Wimbledon semifinals: Isner, Anderson locked in a marathon five-setter

Nadal and Djokovic have faced one another 51 times, the most any Men's player has faced another in the Open era since 1968.

Del Potro trails Nadal 10-5 in head-to-head meetings - his five wins all coming on hardcourts.

The Majorcan, who is the world number one but seeded second at Wimbledon, looked refreshed as he breezed through his opening four matches without dropping a set.

"But is impossible to win always, even for him".

He then converted his first match point when Isner sent a shot wide - after 6 hours, 36 minutes.

At least Anderson can boast of one runner-up finish, and it was recent, against Nadal at last year's U.S. Open. He said he's not done with the tournament. "He wants to get back there, wants another crack at a championship".

Now, Anderson will face American John Isner, who will be making his Grand Slam semi-final debut on the Centre Court. But when Nadal had a third opportunity to close out the set, the first on his serve, he double-faulted.

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That's a reflection of a trend that's been present in the men's game for quite some time.

Nadal battled hard to earn his first break, something he eventually collected when Del Potro hit the net from his backhand.

It is the first time since he reached the Australian Open and French Open quarterfinals in 2012 that del Potro has qualified for the last eight at consecutive Grand Slams. It could go all the way, it could be decided in three, but the fact no one knows for certain is what makes this semi-final a must watch.

A significant part of the problem was a painful right elbow that forced him off the tour for the second half of 2017 after he stopped playing during his Wimbledon quarterfinal.

World number one Nadal, the 2008 and 2010 champion at the All England Club, trails Djokovic, the 2011, 2014 and 2015 victor, 26-25 in a rivalry which began at Roland Garros 12 years ago.

Ten years on from that remarkable contest, which is widely considered as "the greatest ever tennis match", Nadal was again celebrating another All England Club success with the same broad match details.

"I must be honest, after those first two sets I didn't think he had a chance of beating Federer", the 60-year-old Curren told Netwerk24. "I really do. I think with the performances I've had, I deserve to be in the semifinals", he continued. I wanted to stay there for all night long.

  • Lawrence Cooper