Anderson has his work cut out against Isner in Wimbledon semifinal

Rafael Nadal

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The top half of the men's draw at Wimbledon saw a surprising upset Wednesday, as Kevin Anderson took down eight-time champ Roger Federer, but the bottom half saw two familiar names advance to the semifinal at the All-England Club: Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, who will meet Friday in a must-see battle in London.

Later this afternoon, No. 2 seed Rafael Nadal will take on No. 12 Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon men's semi-final.

In the end, and to the surprise of no one, they did not come close to finishing after two hours and 54 minutes of play on Friday night. In most cases, this is still a compelling finish, but when you put two heavy-hitting goliaths against each other, what results is a six-hour slog that can cause delays across the tournament. "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. John´s a great guy.

"I feel pretty awful", Isner said afterward.

"I apologise if I'm not more excited right now but I've got so many mixed emotions".

"But at the same time, I'm through to the final".

This coming after they had already set the record for the tallest combined major matchup in the quarterfinals or later in the Open era.

South Africa's tennis gladiator Kevin Anderson was so exhausted after a six-hour 35-minute marathon against John Isner that he was barely able to enjoy the finest moment of his career - reaching the Wimbledon final.

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Anderson saved three break points in the third game of the first set before Isner had to save a set point in the 10th.

It was the same tit-for-tat in the fifth and sixth games of the fourth set before Anderson produced a moment of brilliance, a superb cross-court backhand, to break in the ninth and subsequently held serve to win 6-4. Watch Nadal vs Djokovic live stream online on ESPN TV this morning at 11 am EST / 8 am PST for what could and hopefully will be a five set marathon to determine the victor.

It's a really tough match to call but I think Nadal will come through in four sets.

In the first set, as expected, there were no breaks of serve but Anderson did well to save three breaks points in the third game.

The pressure continued to mount on the world No. 1 as Djokovic created another break point opportunity, with his Spanish opponent punching the air with glee after denying the Serb.

Nadal and Djokovic will be meeting for the 52nd time in their career, with Djokovic leading their head-to-head 26-25.

Nadal, the 2008 and 2010 champion, trails Djokovic, the 2011, 2014 and 2015 victor, 26-25 in a rivalry which began at Roland Garros 12 years ago.

Nadal, 32, is back in the semi-finals at Wimbledon for the first time since 2011 when he finished runner-up to Djokovic. This was to be his last Grand Slam until 2017.

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