Anderson topples marathon man Isner in longest ever Wimbledon semi-final
By Pritha Sarkar
LONDON, July 13 (Reuters) - It was a case of better late than never as Kevin Anderson reached his first Wimbledon final with a heart-stopping 7-6(6) 6-7(5) 6-7(9) 6-4 26-24 win over the sport's perennial marathon man John Isner on Friday.
After being kept on the run for six hours and 36 minutes, the longest ever singles semi-final at the All England Club, how he was still standing was anyone's guess.
Playing Isner who is enshrined in Wimbledon folklore for winning the "endless match" - an 11 hour five minute humdinger against Nicolas Mahut in 2010 - Anderson needed five nerve-shredding sets to topple the American and become the first South African man to reach the Wimbledon final for 97 years.
A showdown between two tennis skyscrapers - with Isner topping the 6 foot 8 Anderson by two inches - predictably featured three tiebreaks and 102 thunderbolt aces but it was the 32-year-old South African who delivered the knockout blow.
After watching Isner strike a weary forehand wide, Anderson advanced to the Wimbledon final at the 10th time of asking.
Brian Norton was the last South African man to reach the final in 1921. (Reporting by Pritha Sarkar, editing by Ken Ferris)