Highlights, Wimbledon 2018 men's semi-finals: Novak Djokovic claims third set against Rafel Nadal as play is called off

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Highlights, Wimbledon 2018 men's semi-finals: Novak Djokovic claims third set against Rafel Nadal as play is called off
  • 03:47 (IST)

    More action follows

    Reports suggest Djokovic and Nadal will play before the women's singles final between Serena Williams and Angelique Kerber at 5:30 PM IST. A bit harsh on the ladies, but that's how it is. So after over ten hours of high-decibel tennis, we have one completed match to show, and we must thank Kevin Anderson and John Isner for that. 

    That's all we have for you at this time. Do join us tomorrow for some more tennis. Till then, it's goodbye.

  • 03:40 (IST)

    Play will resume tomorrow

  • 03:38 (IST)

    On set away

  • 03:37 (IST)

    Play suspended

    It's 11PM in London, and that's the maximum the play can go on at SW19. Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal will return tomorrow to continue their semi-final. What an absorbing day of tennis this has been.

    Djokovic leads 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (11-9)

  • 03:34 (IST)

    Djokovic wins third set

    What an exhibition these two have put in in this tie-breaker. Powerful baseline rallies, drop shots, improvisations, you name it. Djokovic, from a 4-2 lead, finds himself trailing 6-7, before he employs the drop shot to make it 7-7. Nadal uses his drop shot to make it 8-7 before Nadal hits long to trail 9-8. Djokovic on set point. And he hits long!It's 9-9. Someone has to end this bruising tie-breaker, and it's a Djokovic sprint that makes it 10-9. It was a drop shot and the Serb runs full steam to place his return perfectly. Another baseline rally and Djokovic's down the line backhand does the trick. He takes the tie-breaker 11-9, and wins the third set 7-6 (11-9).

  • 03:11 (IST)

    Nadal ties third set 6-6

    Nadal to serve. It's 15-all in no time and Rafa wins this baseline rally with the most beautiful slice you will ever see. Wow. 30-15.Another baseline rally, and another point to Nadal as Djokovic hits long. 40-15. Now Nadal's return falls long, and it's 40-30. Nadal takes it with a wicked drop shot as tie-breaker beckons.

  • 03:06 (IST)

    Djokovic leads 6-5

    Djokovic comes roaring back. takes the game in a sublime display of high-class tennis. He comes back from 0-30 to take this game by sheer strength of his groundstrokes and placements.

  • 03:02 (IST)

    Nadal makes it 5-5

    Nadal serves, but a wild returnmakes it 15-0 in Djokovic's favour.Anoythe baseline rally before the inevitable Rafa forehand arrives. 15-15. Now he hits the whipped forehand long. 30-15. Makes amends with an ace to reach to 40-15, and takes the game with a deep return that makes Djokovic hit long.

  • 02:59 (IST)

    Agree?

  • 02:58 (IST)

    Djokovic leads 5-4

    Djokovic'sserve. He starts with a double fault but a vicious forehand makes it 15-all. Nadal hits long to make it 30-15, and constructs a really fine point to go 40-15. He dictates the next rally too and forces Nadal's forehand into the net. 

  • 02:55 (IST)

    Nadal makes it 4-4

    What a return there from these two. Sprinting across the court, stretching, reaching, and eventually hitting...incredible. Nadal takes that point, and the next too as Djokovic hits wide.The Serb pulls one back with an on-the-rise forehand but rips a booming forehand that leaves Djokovic gasping. 40-15. Nadal seals it as Djokovic's return finds the net. It's 4-4.

  • 02:46 (IST)

    Nadal makes it 3-3

    Excellent stuff from Nadal. Makes it 3-3 with an ace and a series of bullet returns.

  • 02:39 (IST)

    Nadal makes it 2-2

    Clinical stuff from Nadal. Teases Djokovic with a drop shot to make it 40-0 and seals it with a brutal return. It's 2-2 in the third set.

  • 02:36 (IST)

    Djokovic leads 2-1 in third set

    Djokovic races to 30-0 and makes it 40-0 with an ace. A return error makes it 40-15, but Djokovic eventually takes the game. He leads 2-1 in the third set.

