It took six hours and 36 minutes to get the result, but Kevin Anderson made it through to the 2018 Wimbledon final after defeating John Isner in a marathon match on Friday, 7-6(6), 6-7(5), 6-7(9), 6-4, 26-24.
With Anderson and Isner, known as two of the most powerful servers in the tournament, it was predictably difficult for either player to break the other's serve. But after each man had won 24 games in the first set, Anderson finally broke through and took the match, employing one of the most impressive shots of the tournament thus far to do it.
Anderson had already won the first point of the game but was blown back while returning yet another of Isner's monstrous serves. Rather than giving up the point and settling for 15-15, Anderson scrambled to his feet, picking up his racket with his left hand and sending back a forehand return. Anderson is a righty, prompting the Wimbledon crowd collectively gasp at the play.
"That definitely brings a smile to my face," Anderson said of his lefty shot in the critical game. He went on to note that the skill came with a bit of help from his father, who encouraged him to use his left hand and keep playing after a childhood surgery on his right arm.
"At that stage, you're just trying to fight in every single moment," he said. "I've hit a lot of left-handed balls throughout my life. I had surgery when I was quite young, and my dad, who coached me throughout my career, said, 'learn to play left-handed.' I didn't know that was going to come into play at this point in my career, at this stage, but that was obviously a vital point for me in the end."
With the win, Anderson will face off against the winner of Nadal-Djokovic match in the final at Wimbledon, with the hopes of winning the first major title of his career.
Receive a single email every morning with all our latest news: Sign up here.
Also from Business Insider South Africa: