'It's long overdue' - Isner, Anderson plead for Wimbledon tiebreaker after marathon semi-final

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Tennis warriors Kevin Anderson and John Isner are pleading for Wimbledon officials to introduce deciding tiebreakers after engaging in the longest grand slam semi-final in history.

Anderson needed six hours and 36 minutes to see off Isner - the American regarded as the sport's marathon man - 7-6 (8-6) 6-7 (5-7) 6-7 (9-11) 6-4 26-24 in a truly epic encounter featuring 102 aces, 96 service games but just six breaks.

The match was the second-longest in professional tennis history, behind only Isner's record 11-hour, five-minute first-round Wimbledon triumph over Frenchman Nicolas Mahut in 2010.

"I don't really know what to say right now," Anderson said.

"Just playing like that in those conditions, it was really tough for both of us.

"John's such a great guy and I really feel for him because, if I'd been on the opposite side, I don't know if I could take that, playing for so long and coming up short.

"You feel like this is a draw for the two of us but somebody has to win.

"So I apologise if I'm not more excited right now because the mix of emotions getting through something like that is quite different."

The last set alone lasted five minutes shy of three hours and Anderson said it was unfair on both players.

"I really hope we can look at this and address this because in the end you don't even feel that great out there," the eighth seed said.

The US Open is the only grand slam to use tiebreakers in the fifth set, with the Australian Open and French Open, like Wimbledon, both playing advantage sets.

Isner said he agreed with Anderson that tiebreakers - at some point in the fifth set - were the way to go.

"If one person can't finish the other off before 12-all then do a tiebreaker there," the ninth seed said.

"I think it's long overdue."

Twitter was abuzz with jokes that the Anderson-Isner match could well stretch beyond the 70-68 final-set scoreline that Isner won with over Mahut eight years ago.

That "endless match" prompted officials to erect a plaque on Court 18 to commemorate the feats of the two players.

Many would argue Anderson and Isner deserve similar recognition after the great mates warmly embraced at the net before receiving a standing ovation from tennis's most famous centre-court crowd.

Anderson's prize for his bittersweet victory over his former US college friend and rival is a date on Sunday with either world No.1 Rafael Nadal or fellow grand slam giant Novak Djokovic.

The ridiculous length of the Anderson-Isner clash left Nadal and Djokovic waiting until 8pm local time before stepping on court for their box office semi- final.

The roof was closed and Nadal and Djokovic had until the 11pm club curfew to finish or return on Saturday, the traditional rest day for the two men's semi- finalists.

As member of the ATP players' Council, the opinions of Anderson and Isner carry significant weight.

"Rafa and Djokovic, I don't even know, can they finish tonight? Isn't there some curfew? I don't know," Isner said.

"They're getting on the court at 8:15, whatever it is. We're out there playing for seven hours. It's tough.

"I'm a proponent of changing that rule, for sure. I think it needs to be done."

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