Published: Sun, July 15, 2018
Sport | By Ruben Hill

Djokovic seeks rest and calm before final against Anderson

Djokovic seeks rest and calm before final against Anderson

Djokovic's semi-final had to be played over two days because of the towering South African's record-breaking against John Isner that lasted six hours and 36 minutes.

After two gruelling semi-final clashes, we finally have our 2018 Wimbledon Men's Singles final between Kevin Anderson and Novak Djokovic. "I think we're quite even", insisted Djokovic. John´s a great guy.

"Obviously if you told me that six months ago, I would take it right away".

"If I was on the opposite (losing) side I don't know how you take it".

"I apologise if I´m not more excited right now". Last match, Anderson served up 49 aces, winning 84% of his first serve points. "For us to be out there for this length of time - I mean not just on us coming back, trying to compete at this sort of stage, going through this - It's happened to John before, when he has played another five hours".

After beating eight-time champion Roger Federer, also over five sets in the quarter-finals, 2017 US Open runner-up Anderson claimed his 300th career win. But as the grass season rolled on this year and Djokovic started "playing real tennis", as his former coach Boris Becker said, the three-time Wimbledon champion had answers to everything the one-man firing-squad Nadal could throw at him.

That match will be played with the roof open.

With Anderson and Isner, known as two of the most powerful servers in the tournament, it was predictably hard for either player to break the other's serve.

As per official rules, the tournament is allowed to run matches until 11pm in agreement with the local council. The defeat especially stings because marathon play is nothing new to the 33-year-old American.

Anderson's road began with tough wins over the likes of Andreas Seppi and Philipp Kohlschreiber before a tight four-settler against Frenchman Gael Monfils in the fourth round. 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.

"A couple times I lost my cool, then I lost my serve, then a set".

Djokovic wasted another three break points in the eighth game of the decider.

- Anderson only committed 24 unforced errors in the entire match, compared to 59 for Isner.

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

Novak Djokovic strains to return a shot during his 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (11-9), 3-6, 10-8 victory over Rafael Nadal. He slumped spiritually and physically after completing the career slam at Roland Garros in 2016, his aching elbow gave up on him here previous year and he looked like a busted flush at the start of 2018; defeats to Hyeon Chung, Taro Daniel, Benoit Paire and Martin Klizan followed his elbow surgery and he even suggested that he might skip the grass after crashing out of the French Open to Marco Cecchinato.

Victory in the semi-final would put him in a sixth Wimbledon final and 25th at the majors.

Djokovic is bidding for a fourth championship at the All England Club and 13th Grand Slam title overall.

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