A Match for the History Books: Anderson Edges Isner in Wimbledon Epic

Kevin Anderson and John Isner played the third-longest match in history at Wimbledon 2018

by Jovica Ilic
A Match for the History Books: Anderson Edges Isner in Wimbledon Epic

Kevin Anderson and John Isner wrote history books in the 2018 Wi8mbledon semi-final. Anderson prevailed 7-6, 6-7, 6-7, 6-4, 26-24 after six hours and 35 minutes for a place in his second Major final. Two rivals pushed each other to the limits from start to finish, heading down to the wire in the decider and completing the third-longest match in history!

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal could not finish their semi-final because of this marathon, and the organizers were ready to change the rules at three Majors and restrict the final set! Anderson saved a match point two days earlier and dethroned Roger Federer 13-11 in the final set.

He embraced an even more impressive marathon against Isner to remain on the title course, becoming the first South African in the Wimbledon final after Brian Norton in 1921! They fired over 100 aces and traded only six breaks, with Anderson securing four.

The South African claimed 27 points more than the American and still had to dig deep for almost seven hours to deliver the decisive break and prevail. There were two crucial moments in the opening set before the tie break.

Anderson saved three break points in game three to survive an early scare. Also, Isner faced a set point on serve in game ten, protecting it and reaching a tie break. John opened a 4-2 lead before losing the next point on his serve.

After six straight points for the servers, Kevin made a pivotal mini-break at 7-6 to wrap up the opening set after a grueling battle lasting over an hour. The only break point in set number two came in game nine. John saved it to keep his serve intact for another set and arrange a tie break.

The American played better and forged a 5-0 advantage. Kevin climbed back before John wrapped up the breaker in the 12th point to level the overall score after two hours. Anderson played well on the return in the third set's eighth game and became the first player who broke Isner at Wimbledon that year!

Kevin served for the set at 5-3 and lost serve at the worst moment to keep John in contention.

Kevin Anderson and John Isner battled for six hours and 25 minutes at Wimbledon 2018.

Carried by this momentum, Isner saved two set points in the tie break and claimed it 11-9 to move closer to his first Major final.

It was the first Wimbledon semi-final with a tie break in the opening three sets, and the best was yet to come! They traded breaks in games five and six in set number four, and Anderson delivered another in game nine to open a 5-4 gap.

The South African converted the fourth set point on his serve in game ten to wrap up the set 6-4 and force a decider. They saved the best for the last, rattling off one good hold after another and allowing no deuces or break points in the first 14 service games!

Isner saved a break point at 7-7 to remain on the positive side and extend the battle. The American fended off another break chance at 10-10. Thus, this crazy encounter turned into the longest Wimbledon semi-final in terms of time and the number of games, passing the crazy semi-final clash between Goran Ivanisevic and Richard Krajicek that Goran won 15-13 in the fifth!

The games were passing by, and this became one of the longest matches in tennis history, with both players pushing each other to the limits. Anderson wasted two break points at 17-17, with more achievements coming with every next game.

The South African was a better player on the court, and he finally broke Isner's serve in game 49. Kevin moved 25-24 in front and held in the next one to wrap up the third-longest match in history and book a place in the Wimbledon final.

Wimbledon Kevin Anderson John Isner