When Kevin Anderson lost his footing and fell on his backside while hitting a backhand in the men's semi-final at Wimbledon on Friday nobody would have blamed him if he did not bother getting up again.
After all this was at 24-all in the fifth set of a semi-final against John Isner that had been going on for what seemed like forever but was in fact well past the 6-1/2 hour mark.
But not only did Anderson jump back to his feet, the South African astonishingly switched his racket into his left hand and, gripping it half way up the handle, hit a forehand to get the ball back and take the point before he broke and then went on to win the match. It was that kind of a bonkers contest.
It was the kind of ingeniousness that was needed to break the serve-hold-serve-hold deadlock that went on for almost three hours in the deciding set alone as Anderson became the first South African man in 97 years to reach the Wimbledon final.
History books will show that Anderson came out on top in a 7-6(6) 6-7(5) 6-7(9) 6-4 26-24 epic that lasted six hours and 36 minutes - the longest ever semi-final at Wimbledon - but those numbers fail to illustrate the astonishing feats of endurance shown by the two gladiators on the most famous stage in tennis.
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