Saturday, 14 July 2018

Anderson d Isner in marathon semi final

Day 11 of Wimbledon 2018 was Men’s Semi Final Day and first up was the surprise match between Kevin Anderson (8) who showed Roger Federer (1) the exit and John Isner (9) who out played Milos Raonic (13).

Anderson has played one Grand Slam semi final before - defeating Pablo Carreño Busta on the way to the US Open final last year. Isner would be playing his first major semi final.

Head to head, Isner leads 8-3, but they haven’t played each other since 2015, and never in a major.

Anderson served first and two aces, a double fault, and a forehand winner were included in a comfortable service hold. 1-0

Isner was also easy on serve, despite an Anderson forehand pass.  An ace and forehand winner helped Isner to 1-1.

The next game lasted 13 minutes and there were many surprisingly good rallies, considering the huge serving.  Isner hit some terrific winners and created three break points which all were saved.

Anderson wasted several game points before deciding to end the pain and hold for 2-1.

A forehand winner and volley success from Isner, were countered by a return winner by Anderson and a double fault.  An ace cleared any doubt and games were 2-2.

An error full game went to Anderson with the loss of a single point, much less of a problem than his previous game 3-2. 

Two aces and two service winners from Isner 3-3.  Two aces and a service winner from Anderson 4-3.

Two Isner aces and 4-4.  Net cord fortune for Anderson then an ace 30-0 forehand winner 40-0 ace 5-4

Great Anderson return 0-15. 126 mph second serve winner 15-15. Isner error 15-30. Anderson error 30-30.  Double fault and set point.

Service winner saved it.  Isner held for 5-5.

Anderson held for 6-5 on the back of Isner errors and a backhand winner.

Two service winners and an Isner ace 6-6 and tie break.

Set point saved by Anderson before Isner found the net at 6 points to 7 and Anderson won the set.

Isner served three aces in a row and led 1-0 in set two. An Anderson ace sealed his game for 1-1.  A stunning down the line winner from Isner highlighted his hold of serve and a lead of 2-1.

Still no breaks of serve in the match as Isner held for a 5-4 lead.  Isner was forced into error three times on his forehand and 5-5.

An Isner ace and volley winner and he led 6-5.  Two forehand winners and an ace from Anderson and another tie break.

Isner won both points off Anderson’s first serves to lead 3 points to 0.

5-0 in an instant.  

Anderson fought back to 3-5 with a backhand winner but Isner had three set points when he forced an error on the same South African backhand.  Two were saved, however an Isner ace won him the set and he levelled the match 6-7(6) 7-6(5).

Anderson held to love in the opening game of set three, all points due to Isner errors. 1-0

An ace and two winning volleys was enough for Isner to level at 1-1.

Isner winning forehand 0-15.  Anderson ace 15-15. Unforced error from the South African racquet 15-30. Isner two forced mistakes 40-30. A forehand winner from Anderson clinched a dicey game and gave him a 2-1 advantage.  

Forehand winner and ace and Isner tied it at 2-2.  Anderson smash winner and ace 3-2.  Forehand volley winner from Isner sealed his service game. 3-3.  An ace and a number of forced Isner errors 4-3 Anderson.

An Anderson forehand winner and three straight Isner errors decided the first service break of the match - the first break of the Isner serve this tournament.  5-3 Anderson and serving for the set.

The pair shared winners but Anderson’s errors overruled the situation and he lost serve too.  5-4 Anderson, but on serve. Remarkable after so many service holds to see back to back breaks.

Isner brought us back to sanity with a pair of aces and two volley winners 5-5. An ace signified Anderson’s love game and he led 6-5.

A double fault and 30-30, but Isner steadied with a service winner and ace to send us into another tie break.

Both players saved two set points, one was given away by an Anderson double fault.  On his third chance, Isner forced Anderson into error and the American took the set to lead 6-7(6) 7-6(5) 7-6(9).

The match had gone just on three hours and Isner was a set away from the final.

An Isner ace and Anderson errors formed a love game for Isner to begin set four 1-0.

Anderson also served an ace amongst a series of Isner mistakes to make it 1-1.  Same formula for Isner - an ace and three forced errors. 2-1.

Two winning forehands and an ace set up a comfortable service game for Anderson and 2-2.  From 40-15, Isner suffered two Anderson winning backhands and it was deuce. A South African forehand winner presented a break point and it was converted via a forced backhand error.  Anderson 3-2.

Two Isner winning forehands had Anderson at 15-30.  An unforced error from Anderson and break back point.  A backhand Isner winner, and for the second time in the match, two successive service breaks.  Anderson must have been kicking himself for failing to consolidate in both instances. 3-3.

Despite two double faults, Isner held for 4-3.  Three Isner forehand errors, two forced, and Anderson 40-0.  Ace for 4-4.

Break point on the Isner serve after volley and backhand errors.  An Anderson winner for the break and he would serve for the set, as he did previously in set three.

Three set points after two Isner forced errors and an Anderson ace.

Two saved with forced errors.  Deuce after an Anderson unforced mistake.  A forehand winner and fourth set point.  Anderson won the set this time 6-4 and we were going the distance.  Already three and three quarter hours had passed.  Nadal and Djokovic must have been wondering when they would ever touch the grass today.

No service breaks as Anderson served at 2-3 in the deciding fifth set.

A love game for Anderson with two aces, totalling 27 so far. 3-3.

Isner held to 15, also with two aces, totalling 39 so far.  He led 4-3.

5-5 and still on serve.  Isner served and a volley winner and service winner ensured a 6-5 lead. 

From 15-30, Anderson forced three Isner backhand errors and 6-6.

No tie break here and we could go all night.  Remember Isner and Mahut in 2010 - 70-68 in the decider.

Isner held, an ace and winning forehand assisting 7-6.  Forehand and service winners from Anderson 7-7.

Isner fought back from 0-30 with a volley and an ace, but an Anderson winning forehand created break point. Saved with an ace, and Isner won the game to lead 8-7.

At 17-17 Isner threw in two unforced errors and he had to face two break points. Two aces fixed that, and he held serve, finishing with a backhand winner. He led 18-17 after five and three quarter hours, the longest timed men’s semi final in Wimbledon history.

At 24-24, Anderson hit a winning volley, forced an Isner error, hit a forehand winner, and had three break points.  Isner saved one with a backhand volley, but dropped serve when forced into an errant backhand.  

Anderson would serve for the match at 25-24

Two Isner forced errors and an Anderson ace brought up two match points. A loose shot from Isner and the marathon was over.

Kevin Anderson won 7-6(6) 6-7(5) 6-7(9) 6-4 26-24 in six hours thirty six minutes of awesome tennis.  247 aces between them.

How he can recover for the final will be one of the questions now, but importantly he is in a Grand Slam final, the second of his career, and the second of the last four.

Anderson will rise in the rankings to a new career high of five, previously seven.  A win on Sunday would propel him past del Potro into number four position.

John Isner, for his mighty performance this tournament, moves up to his career high of 8, previously 9.

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