  • 02:33 (IST)

    Nadal makes it 1-1 in third set

    Excellent passing game from these two. Slew of high lobs and an incredible overhead shot before Djokovic hits wide. Nadal cashes in with a forehand to make it 30-0. Another powerful return from Nadal and Djokovic rushes in, but couldn't get the return past the net. 40-0. Djokovic hits another return into the net and it's 1-1 in the third set.

  • 02:27 (IST)

    Djokovic leads third set 1-0

    Right, time for the third set. Djokovic to serve. He starts with a deep serve to Nadal's forehand, but after a short rally, Nadal responds with a ferocious backhand to take first points. He soon hits a retuen long though, and it's 15-all. A wide return from Djokovic turns out to be too good for Nadal, and he responds with a scintillating forehand to make it 30-all. Djokovic though takes next to points and with that, the first game of the third set.

  • 02:19 (IST)

    Nadal wins second set 6-3

    Nadal serving for the set. He concedes the first point before the two indulge in a lovely crosscourt baseline rally. Djokovic seals it with a drop shot to make it 15-all, but commits an error soon to give the initiative back to Nadal. The Spaniard hits a down the line forehand into the net and it's 30-all. Another baseline rally, but Nadal errs again. Djokovic on break point now, but Nadal saves it with a booming serve. Deuce. Another powerful rally before Djokovic earns second break point as Nadal's forehand goes wide.Now Djokovic hits long; deuce. ANd what a return that from Nadal. Long, powerful, and flat. It's advantage Nadal, and he takes the set as Djokovic hits wide.

  • 02:12 (IST)

    Djokovic makes it 5-3

    Now Djokovic gives Nadal a taste of his own medicine. Pushes, pushes, pushes and then comes the sliced drop shot. Nadal is not done yet. He lets lose a rasping forehand to Djoker's right, but the Serb is not fazed. He comes rushing to the net and coolly makes it 5-3.

  • 02:07 (IST)

    Nadal leads 5-2 in second set

    Clinical stuff this from Nadal. Pushes Djokovic back with his powerful serves before unleashing his crosscourt power and drop shots. He takes the game as Djokovic hits a return long. Are we in for another long haul?

  • 02:04 (IST)

    Nadal breaks

    Nadal on break point. He makes Djokovic run around with his crosscourt backhands and forehands, before the Spaniard hits one long. It's back to deuce. Nadal gets to second break point with a drop short. A sizzling forehand return means Nadal has broken Djokovic.He leads second set 4-2.

  • 01:58 (IST)

    Djokovic breaks back

    Djokovic breaks back! This is incredible tennis from these two. His returns have regained their venom and accuracy, and he is moving really well. It's 3-2 in Nadal's favour in the second set.

  • 01:52 (IST)

    Nadal makes it 3-1

    Wow! Nadal packs some power in that searing forehand return to make it 30-0. Djokovic responds with an ace. Another big serve, and Djokovic has blown it. He had Nadal in all sorts of trouble, but hits the return wide. Nadal eventually takes the game as Djokovic hits the net.

  • 01:48 (IST)

    Nadal leads 2-1 in second set

    Nadal starts with an early lead but Djokovic restores parity with a thundering forehand. Nadal hits a return wide but makes ammends with a powerful forehand that makes it 30-30.Djokovic moves to 40-30 but a Nadal body serve induces an error. It's 40-all before Nadal's sliced backhand hits the net. Second break point, and Djoker hits wide! Deuce again. Nadal gets the break point now, and he seals it with a deep groundstroke that Djokovic hits wide. 

    Nadal leads 2-1 in the second set.

  • 01:41 (IST)

    Djokovic draws level

    Djokovic serves. He starts with an ace, and follows up with a solid forehand drive to make it 30-0.Nadal shows his class though; pushes Djokovic outside the court and takes advantage of vast empty spaces. 30-15. Nadal draws parity with a sliced volley that Djokovic hits wide. The Serb then moves to break point, but hits a forehand into the net to force a deuce. It's game Djokovic as Nadal hits a forehand into the net. It's 1-1 in the second set.

  • 01:36 (IST)

    Nadal leads 1-0 in second set

    Vintage stuff this from these two. Drop shots, volleys, netplay, baseline, you name it. And Nadal saves a break point to take this game. 

  • 01:29 (IST)

    Good start

  • 01:28 (IST)

    Djokovic takes first set 6-4

    Excellent tennis there from Djokovic. He seems to be reading Nadal's game so well, and his accuracy and power in forehand are right out of the top drawer. He takes the first set 6-4.

