Former Illini Anderson advances to Wimbledon final

BREAKING Novak Djokovic Beats Rafael Nadal To Reach Wimbledon Final

Top five epic matches between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic

The match wasn't just notable because it was long.

Not only is Anderson far less accomplished than either of these two - he owns zero Grand Slam titles - but he also is coming off a pair of strenuous five-setters, including his 13-11 win against eight-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer in the quarterfinals.

Serbia's Novak Djokovic celebrates winning his semi final match against Spain's Rafael Nadal.

While Anderson and Isner's record-setting tussle was more an exercise in totting up aces, this was a cast-iron classic.

The momentum was with Nadal but Djokovic's serve, which was so disrupted by the elbow problems that prompted him finally to have surgery in February, kept him just about out of danger.

However, on Saturday, Djokovic was the big-hitting, chest-pumping star of old as he defeated old rival Rafael Nadal 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (11-9), 3-6, 10-8 in an epic semi-final to book a Sunday title showdown with Kevin Anderson. Because the match started Friday with the roof closed, it remained closed when Nadal and Djokovic took the court to resume action Saturday.

It was also the second longest match at a Slam, beating the six hours and 33 minutes which Fabrice Santoro spent seeing off Arnaud Clement in the 2004 French Open. ESPN tacked four hours onto its planned coverage, seeing the Isner-Anderson match to conclusion and sticking with Nadal-Djokovic until it was halted.

The eighth-seeded Anderson became the first person to break the serve of ninth-seeded Isner, doing so once in the third set, twice in the fourth set and again during the fifth set. Madly frustrated after surrendering the pivotal break, Djokovic banged his racket on the shoe repeatedly. "Rules should be made to benefit the players". Even though he didn't convert his first match point at 8-7, his efforts in chasing a Nadal drop shot did not go unnoticed.

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However, the pressure of serving second was relentless and Djokovic wrapped up victory in the 18th game when Nadal speared a forehand wide.

"I told him that we are all rooting for him".

"It is what it is, I'm in the final of Wimbledon and it's an incredible achievement for me". "I don't see the other opposing view of not incorporating a fifth-set tiebreaker at all the Slams".

Isner is still seeking his first Grand Slam final appearance.

The two players are due to walk onto court at 2pm, meaning play will start at around 2.10pm after the coin toss and after once they have both warmed up.

That has led to some extremely long fifth sets, particularly at Wimbledon, where the grass court accentuates the punch of the serve and makes it more hard to break serve.

Friday's 7-6‚ 6-7‚ 6-7‚ 6-4‚ 26-24 win over John Isner was the second longest match in Grand Slam history and the longest match ever played on Centre Court.

Following his defeat Friday, Isner said the time was "overdue" to institute fifth-set tiebreaks - for the good of players, fans and broadcasters alike.

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