Kevin Anderson topples marathon man John Isner in longest ever Wimbledon semifinal

Milos Raonica

GETTYMilos Raonic fought bravely but could not find a way past John Isner's serve

Novak Djokovic clawed his way to a two sets to one lead over great rival Rafael Nadal before their scintillating Wimbledon semi-final was paused on a knife-edge on Friday (July 13).

Andy Murray's third-round match against Marcos Baghdatis in 2012 pushed the limit to 11.02pm and the time was exactly the same when Nadal netted a backhand to give Djokovic a two sets to one lead.

The match will resume at 1 p.m. local time on Saturday, before the women's final between Serena Williams and Angelique Kerber.

Kevin Anderson ultimately advanced to the Wimbledon final after a brutal match against John Isner that lasted a whopping six and a half hours on Friday.

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Goerges also battled back from a set down to beat Dutchwoman Kiki Bertens 3-6 7-5 6-1 in the last of the women's quarter-finals. By the time she flubbed a backhand while falling behind 5-1 in the second, she dropped her racket and screamed.

"You feel like this is a draw for the two of us, but somebody has to win."

The fifth set involved 50 games with Anderson eventually triumphing 7-6 (8-6) 6-7 (5-7) 6-7 (9-11) 6-4 26-24 in the longest single-day match ever at the grass court tournament.

Experience will play a big part here for Anderson - he has been in this position before and alas he capitulated completely to Rafael Nadal in the US Open final a year ago, but it is a series of matches that will have served him in good stead.

As the fifth set dragged on and on, the American Isner appeared more visibly exhausted and had to survive more scares on his own serve than Anderson. Of the four Grand Slam events, only the U.S. Open uses a final-set tiebreaker. After six hours and 36 minutes, Anderson beat Isner 7-6 (6), 6-7 (5), 6-7 (9), 6-4, 26-24.

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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.

Nadal and Djokovic had to wait a further 20 minutes while Wimbledon ground staff closed the roof on Centre Court to protect against the forecasted rain.

Each player held his next serve before Anderson broke Isner again to go up 5-4 and then proceeded to serve out the set to send the match to a decisive fifth set.

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".

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Now we've got a chance to do something better on Sunday". "It's something special for me", Lovren said regarding the feat. Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren was written off before Croatia's World Cup semi-final with England .

"I'm very, very happy to be in this position right now", said the ninth seed, who has never played on Centre Court at Wimbledon.

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