Novak Djokovic pips Rafael Nadal in second longest Wimbledon semi-final ever
Novak Djokovic v Rafael Nadal 6-4 3-6 7-6 3-6 10-8

Novak Djokovic pips Rafael Nadal in second longest Wimbledon semi-final ever

Novak Djokovic eventually battled past Rafael Nadal in their epic semi-final 6-4 3-6 7-6 3-6 10-8 - the second longest in Wimbledon history on its second day.

Remarkably, the only Wimbledon semi-final that has ever been longer in the tournament's history was the first this year, between John Isner and Kevin Anderson.

Nadal saved a match point in the 16th game of the final set, but Djokovic eventually mustered the strength to win the match 10-8 in the fifth set after an astonishing five hours and 17 minutes.

The remarkable match between two of the men's game's legendary players began on Friday evening after the outcome of Anderson's win over Isner and had to be halted after 11pm after Djokovic had taken the third set on a breathtaking tie-break.

Nadal roared out of the blocks as play resumed in place of the women's final as the first match of the day on Saturday and the Spaniard levelled up the match after taking the fourth set.

But Djokovic composed himself once more and ensured that his opponent's momentum was stalled as the deciding set turned into yet another marathon.

The three-time champion had a tiny bit more than Nadal at the end and grabbed the crucial break of serve at 9-8 up to close out another phenomenal match.

"I mean, it's hard to pick the words, I am just going through things that flashback - the last 15 months, everything I have been through to get here, to win against the best player in the world in one of the longest matches I ever played. I am overwhelmed," an emotional Djokovic told the BBC.

"Very special. It really could have gone either way. It was clear very few things separated the two players. Until the last shot I didn't know if I was going to win. I believed it, but he was very close. These kind of matches you live for and work for."

The Serb will now take on South Africa's Anderson in Sunday's showpiece - his fifth final at SW19 - with both players having to recover from their epic last-four clashes.

Related news

Novak Djokovic sees off Borna Coric to close gap on Rafael Nadal

Novak Djokovic sees off Borna Coric to close gap on Rafael Nadal

Novak Djokovic beat Borna Coric 6-3, 6-4 on Sunday to win the Shanghai Masters for the fourth time.

Borna Coric claims Roger Federer scalp to reach Shanghai Masters final

Borna Coric claims Roger Federer scalp to reach Shanghai Masters final

Borna Coric secured the biggest win of his career with a 6-4 6-4 win over Roger Federer to book a Shanghai Masters final with Novak Djokovic.

Ruthless Novak Djokovic dispatches Alexander Zverev in Shanghai semis

Ruthless Novak Djokovic dispatches Alexander Zverev in Shanghai semis

Novak Djokovic extended his unbeaten run to 17 matches on Saturday after beating Alexander Zverev 6-2 6-1 in the Shanghai Masters.

Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic advance to Shanghai Masters semis

Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic advance to Shanghai Masters semis

Top seed and defending champion Roger Federer returned to form to beat Japan's Kei Nishikori 6-4 7-6(4) and reach the Shanghai Masters semi-finals on Friday.

Alex Zverev ends Kyle Edmund's challenge in Shanghai

Alex Zverev ends Kyle Edmund's challenge in Shanghai

Kyle Edmund once again came up short against Alexander Zverev after losing in straight sets to the world number five in the quarter-finals of the Shanghai Masters.

Roger Federer battles past Roberto Bautista Agut in Shanghai

Roger Federer battles past Roberto Bautista Agut in Shanghai

Twice Shanghai Masters champion Roger Federer was far from his best against Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut but did enough to reach the quarter-finals with a 6-3 2-6 6-4 win on Thursday.

Kyle Edmund sets up Alex Zverev clash in Shanghai

Kyle Edmund sets up Alex Zverev clash in Shanghai

Kyle Edmund defeated Nicolas Jarry 7-6(5), 6-3 on Thursday to set up a clash with Alex Zverev in the quarter-finals of the Shanghai Masters.

Roger Federer survives scare to reach last 16 in Shanghai

Roger Federer survives scare to reach last 16 in Shanghai

Roger Federer was forced to a third set before completing a 6-4 4-6 6-4 win over Daniil Medvedev in the last 32 of the Shanghai Masters.

Del Potro fights back to beat Gasquet

Del Potro fights back to beat Gasquet

Juan Martin del Potro displayed his battling qualities to overcome Richard Gasquet and reach the quarter-finals of the Rolex Shanghai Masters.

RELATED NEWS

Novak Djokovic sees off Borna Coric to close gap on Rafael Nadal
Novak Djokovic v Borna Coric 6-3, 6-4

Novak Djokovic sees off Borna Coric to close gap on Rafael Nadal

Novak Djokovic beat Borna Coric 6-3, 6-4 on Sunday to win the Shanghai Masters for the fourth time.

Borna Coric claims Roger Federer scalp to reach Shanghai Masters final
Borna Coric v Roger Federer 6-4 6-4

Borna Coric claims Roger Federer scalp to reach Shanghai Masters final

Borna Coric secured the biggest win of his career with a 6-4 6-4 win over Roger Federer to book a Shanghai Masters final with Novak Djokovic.

Ruthless Novak Djokovic dispatches Alexander Zverev in Shanghai semis
Novak Djokovic v Alexander Zverev 6-2 6-1

Ruthless Novak Djokovic dispatches Alexander Zverev in Shanghai semis

Novak Djokovic extended his unbeaten run to 17 matches on Saturday after beating Alexander Zverev 6-2 6-1 in the Shanghai Masters.

Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic advance to Shanghai Masters semis
Roger Federer v Kei Nishikori 6-4 7-6(4)

Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic advance to Shanghai Masters semis

Top seed and defending champion Roger Federer returned to form to beat Japan's Kei Nishikori 6-4 7-6(4) and reach the Shanghai Masters semi-finals on Friday.

Alex Zverev ends Kyle Edmund's challenge in Shanghai
Alex Zverev v Kyle Edmund 6-4 6-4

Alex Zverev ends Kyle Edmund's challenge in Shanghai

Kyle Edmund once again came up short against Alexander Zverev after losing in straight sets to the world number five in the quarter-finals of the Shanghai Masters.

Roger Federer battles past Roberto Bautista Agut in Shanghai
Roger Federer v Roberto Bautista Agut 6-3 2-6 6-4

Roger Federer battles past Roberto Bautista Agut in Shanghai

Twice Shanghai Masters champion Roger Federer was far from his best against Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut but did enough to reach the quarter-finals with a 6-3 2-6 6-4 win on Thursday.

Kyle Edmund sets up Alex Zverev clash in Shanghai
Kyle Edmund v Nicolas Jarry 7-6(5), 6-3

Kyle Edmund sets up Alex Zverev clash in Shanghai

Kyle Edmund defeated Nicolas Jarry 7-6(5), 6-3 on Thursday to set up a clash with Alex Zverev in the quarter-finals of the Shanghai Masters.

Roger Federer survives scare to reach last 16 in Shanghai
Roger Federer v Daniil Medvedev 6-4 4-6 6-4

Roger Federer survives scare to reach last 16 in Shanghai

Roger Federer was forced to a third set before completing a 6-4 4-6 6-4 win over Daniil Medvedev in the last 32 of the Shanghai Masters.

Del Potro fights back to beat Gasquet
Juan Martin del Potro v Richard Gasquet 7-5 7-6 (9/7)

Del Potro fights back to beat Gasquet

Juan Martin del Potro displayed his battling qualities to overcome Richard Gasquet and reach the quarter-finals of the Rolex Shanghai Masters.