Novak Djokovic edges out Rafael Nadal in Wimbledon semi-final classic

Novak Djokovic is back at his best and the Wimbledon champion for a fourth time grabbing a lead right away against a weary Kevin Anderson in the final and winning 6-2 6-2 7-6 on Sunday

One of Wimbledon's quirky traditions came back to haunt them in a semifinal match that took over 6 hours and featured almost nothing but aces

Anderson, who saved a match point against Federer, will await the Rafael Nadal-Novak Djokovic victor.

The world was a demonstrably different place when Kevin Anderson and John Isner first took the court Friday for what would become a marathon Wimbledon semifinal.

"Until the last shot I didn't know if I would win".

Isner finally succumbed to the 6-foot-8 (203 cm) Anderson just before 8 p.m. local time Friday in a grueling encounter full of plot twists in the longest men's semifinal in grand slam history and the third longest match of all time.

But Isner saved a set point at 6-5 in the second-set tiebreaker and then got a crucial mini-break to go up 8-7 before winning the next point to even the match at a set apiece. But while Anderson and Isner's titanic tussle was more an exercise in totting up aces, this was a cast-iron classic.

In a match between two of the game's biggest servers, Anderson started the match with a double-fault.

After being kept on the run for six hours and 36 minutes, the longest ever singles semi-final at the All England Club, how the 32-year-old was still standing was anyone's guess.

"Just playing like that in those conditions was tough on both of us".

They eventually stepped out under a closed Centre Court roof at around 8pm, with officials keen to avoid further disruption when darkness fell.

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And he made it clear Grand Slam tournament organisers should consider a rule change - perhaps introducing a tie-break at 6-6 - to make the deciding set of five-set matches less gruelling.

"I don't think he has much to lose really tomorrow".

The second set also came down to a tiebreaker, but this time it was the American who came out on top when he threw down an ace on the final point.

Yet when Djokovic's serve was placed under scrutiny it promptly caved in, Nadal breaking to 15.

"I need a lot of treatment in terms of getting the body back balanced and stuff, but at the same time obviously sleep is important, too". His US Open win a year ago was the first time he had won a Grand Slam outside of the French Open since winning the US Open in 2013. "I can say he deserve (the win), because he deserve it".

"Nothing to complain. I think I played a great match". John's such a great guy and I really feel for him because, you know, if I'd been on the opposite side, I don't know how you can take that, playing for so long and coming out short. With how I'm feeling physically and mentally, I'm in a very good spot.

He won the fourth set despite once again squandering a service-break lead and appeared to have the edge heading into the decider. At the 11th hour, literally and figuratively, Djokovic grabbed his first set point, but hit long for 9-all, then got a second look as a Nadal drop-shot sat up invitingly for him.

The clash surpassed the previous longest Wimbledon semi-final, between Novak Djokovic and Juan Martin del Potro in 2013, which lasted four hours and 44 minutes.

"I believe that strongly, for our sport to continue to have as many people as possible watching".

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