Tennis  

Anderson through to Wimbledon’s final

South Africa’s Kevin Anderson reacts after winning against US player John Isner during the final set tie-break of their men’s singles semi-final match on the eleventh day of the 2018 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 13, 2018. Anderson won the match 7-6, 6-7, 6-7, 6-4, 26-24. Ben Curtis / POOL / AFP

Kevin Anderson of South Africa yesterday defeated American John Isner in a marathon match before scaling through to the men’s final.

They battled it out on Centre Court for six hours and 35 minutes before the eighth seed came through 7-6 (8-6) 6-7 (5-7) 6-7 (9-11) 6-4 26-24. Anderson will now face either Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic in tomorrow’s final.

It was a duel of serving prowess, in which each player blasted aces galore. In the first set, Kevin had to struggle through three break threats before winning the third game that lasted 13 minutes. No other game lasted that long. Isner faced a set point in the ninth game and saved it. The set went into a tie break, which Anderson won by eight points to six.

The second set was a continuation of the serving war. However, in the tenth game, Anderson had set point that Isner cancelled before holding serve. After two quick games, the set was decided in a one-sided tie in which Isner won by seven points to three. In the third set, there was a bit of drama when the Chair Umpire spoke to Isner about the noise from his team in the player’s box but the American said audibly that, “they had done nothing wrong.”

He then suffered the first break of his serve in the tournament and Anderson had the chance to serve for the match at 5-3 but he did not win his serve. Isner leveled and proceeded to win a close tie break by 11 points to nine.

There was an exchange of breaks in the fifth and sixth games of the fourth set. Anderson secured a second break in the ninth game to lead 5-4. Serving for the set, he delivered an ace to lead 15-0 and raced to 40-15 but was taken to deuce before sealing the set 6-4.

At the end of the eighth game in the fifth set, and down 4-5, Isner asked for the physio-therapist at the changeover and his index finger was re-taped. Although his service speed reduced substantially, the lanky American held his service game to level. At 6-all, the match went into a marathon in which the winner must have a margin of two games.

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John IsnerKevin Anderson
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