There will be a new Wimbledon finalist on Sunday afternoon with Kevin Anderson and John Isner facing off for a place in the final. Neither man had made it past the fourth round before this year, improving on their career best by at least two rounds.
Anderson’s win in the quarter finals has to be one of the most extraordinary comebacks in men’s tennis. Against No.1 seed and eight time champion Roger Federer, the South African came from 2 sets and a match point down to win a thriller 2-6 6-7 7-5 6-4 13-11. He hit 28 aces to remain tough on serve while being efficient on break points in the latter three sets, going 3 of 5 in them. “Obviously in the third set, I just tried to compete as hard as I could. I was able to hold serve throughout. [Federer] had that one match point, but I played a good point and was able to get that break. I feel like once I did that, I really settled down well and felt pretty comfortable out there.” Anderson said afterwards.
Isner is still yet to be broken at Wimbledon, an outcome that helped him out greatly in his four set win over Milos Raonic. The Canadian was the comfortable favourite going into the match but things turned away from him after he failed to convert a set point for a two set lead in the second set tiebreak. From then on, Isner grew in stature and even broke Raonic three times in the next two sets of the 6-7 7-6 6-4 6-3 victory. “I’ve been serving and volleying pretty well. I think I’ve covered the net well. That’s something I’ve worked on a lot. I’ve had some game plans in each match. I’ve executed them, I think, almost to perfection,” Isner said. “In the big points, this whole tournament, I’ve been calm and collected and felt like I’ve played them well.”
The matchup should favour Anderson, who is a bit stronger in the rallies that should decide many of the key points in the match. “I feel like he relies a lot on confidence… I think he has a lot of confidence right now which allows him to be a bit more free from the baseline. In the matches I’ve played him, obviously taking care of your serve is the first priority. It’s a match that’s often won on just a couple of points here and there.” he said of his opponent, who currently leads the head to head 8-3 – although they have not played in three years. “I feel confident in baseline exchanges quite a lot with John. At the same time, because he’s such a big player, has so much firepower, you just can’t be too patient. You have to still be aggressive and put him on the back foot.”
Prediction – Kevin Anderson in four sets