South African regained his composure to break again before a decisive hold forced a decider.
Just like in his shock five-set quarter-final victory over Roger Federer, Anderson was serving second throughout the fifth set and saw four break points go a-begging before eventually making the breakthrough in the 29th game of the decider against his visibly wilting opponent.
Anderson secured victory when Isner struck a weary forehand wide, which saw him reach his first Wimbledon final on his 10th appearance.
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