Published: Sat, July 14, 2018
Sports | By Brooke Harris

Weary Nadal bows out of Wimbledon with pride

Weary Nadal bows out of Wimbledon with pride

Instead, the two players - and a disappointed audience - were sent home after the third set with Djokovic leading 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (9) following a tense tiebreaker that had more entertaining rallies than some entire matches.

Much like John Isner and Kevin Anderson in the other semifinal, that set up a marathon fifth set - Wimbledon does not go into a fifth-set tiebreak.

"I'm just overwhelmed. This kind of match you live for, you work for", Djokovic said after qualifying for his 18th grand slam final.

"I was for the roof because we started to play, and I wanted to play in the same conditions".

"I don´t know how you can take it playing for so long and coming out the wrong side".

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However, Melichar and Peschke won the next two games to seal it.

"I apologise if I´m not more excited right now". Meanwhile, Anderson, who had spectacularly upset the order of things by stunning top seed Roger Federer 13-11 in the fifth set in the earlier round and had spent long enough on court. "For us to be out there for that length of time, I really hope we can look at this, because at the end you don't feel great", said the eighth seed who has less than 48 hours to get his tired body ready for the biggest match of his life.

Although the game was dominated by big serving, there were some awesome highlights, including a key moment deep in the fifth set. Two points later, Anderson had the vital break to lead 25-24 before serving out the match.

The match has also thrown up a very important question for Grand Slams - the need for a fifth-set tiebreaker.

For the first time in the Open era, the semi-finals were made up exclusively of players over 30. They combined for 102 aces, 53 by Isner, 49 by Anderson.

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Anderson noted that some members of the Centre Court crowd were ready for his match to end, so that the day's second semifinal, between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, could begin. And who is he going to end up playing against - Djokovic or Nadal? The games between Isner and Anderson ticked by with a comforting, metronomic regularity over the first three or four sets.

Anderson will now attempt overturn a losing record against both Nadal (5-0) and Djokovic (5-1). "I have to say congratulations to John on a great tournament and hopefully he can come back stronger". That match put him off extra-time fifth sets for good.

With Merton council imposing at 23:00 BST curfew on play, the players will resume their encounter before the women's final between American 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams and Germany's Angelique Kerber.

Novak Djokovic is into a Grand Slam final for the first time since 2016.

"If you ask majority, I'm sure they would have preferred to see a fifth-set tiebreaker, too".

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"It would have been the dream match for me to test my serve and volley against her power game, although it would never have been enough to just serve and volley as she loves a target", Navratilova wrote.

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