Anderson Reaches Wimbledon 2018 Final After Longest Ever Semifinal

Anderson Reaches Wimbledon 2018 Final After Longest Ever SemifinalAnderson Reaches Wimbledon 2018 Final After Longest Ever Semifinal

When Kevin Anderson lost his footing and fell on his backside while hitting a backhand in the men’s semifinal at Wimbledon on Friday in London nobody would have blamed him if he did not bother getting up again.

After all this was at 24-all in the fifth set of a semifinal against John Isner that had been going on for what seemed like forever but was in fact well past the 6-1/2 hour mark, Reuters reported.

But not only did Anderson jump back to his feet, the South African tennis player astonishingly switched his racket into his left hand and, gripping it half way up the handle, hit a forehand to get the ball back and take the point before he broke and then went on to win the match. It was that kind of a bonkers contest.

It was the kind of ingeniousness that was needed to break the serve-hold-serve-hold deadlock that went on for almost three hours in the deciding set alone as Anderson became the first South African man in 97 years to reach the Wimbledon final.

History books will show that Anderson came out on top in a 7-6(6) 6-7(5) 6-7(9) 6-4 26-24 epic that lasted six hours and 36 minutes - the longest ever semifinal at Wimbledon - but those numbers fail to illustrate the astonishing feats of endurance shown by the two gladiators on the most famous stage in tennis.

It is a match that featured 102 thunderbolt aces, 264 unreturned serves and 247 bone-rattling winners but none of those will stand out as much as the heart and desire of the two combatants as both tried to reach their first Wimbledon final.

A contest that started at 1.10pm local time saw Isner broken for the first time in this year’s championships at 3.38pm, ending a run of 110 straight holds that made him the first man to reach the semis without dropping serve since records began in 1992.

But that break in the eighth game of the third set did not hurt anything like the moment when he finally slapped a weary forehand wide at 7.46pm local time to surrender his title hopes.

Showing what a class act Anderson is, there were no wild roars, no fist pumping and no raised arms in celebration from the eighth seed.

All the 32-year-old had left in him was to give Isner a sympathetic hug after he came out on top in the second-longest match ever contested at the All England Club.

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