Playing their 10th Wimbledon, Kevin Anderson and John Isner will battle for the place in the final (last year, Marin Cilic reached his first Wimbledon final in the 11th attempt) in what will be one of the most important matches in a career for both players.
The semi-final was deep into the fifth set when the new record was set, although it was a long way behind the 11 hours and 5 minutes it took Isner to beat Nicolas Mahut in the 2010 first round.
The second semifinal of the day, pitting Rafael Nadal against Novak Djokovic, was easily the most highly-anticipated match of the tournament so far - and its start was delayed well over three hours as the city of London waited for either Isner or Anderson to blink.More news: U.K. police find source of Novichok nerve agent in small bottle
At 24-24 Anderson took a tumble but managed to get to his feet and hit a left-handed shot inside the baseline, taking the point for 0-30.
He finally broke the 33-year-old American in the 49th game of the decider after coming close in a couple of earlier games and looked impassive as he held his nerve to secure victory. He beat the defending champion 2-6, 6-7, 7-5, 6-4, 13-11 in a match that lasted over four hours.
Isner double-faulted to set up a set point for Anderson when serving at 5-4, but he saved it with a 129 miles per hour second serve that the South African couldn't return.More news: Blockbusters in Alaska set to close; 1 store left in US
Eighth-seeded Anderson's prize for his bittersweet victory over his former USA college friend and rival is a date on Sunday with either world No.1 Rafael Nadal or fellow grand slam giant Novak Djokovic.
The other men's semifinal features two big servers bidding for a first major championship: Kevin Anderson of South Africa and John Isner of the U.S.More news: Tesla loses United States subsidies as it hits 200,000 sales mark
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