Saturday, 18 August, 2018

Novak Djokovic Leads Rafael Nadal As Wimbledon Semi-Final Halted For Night

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     COURT SIDE Mirka is a constant presence on the court at Federer's matches GETTY COURT SIDE Mirka is a constant presence on the court at Federer's matches
Domingo Copeland | 14 July, 2018, 08:02

"I hope this is a sign for Grand Slams to change". For us to be out there for that length of time.

When asked how he would recover from such an epic and play in the Wimbledon finals on Sunday afternoon, the South African said: "It's tough, I really don't know". "Just playing like that in those sort of conditions is really tough on both of us".

Eight years after being enshrined in Wimbledon folklore for winning the "endless match" - an 11 hour five minute humdinger against Frenchman Nicolas Mahut in 2010 - he was dragged into the second-longest ever match at the grasscourt major.

Hitting with the ferocity and accuracy that made him the most feared player on the planet, the 12-time Grand Slam champion forced Nadal to net to clinch the break, before sealing the set with another cleanly struck victor.

"I agree with Kevin".

Of course, there was another player on the other side of the net - for whom Anderson's triumph was a tragedy: Isner.

"If one person can't finish the other off before 12-all then do a tiebreaker there", the ninth seed said. "I think I can keep doing damage here".

There was double disappointment for Isner, who had to endure urine and blood tests after his defeat and apologised for being late for his post-match news conference.

"I feel pretty awful". "I've hit a lot of left-handed balls throughout my life".

"I apologise if I´m not more excited right now". They have not, however, met since 2015 in Indian Wells where Isner won in straight sets 7-6 6-2.

"That's no consolation to me".

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"With how I'm feeling physically and mentally, I'm in a very good spot", Isner said in his post-match press conference.

The previous longest semifinal match at Wimbledon was in 2013, when Djokovic beat Juan Martín del Potro in 4 hours, 44 minutes.

It also broke the record for the longest single-day match at Wimbledon, which was 5 hours, 31 minutes. At the end, you feel like this is a draw between the two of us, but somebody has to win. He is the second South African to reach the final, after Brian Norton 97 years ago.

After Isner saved a set point at 5-4 with a 129 mile-per-hour second serve, the match went, predictably, to a tiebreak.

Friday's contest lasted so long, the day's second semifinal didn't finish.

"I'd like to have been done a little bit earlier in terms of my recovery, playing against two of the greatest players of all time".

The pressure continued to mount on the world No. 1 as Djokovic created another break point opportunity, with his Spanish opponent punching the air with glee after denying the Serb.

Nadal and Djokovic will meet for the 52nd time.

Considering how Nadal and Djokovic played today, there's every chance they'll at least play for another couple of hours which would have to push back the women's final.

Djokovic and Nadal will be able to play on Centre Court until the curfew of 11pm.

He is chasing an 18th Grand Slam title which would put him just two behind Federer.

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