Djokovic and Nadal will resume play at 1pm on Saturday before Ladies’ final with the roof closed
By Raz Mirza at Wimbledon
Last Updated: 13/07/18 11:34pm
Great rivals Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal will return on Saturday to complete their Wimbledon semi-final with Kevin Anderson awaiting the winner.
Anderson overcame John Isner to reach Sunday’s final after the longest semi-final in Grand Slam history, which meant Djokovic and Nadal walked out to play under the roof on Centre Court shortly after 8pm local time.
Both players oozed confidence before they came off court at 11.02pm with the scoreline poised at 6-4 3-6 7-6 (11-9) in Djokovic’s favour.
The two gladiators went toe to toe in a high-quality contest but it was Djokovic who broke first for a 4-3 lead when Nadal netted a forehand and the 31-year-old then held his next two service games to claim the opener.
The Serbian 12th seed fired five aces and 14 winners to underline his growing confidence at the All England Club.
After seven consecutive wins over Nadal, Djokovic had lost their last two matches. Both were on clay, in Madrid last year and in Rome as recently as May and the top seed regained his composure in the second set converting two out of three opportunities to break serve and level the last-four contest at one set apiece.
After the exhausting quarter-final against Juan Martin del Potro, which was just a minute shorter than his classic 2008 final against Roger Federer, Nadal appeared remarkably fresh during a drama-filled third set as both players pounded the ball in a baseline duel.
With nobody budging on serve, a tie-break was needed to separate the pair and after some lung-busting rallies of epic proportions it was Djokovic who survived two set points before taking his own opportunity for the overnight advantage in a gripping contest.
Boos greeted the announcement that the match would have to resume on Saturday before they were replaced by cheers as the players headed off court.
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