  • 01:17 (IST)

    Djokovic leads 4-3

    What a return that from Djokovic. Made to run across the court by Nadal, who casually delivers a drop shot. Djokovic responds with a thundering forehand that scorches the sideline. He leads the first set 4-3.

  • 01:06 (IST)

    Nadal leads 3-2

    Nadal sets this up perfectly. Pushes Djokovic well beyond baseline with his big forehands and then deploys the drop shot.He then stretches Djoker to his left, but hits the resultant lob deep. Goes on to save two break points, and boy is he pumped up. It's advantage Nadal now as Djokovic hits the net. Another crosscourt rally that ends with a delectable drop shot that Djokovic does well to reach, but only manages to hit the net.

  • 00:58 (IST)

    Djokovic equalises

    Djokovic equalises after Nadal takes 2-1 lead in the first set. His groundstrokes have been stinging, and the game is sealed with Nadal's forehand falling deep.

  • 00:49 (IST)

    Meanwhile...

  • 00:48 (IST)

    Nadal, Djokovic share first two games

    The extended wait seems to have done little to their concentration. Typical groundstrokes and heavy top-spin forehands have flowed, and it's 1-1 in the first set.

  • 00:40 (IST)

    Nadal vs Djokovic

    Right guys, time for the other semi-final. Novak Djokovic plays Rafael Nadal after Isner-Anderson marathon. They have played each other a record 51 times, with Djokovic leading 26-25.

  • 00:27 (IST)

    7-6 (6), 6-7 (5), 6-7 (9), 6-4, 26-24

  • 00:25 (IST)

    And thus it ends

  • 00:23 (IST)

    What a match!

    What a match this has been. Tells you something about the mental and physical strength of these men. John Isner, who has played the longest match in tennis history, has just been part of the longest semi-final in Wimbledon history. And what a match this for Anderson. The South African came back from two sets down against Roger Federer, and he is the last man standing in this historic match today. He is in his maiden Wimbledon final, where he plays either Novak Djokovic or Rafael Nadal. 

  • 00:18 (IST)

    Anderson wins!

    Anderson serves for the match, but dunks his return tamely into the net. He can't do that now! Here comes the big serve,and after a short rally, Isner hits wide. Well well well...It's 15-0. Anderson nails an ace and he is on 30-15,and now Isner hits long. After 6 hours and 35 minutes, Anderson is on match point...and Isner hits wide. Kevin Anderson beats John Isner in a marathon. He coolly takes off his cap, holds his arms afloat, soaks in the standing ovation and hugs Isner.

  • 00:13 (IST)

    Anderson breaks Isner!

    Anderson on break point at 40-0. Isner saves first break but hits his backhand return into the net. John Isner is broken as Kevin Anderson takes his 25th game. He'll serve for the match. He leads 25-24.

  • 00:02 (IST)

    Someone's not happy

  • 00:01 (IST)

    Isner leads 23-22

    Meanwhile, amid the ennui, Anderson has raced tp 30-0 on Isner's serve. Can Anderson break him and force a result? Isner wrests back a point and Anderson hits wide to make it 30-all. Isner gets to 40-30 with a forehand winner and takes the game as Anderson's return falls deep. There's no end to this match!

  • 23:53 (IST)

    Isner leads 22-21

    Isner serves, and they show some purpose in this rally. Anderson is drawn to the left and the resultant toss is dealt with by Isner. He holds.

  • 23:49 (IST)

    21-21!

    Anderson's turn now. Mixes his forehands with some deft work at the net to keep the mill running. Isner hits his return long and Anderson takes the game.

  • 23:47 (IST)

    Isner leads 21-20

    The round about continues. Isner takes his customary service game, and the scorecard reads 21-20.

  • 23:43 (IST)

    Fifth set tied 20-20

    Anderson's relentless assault continues. He jumps to 40-0 with an ace and takes the 20th game with a forehand winner. They are clearly playing with each other's mind, waiting for the other to blink. There's no intent to move to net; it's a high-quality baseline battle between two of the fiercest hitters on the tour.

  • 23:41 (IST)

    Ace Alert!

    Kevin Anderson: 41  John Isner 52

  • 23:36 (IST)

    Isner restores lead

    Isner leads 19-18. It's getting really tiring for everyone except the two men in the Centre Court. Ace by ace, stroke by stroke, they are cementing their place in tennis lore. Such toughness, such grit!

