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Wimbledon 2018 men's semi-final: Novak Djokovic v Rafael Nadal

17 July 2018

Our panelists offer up their previews, with predictions. Very, very happy to be in this position right now in the semi-finals.

Djokovic won five more points than his opponent but after taking the opener squandered three match points in an epic four-hour best-of-three contest. I kid, but here are some non-jovial thoughts from Kevin Anderson's 7-6, 6-7, 6-7, 6-4, 26-24 win over John Isner in the Wimbledon semifinals.

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Novak Djokovic takes on Kevin Anderson in the men's singles final at Wimbledon on Sunday.

Kevin Anderson produced the greatest performance of his career yesterday to batter his way into the final after the longest semi-final ever witnessed at Wimbledon. Federer eked out a break point at 4-3, Anderson quickly snuffed it out, then Anderson served to stay in the match, and did so to love. For Anderson, he will rely heavily on his serve to bother the Serbian. It may level the playing field slightly, as Anderson had to slog through a six-hour match against Isner, will at least have Saturday off. To me, the health and fatigue will impact Anderson's performance.

Djokovic hasn't won a major in more than two years, dealing with an injured right elbow that was so painful in 2017 he quit his quarterfinal at Wimbledon and sat out the rest of the season.

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.

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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. For Anderson to come through this is an awesome achievement.

While Nadal has shared the last six Grand Slam titles with Roger Federer, the Spaniard's struggles over the past eight years at the grass court Grand Slam are well known.

A jubilant Anderson said: "I just said to myself, "Today is going to be my day".

The 32-year-old has worked tirelessly to improve his game and has seen the rewards over the last two years, including a first slam final at the US Open last summer and a place in the top 10. The most important came with Isner serving at 24-24. Also, it is not to be underestimated the value of a day's rest before the final.

Anderson will now attempt overturn a losing record against both Nadal (5-0) and Djokovic (5-1).

Brett Margolies: It's tough to tell which player has the advantage here regarding being fresher for the final. I don't think Djokovic will let an opportunity like this slip.

Wimbledon 2018 men's semi-final: Novak Djokovic v Rafael Nadal