Wimbledon: Anderson defeats Isner in 6-hour thriller

Rafael Nadal of Spain crashes into the crowd

"Just playing like that in those sort of conditions is really tough on both of us".

"They've paid to see two matches, and they came pretty close to only seeing one match", Anderson said.

In the second semi-final also at Centre Court, world No 1 Rafael Nadal takes on three-time victor, Novak Djokovic. Nadal won the match 5-7, 7-6, 6-4, 4-6, 4-6 in 4hr 47min. An 11 p.m. curfew is imposed on night matches at Wimbledon. Djokovic finally claimed it on his second chance.

The only silver lining for Anderson, if it can be called that, is that the length of his match had a knock-on effect on the Nadal-Djokovic semi-final.

But world No.1 broke twice in the second set and fended off more break points to level the match.

The US Open is the only grand slam to use tiebreakers in the fifth set, with the Australian Open and French Open, like Wimbledon, both also playing advantage sets. "I think I can keep doing damage here", Isner said. "I've hit a lot of left-handed balls throughout my life. I have an very bad blister on my right foot".

The match surpassed the previous record set by another five-setter between Novak Djokovic and Juan Martin del Potro in a 2013 semifinal. I really feel for him because being on the opposite side, I don't know how you can take that playing for so long and coming out short.

The match took a flabbergasting six hours and 36 minutes from first serve to the moment Anderson clinched the match.

Of the four Grand Slam tournaments, deciding set tiebreaks are only contested at the U.S. Open when the score is at 6-all.

"Honestly, I really hope that this is a bit of a sign for Grand Slams to change this format of five sets", a visibly drained Anderson said in a post-match TV interview. "I mean, it's just who's going to outlast each other", said Anderson, a 32-year-old from South Africa who is seeking his first major trophy. The victor of the match will face off against the victor of John Isner and Kevin Anderson.

"He's got a tough task ahead of him", summed up John Isner on Friday after the American came off second best in a 7-6 (6), 6-7 (5), 6-7 (9), 6-4, 26-24 war of attrition.

Anderson, the No. 8 seed, ultimately prevailed 6-7 (6), 6-7 (5), 6-7 (9), 6-4, 26-24, with the fifth set alone lasting almost three hours.

But only one of these men can move through to take on Anderson on Sunday, and they will resume on Saturday, when ticket holders for the women's final will get an unexpected treat. Isner was representing the university of Georgia, while Anderson was at the university of IL. They play well a set and then they give up.

At 24-24 in the fifth set Kevin Anderson slipped on the baseline and dropped his racket. He defeated Roger Federer 13-11 in the decider of their quarterfinal match Wednesday.

"We don't want it to be 70-68, John", someone shouted from the crowd at 8-8 in reference to Isner's 2010 epic win over Mahut, as both men kept slamming down huge serves.

The last men's semifinal to be finished on Saturday was in 2007, between none other than Nadal and Djokovic. But Anderson has broken serve more than Isner, with 18 returning games won to the American's 15.

"Watching these guys, they're moving like gazelles out there", a worn out Isner added.