Anderson slugs his way to the final in six-hour marathonadmin
Reached first Wimbledon final
By the standard John Isner set in 2010, when he played an 11 hour, five minute, first round match, this was a gentle loosener, but in all other respects Isner and Kevin Anderson smashed records and exhausted both themselves and the spectators in an epic semi-final.
With Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic waiting all the while for their turn on Centre Court the pair slugged it out for more than six hours. Only Isner’s marathon with Nicolas Mahut has lasted longer at Wimbledon. The final set alone lasted nearly three hours. Finally Isner cracked. After five service breaks in the previous 94 games he dropped serve.
Isner, who at one stage served a 129mph second serve to save a set point, could not break back. Anderson served out and, after six hours and 35 minutes, claimed a 7-6(6), 6-7(5), 6-7(9), 6-4, 26-24 victory. The South African thus reached his second Grand Slam final, and his first at Wimbledon at the age of 32, though by the end he must have felt 62.
John Isner Serves
The first ace came with the third serve, the first two serves having added up to an opening doubt fault for Isner. And after that, they just kept coming. Boom! Boom! Boom! It was like the old days with Richard Krajicek or Roscoe Tanner on court. Even when it seemed the pair could barely get off their chairs after each break their serves continued to average above 120mph.
The serving was magnificent, not just for its brutal pace but also the laser-precision accuracy, yet both men showed they were more than just serving machines. When one did manage to return serve there was some excellent shot-making with more serve-volley play than usually seen in the modern game. The memory, though, will be of the 102 aces the pair delivered and their dogged refusal to be beaten.
Posted by www.wimbledon.com