Djokovic seeks rest and calm before final against Anderson

Novak Djokovic reached his fifth Wimbledon final on Saturday with a 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (11/9), 3-6, 10-8 victory over Rafael Nadal in the second longest semi-final ever played at the tournament. Anderson beat John Isner in a 6½-hour semifinal that ended at 26-24 fifth set Friday night, pushing back the start of Djokovic vs. Nadal.

The 52nd meeting between these two great rivals was delayed by the six hours and 36 minutes it took Anderson and John Isner to play their match, with Djokovic taking a two-sets-to-one lead before play was suspended just after 11pm on Friday.

That match victor, Kevin Anderson, will be seeking his first major crown on Sunday, while Djokovic-playing in his 22nd Grand Slam final-is seeking his 13th.

"I'm really, really pleased", Djokovic said. "I was very emotional after the match, as well, because it's been a long 15 months for me, you know, trying to overcome different obstacles".

In nine years since Roddick's last Grand Slam final, US women have reached a combined 21 Grand Slam finals (16 via Serena Williams).

Anderson has the benefit of a day off between the semi-finals and the final, a break Djokovic describes as "necessary". "It's hard to find words", he said. I mean, just playing like that, in those sort of conditions.it's really tough on both of us.

But Anderson has little time to rest his aching body before facing either Novak Djokovic or Rafael Nadal in Sunday's final.

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The spectator concerned loudly exclaimed: "Come on guys, we want to see Rafa", with the match finely poised at 13 games all in the final set.

Djokovic debunked speculation that he asked to play with the roof closed, by saying: "The tournament organisers and referees said that the roof has to be closed because we started the match with the roof closed".

"Kevin also had quite a few hours on the court in the last couple matches". Djokovic had three match points but could not capitalise and Nadal won the match 3-6, 7-6, 7-6.

"It's one of the longest matches I played over the two days, I'm overwhelmed".

The Serbian superstar resisted a ferocious fightback from the world No.1 to prevail 6-4 3-6 7-6 (9-11) 3-6 10-8 in the second-longest semi-final in the championships' 150-year history. He has a 12-9 win-loss record in major finals, and has won three of his four previous Wimbledon championship matches.

Djokovic converted his game point and urged the crowd to its feet, Nadal converted a smash and raised his arms aloft. Fortunately, he was at the end of the court farthest from the Royal Box, where the pair of visiting Duchesses, Kate and the newly married Meghan, sat in the front row.

Ultimately, the cheeky fan who had called for Nadal to be on court would get his wish, as the Spaniard took the court against Djokovic at around 8pm local time.

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