By the end of the day, a stiff drink seemed more appropriate than another serving of strawberries and cream. Nerves and serves were severely tested, but Anderson, who has cracked at such moments in the past, and Nadal, who has cracked at Wimbledon repeatedly in recent years, were the ones who held it together best against fierce resistance.
In Friday’s semifinals, Anderson now has an unlikely rematch with the American John Isner, his one-time college rival. Isner, 33, defeated Milos Raonic, 6-7 (5), 7-6 (7), 6-4, 6-3, to reach his first Grand Slam singles semifinal.
Nadal will renew his rivalry with a resurgent Novak Djokovic, the former No. 1 and three-time Wimbledon champion, who defeated Kei Nishikori, 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2. Djokovic and Nadal have faced each other 51 times, more than any other men in the Open era, with Djokovic winning 26 times.
“It’s one of the most difficult matches you can have in tennis,” Nadal said. “We can tell he has gone through a rough period of his career, or not as good, let’s say, but his level is very high again.”
This is Djokovic’s first Grand Slam semifinal since the 2016 United States Open, where he reached the final.
“I’m really not thinking about being an underdog or being a favorite,” said Djokovic, who is seeded 12th here. “I just try to build the momentum.”