Isner apologises for "screwing" Wimbledon schedule

Novak Djokovic is back at his best and the Wimbledon champion for a fourth time grabbing a lead right away against a weary Kevin Anderson in the final and winning 6-2 6-2 7-6 on Sunday

Rafael Nadal said he was proud and had nothing to reproach himself for after losing a top-quality Wimbledon semi-final to great rival Novak Djokovic on Saturday.

That set the record for the longest semi-final at the tournament and became the second longest Grand Slam singles match ever played. "I believed it but I knew that he was very, very close and he had some chances".

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 exhausted players embraced at the net after a classic encounter eventually finished 7-6 (8/6) 6-7 (5/7) 6-7 (9/11) 6-4 26-24 in South African Anderson's favour after six hours and 36 minutes.

Anderson weighed in with 49 aces to reach 172 so far.

Anderson, who had the doctor on court as early as the fifth game of the match, complaining of what appeared to be dizziness, came from behind to win the first tiebreak of the match.

"Hopefully we can both play!" It had started with Centre Court's retractable roof closed and so concluded that way, too, even though there was no hint of rain.

Two hours and two sets in, they were even at one apiece, each via tiebreaker, with zero service breaks, only the very occasional extended point and aces by the dozen.

"I have to recover as much as I can for the final now".

John is such a great guy and I really feel for him.

And then he claimed Nadal's serve for the win in just over five hours and 15 minutes.

Djokovic immediately broke back, but then Nadal regained the advantage in the following game with a forehand victor.

Wimbledon fans witnessed history as the longest semi-final ever at the Championships unfolded on Centre Court.

That lack of success on the big stage wasn't just restricted to Wimbledon Isner had only made one Grand Slam quarter-final in his career, and that was seven years ago at the US Open.

"I was expecting a few more baby steps myself", she said. What can I say about that?

He had break points in the 15th, 21st and 35th games of the decider before taking victory when a tired Isner, who had needed treatment for blisters on his right hand, hit long."It just seems cruel and unusual punishment for these guys", former champion John McEnroe said on the BBC. "I personally think a sensible option would be 12-All", said Isner, who was bidding to reach his first Slam final at the 41st attempt. The most compelling storyline is of course Serena and I can tell you it's going to take a special performance to beat her.

And Djokovic, a 12-time Grand Slam victor, thinks he is not the favourite heading into his biggest match in recent years.

He also gives the worst line calls known to man so it is best to hit it inside the line when playing him.

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.

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