He had surgery in February, but results on the court since had been shaky.
It is also the third shortest longest in tennis historty, falling just short of 2015 Davis Cup first-round match between Argentina’s Leonardo Mayer and Brazil’s Joao Souza, which went on for six hours and 43 minutes.
“It’s very special. It really could have gone either way”.
“I’m very happy that I can disagree with Boris”, he said. I was too far away.
Novak Djokovic was understandably emotional as he gave a post-match interview immediately after booking his place in Sunday’s final. I have been saying it for years but after Kevin Anderson and John Isner’s match finished 26-24 in the fifth set on Friday, meaning Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal finished on Saturday, I think Wimbledon will go to final-set tiebreaks next year.
With the win, Anderson will face off against the victor of Nadal-Djokovic match in the final at Wimbledon, with the hopes of winning the first major title of his career.
“There was a dialogue, yeah”, said Djokovic after his 52nd career clash against Nadal.
“I don’t know if I’ll be the clear favourite in that one”. Nadal and Djokovic regularly – and spectacularly – ran down shots to force long rallies, drawing gasps and cheers from the appreciative crowd.
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 playing advantage sets.
“It’s hard to pick the words”, said Djokovic, who has won his past eight five-setters at Wimbledon. I just expressed my opinion because they asked for my opinion.
Djokovic recovered from a poor service game with an excellent returning one to get back to 2-3 but Nadal’s forehand was at its snarling best and he broke again before fending off more break points to level the match. The penultimate of those ultimately helped him to the only non-tiebreak victory of the first four sets, and the last allowed him to finally get a leg up on Isner in the final stanza.
But the other three Grand Slam tournaments all play on until one player wins by two games.
The 6-foot-10 Isner and the 6-foot-8 Anderson had played 11 times before on tour, but they also faced each other in college, including in the 2007 NCAA finals, which Isner won. Djokovic would have his first break-point – and match-point – when the score was 8-7, but Nadal saved that with a courageous and cheeky drop shot. The entire top-five at the end of 2016 – Andy Murray, Djokovic, Milos Raonic, Stan Wawrinka and Kei Nishikori – have all spent large chunks of the past year or so on the sidelines.
Djokovic leads two sets to one after winning the third set tie-break after 11pm last night.
“I’m just overwhelmed. This kind of match you live for, you work for”, Djokovic said after qualifying for his 18th grand slam final.