Wednesday, 20 February, 2019

Novak Djokovic: 'Kevin Anderson was impressive against Roger Federer'

Rafael Nadal Novak Djokovic GETTYRafael Nadal sent a message to Novak Djokovic
Kristopher Love | 15 July, 2018, 15:02

Nadal continued: "In that moment I understood the rationale, but I did not understand that we would play indoor today unless we both agreed to play outdoor, and evidently, we did not agree". He had surgery in February, but his results were still shaky.

Kevin Anderson defeated John Isner in a marathon semifinal on Friday that lasted over six hours.

"It's very special, it really could have gone either way".

"Because it's been a long 15 months for me, you know, trying to overcome different obstacles".

Said Nadal: "In my opinion, he deserved it". I was too far away.

Anderson's run at Wimbledon may have seemed unpredictable, writes Jack Houghton, but he deserves support in the final side markets to continue surprising.

It was the Serb, who was leading two sets to one when the match was discontinued, who prevailed, though only narrowly, in a contest that consumed 5 hours and 15 minutes 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (9), 3-6, 10-8.

The 32-year-old Anderson is the first South African man since Brian Norton 97 years ago to reach the Wimbledon final.

"It's been a roller-coaster ride for him the last couple rounds, but he had a day off, which means a lot", Djokovic said.

"I think we're quite even".

"He's probably the greatest fighter ever to play this game", Djokovic said of Nadal.

Rafael Nadal Novak Djokovic
GETTYDjokovic won Wimbledon last week

With Djokovic holding a two-sets-to-one lead, having clinched the third-set tiebreak just as the match was halted, Nadal faced the tremendous pressure of having to win back-to-back sets to advance. "It was a late night and an early morning, but I'm just so pleased to get through".

It's hard to see how Anderson won't serve the most aces, then.

Nadal, the 2008 and 2010 champion, was playing in his first semi-final at the All England Club since 2011 when he finished runner-up to Djokovic.

With a duration of 6 hours and 36 minutes, it is the longest semifinal in Wimbledon history. The other instance was in 2001.

"I was for the roof because we started to play, and I wanted to play in the same conditions". It included a 23-stroke exchange and three others of at least 11.

The sweat-soaked two-time champion held, broke and held again for 3-0.

However, the pressure of serving second was relentless and Djokovic wrapped up victory in the 18th game when Nadal speared a forehand wide. "I am overwhelmed", an emotional Djokovic told the BBC.

In a roller-coaster of a set, Nadal broke for 5-3 causing Djokovic to angrily smash his racquet into his feet four times. He reacted by raising his left shoe and violently pounded his racket against it - one, two, three, four times. While Nadal covered a distance of 6392 metres in the match, Djokovic clocked nearly 6052 metres.

Though Anderson will play the final as an equal to the resurgent Djokovic, his presence may just be the lucky omen the Serbian needs to earn his first Major in two years. Nadal has gotten the better of Djokovic in Grand Slam matches over the years, still holding a 9-5 edge.

'Well done, he has already proven that he is a top player on all the surfaces.