15 July, 2018
6-4, 26-24 in 6 hours, 36 minutes - the longest recorded men's semifinal at a major and longest match ever on Centre Court - to reach Sunday's men's final at the All England Club, with the deciding set lasting almost three hours.
Anderson had a break point at 7-7 and at 10-10, but he missed the first one as Isner hit an ace and the second one as he erred on a backhand passing shot.
Discussing his upcoming final with Anderson, who came through a six-hour-and-36-minute slog with Isner on Friday, Djokovic joked: "Hopefully we can first of all play, hopefully we can get on the court!"
Draper is the first British boy to reach the singles final at Wimbledon since 2011 and is aiming to be the first British boys' champion since Stanley Matthews in 1962. Nadal then saved a single match point with a attractive drop shot in the following game.
It was the first time in the Open era that both men's semifinals went past 6-all in the deciding set of a Grand Slam event.
The three-time champion had a tiny bit more than Nadal at the end and grabbed the crucial break of serve at 9-8 up to close out another phenomenal match. "It is what it is, I'm in the final of Wimbledon and it's an incredible achievement for me".
But serving for the set, Anderson's second serve was tested and Isner attacked at the net like he had so often in the match, and got the break right back.
The roof was closed and Nadal and Djokovic had until the 11pm club curfew to finish or return on Saturday, the traditional rest day for the two men's semi- finalists. Some people in the stands booed the decision to halt the match after a fantastic tiebreaker in which Nadal wasted three set points at 6-5, 7-6 and 8-7.
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Isner had held serve 110 straight times since the start of the tournament before Anderson, a former NCAA tennis rival, broke him four times.
The final set of a men's singles match at Wimbledon is traditionally decided by a difference of two games, like at the Australian Open and French Open.
Both players held serve all the way through the third set and into the tiebreaker, which saw Nadal fail to convert three separate set-point opportunities, including one on his own serve.
As intense as any athletes in any sport, these two didn't exactly slowly ramp things up when they returned to Centre Court about 14 hours after they'd departed.
He never got a break point in the fifth set. He defeated Roger Federer 13-11 in the decider of their quarterfinal match Wednesday.
To say that Kevin Anderson won this interminable Wimbledon semifinal, and that John Isner lost it, didn't really seem fair. Nadal has gotten the better of Djokovic in Grand Slam matches over the years, still holding a 9-5 edge.