'It's not right': Nadal unhappy with controversial Wimbledon decision

Sherman Parsons
July 15, 2018

For now, though, let's allow Anderson the relief and joy of having won the longest Wimbledon semifinal in history by a long shot: Friday's match easily broke the previous records for number of games (72) and duration (a measly five hours and 31 minutes).

The match lasted over six and a half hours and was the second-longest match in the tournament's history behind Isner's 11-hour victory over Nicolas Mahut in 2010. In two days of competition on Friday and Saturday, two of the longest Wimbledon semi-finals were played with Kevin Anderson edging John Isner in six hours and 35 minutes. For Anderson, it would be his first Grand Slam at 32 years old, less than a year after making his first final in the US Open.

"I'm just overwhelmed. This kind of match you live for, you work for", Djokovic said after qualifying for his 18th grand slam final. He would also be the first man to win the Wimbledon title since saving match point since 1960.

"I'm in the finals of Wimbledon". It also was just the second time in the Open era that both men's semifinals at Wimbledon went to five sets.

The South African won his only match against the Serb in 2008 while Djokovic has beaten him twice at Wimbledon. "I wish I could have one".

After the match, Anderson called for changes to Wimbledon's rules which don't allow for a tiebreaker to be played in the fifth set.

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Djokovic had been in control on Friday, leading two sets to one when the match was halted due the 11pm (2200GMT) curfew.

The players will step onto Centre Court - where temperatures are already in the high 20s and are expected to reach 30 degrees - at 2pm. "I had surgery when I was quite young, and my dad, who coached me throughout my career, said, 'learn to play left-handed.' I didn't know that was going to come into play at this point in my career, at this stage, but that was obviously a vital point for me in the end". I competed hard - that's what it comes down to, and that's what I have to be proud of. It was clear very few things separated the two players.

The match will finish on Saturday. Fortunately, he was at the end of the court farthest from the Royal Box, where the pair of visiting Duchesses, Kate and the newly married Meghan, sat in the front row.

Nadal gifted a break back with a suddenly sloppy service game but when he struck again for 5-3 Djokovic's frustration boiled over and he began hammering the sole of his shoe with his racket. Djokovic will serve for the set now. He's three for three on break opportunities. Djokovic hasn't always exuded happiness over the past two weeks - there came a point when he looked like he might flick the Vs at Kate and Meghan in the Royal Box yesterday - and it's odd to think he's the 12th seed given that he's lifted this title three times.

Nadal then squandered three break points in the 15th game before saving a match point in the 16th with a pitch-perfect drop shot. For Anderson, he will rely heavily on his serve to bother the Serbian.

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