Novak Djokovic advanced to his fifth Wimbledon final on Saturday with a 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (11/9), 3-6, 10-8 victory over Rafael Nadal in the second longest semifinal ever played at the tournament.
Djokovic, the 2011, 2014 and 2015 champion, will go up against South Africa’s Kevin Anderson for the title after a 5-hour 15-minute marathon.
Victory on Sunday for the 31-year-old Serbian former world no 1 would take his career Slam tally to 13, four behind Nadal and a further seven back from Roger Federer.
“It’s hard to pick the words. I’m just going through things, flashbacks to the last 15 months, everything I’ve been through to get here,” said world number 21 Djokovic, the lowest ranked finalist in 15 years.
“To win against the best player in the world, in one of the longest matches I ever played, I’m just overwhelmed.
“It’s very special. It really could have gone either way. It was clear very few things separated us.”
Djokovic finished with 23 aces and 73 winners and triumphed despite only converting four of 19 break points.
Former world No 1 Djokovic will take a 5-1 career lead over eight-seed Anderson into the final, but the South African giant would be buoyed by his thrilling quarterfinal upset of eight-time champion Federer.