Novak Djokovic has edge over Rafael Nadal in thrilling Wimbledon semi-final

Novak Djokovic has edge over Rafael Nadal in thrilling Wimbledon semi-final

For the first time in 91 years, there will be a South African man in a Wimbledon singles final.

In the Wimbledon semifinals on Friday, Kevin Anderson and John Isner held serve again, and again, and again, and again.

6-4, 26-24 in 6 hours, 36 minutes - the longest recorded men's semifinal at a major and longest match ever on Centre Court - to reach Sunday's men's final at the All England Club, with the deciding set lasting almost three hours.

After the epic six hours and 36 minutes semi-final encounter between Kevin Anderson and John Isner, top seed Nadal did not hit the first serve of his match against 12th-seeded Djokovic until 8.09pm.

"I don´t really know what to say right now, playing like that in those conditions was really tough for the both of us", said eighth seed Anderson. It took the American 11 hours and five minutes to beat France's Nicolas Mahut at Wimbledon in 2010.

But his record in fifth sets slumped to 9-18 overall, including defeats of 19-17, 18-16, 12-10 and now 26-24. "I've felt better before", said Isner who had also been hoping to be the first American man in a Slam final since Andy Roddick at Wimbledon in 2009. "Just disappointed to lose". I was pretty close to making a Grand Slam final, and it didn't happen, so.

And repeatedly, the answer was, of course, "No", even when Anderson smacked a return victor at Isner's feet to get to break point at 7-all, 30-40.

Anderson had a break point at 7-7 and at 10-10, but he missed the first one as Isner hit an ace and the second one as he mishit a backhand.

"At that stage, you're just trying to fight in every single moment", he said.

Anderson defeated eight-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer in a 13-11 fifth set in the quarterfinals Wednesday.

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Anderson has dealt with many injuries throughout his career, and explained that when he underwent right wrist surgery, he practiced left-handed instead.

He lost last year's US Open final to Rafael Nadal in straight sets. There could be a rematch now.

He will now face either Novak Djokovic or Rafael Nadal in Sunday's final.

A 19th ace of the match bailed American Isner out of a potentially hard situation.

Numerous best points came in the tiebreaker, including a 23-shot rally that Nadal finished off with a forehand half-volley drop shot to set up his first set point.

"I feel pretty bad", Isner said in a news conference.

Anderson made it clear Grand Slam tournament organisers should consider a rule change to make the deciding set of five-set matches less gruelling. "I'm a big part of that, and a big part of this discussion, of course".

At one point in the fifth set, a spectator shouted, "Come on, guys!"

"We don't want it to be 70-68, John", someone shouted from the crowd at 8-8. Isner and Anderson have played each other before professionally and they were rivals in college (Isner, 33, played at the University of Georgia, and Anderson, 32, at University of Illinois).

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