  • 23:29 (IST)

    Isner leads 18-17

    These two are not slowing down at all. It's 18-17 in Isner's favour. Big serves, deep groundstrokes, and relentless energy. Take a bow, guys!

  • 23:27 (IST)

    Certainly!

  • 23:26 (IST)

    Half-time!

  • 23:25 (IST)

    Anderson draws level

    The South African shows no signs of slowing down. Takes this game in real quick time, banking heavily on his big serves and powerful groundtrokes. It's 17-17.

Preview: Rafael Nadal described long-time rival Novak Djokovic as "one of the more complex" players he's ever met as they prepare to clash for the 52nd time on Friday with a Wimbledon final spot at stake.

World No 1 Nadal, the 2008 and 2010 champion at the All England Club, trails Djokovic, the 2011, 2014 and 2015 winner, 26-25 in a rivalry which began at Roland Garros 12 years ago.

Serbia's Novak Djokovic returns the ball to Rafael Nadal of Spain during their men's singles semifinals match at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, in London, Friday July 13, 2018.(AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

Novak Djokovic in action against Rafael Nadal. AP/Kirsty Wigglesworth

Along the way, they have fought out a series of classic and epic battles including Djokovic's 5–7, 6–4, 6–2, 6–7 (5), 7–5 Australian Open final victory in 2012.

At five hours and 53 minutes, it was the longest final ever at a Slam.

The following year, Nadal downed the Serb, who was World No 1 at the time, 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 6-7, 9-7 in the semi-finals in Paris, this time in four hours and 37 minutes.

"It's always a big challenge to face Novak," said 32-year-old Nadal who is back in the semi-finals at Wimbledon for the first time since 2011 when he finished runner-up to Djokovic.

"He is one of the more complex players that I ever saw in our sport. You know that you can't win against him if you don't play very well."

Nadal is chasing an 18th Grand Slam title which would put him just two behind Roger Federer who was sensationally knocked out in the quarter-finals by Kevin Anderson.

For his part, Djokovic is eyeing a 13th major after making the semi-finals of a Slam for the first time since finishing runner-up at the 2016 US Open.

This time last year, few would have expected to see either man back in the last-four at the All England Club.

Nadal was knocked out in the fourth round, losing 13-11 in the final set to Luxembourg journeyman Gilles Muller.

On four of his previous five visits to south-west London, he had been defeated by players outside the top 100.

Djokovic's 2017 Wimbledon campaign ended in a quarter-final retirement with an elbow injury which led to surgery and precipitated a worrying dip in form and confidence.

When he lost in the French Open quarter-finals to world number 72 Marco Cecchinato last month, he even suggested he was ready to skip Wimbledon this year as his ranking slipped to 22, his lowest since August 2006.

But the 31-year-old has been rejuvenated at Wimbledon, sweeping into the semi-finals for the eighth time.

'Not up to standard'

"My results were not up to the standard that I had before," said Djokovic after beating Kei Nishikori in the quarter-finals.

"At the same time, I'm trying to use the experience and memories that I have of being in the final stages of Grand Slams, just take things very simple, day by day."

Nadal had not dropped a set at the tournament until the quarter-finals where he fought back to defeat Juan Martin del Potro 7-5, 6-7 (7/9), 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 on Wednesday.

That four-hour and 48-minute epic put him into his sixth Wimbledon semi-final and 28th at the majors.

Friday's other semi-final pitches Anderson, the eighth seed who lost to Nadal in last year's US Open final, against ninth-seeded American John Isner.

Both men are in the semi-finals at Wimbledon for the first time.

Anderson is the first South African to make the last-four since Kevin Curren in 1983.

Isner had never got past the third round at Wimbledon before this year while a run to the last-eight at the 2011 US Open had been his previous best at the majors.

The surprise presence of Anderson and Isner means this year's Wimbledon semi-finals will feature players all over the age of 30 for the first time in the Open era.

Their clash, however, may not be easy on the eye.

Isner hasn't been broken in 95 service games and has fired 161 aces, fuelled by a sweet tooth.

"I think after each win throughout these 10 days, I've had a Kit Kat. I'm not going to change that now," said the American.

Anderson has 123 aces to his name.


Updated Date: Jul 14, 2018 03:48 AM

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