Serbia's Novak Djokovic smiles as he carries the winners trophy after beating South Africa's Kevin Anderson 6-2, 6-2, 7-6 in their men's singles final match on the thirteenth day of the 2018 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 15, 2018.
After being kept on court for nearly 11 hours during his last two wins over defending champion Roger Federer and John Isner, fatigue finally caught up with Anderson on Sunday as he failed in his bid to become the first South African man to win the Wimbledon title.
For the first time since 2016, Novak Djokovic is into a Grand Slam final.
When Nadal broke in Saturday's second game, a dismayed Djokovic grabbed a spare ball and whacked it with his racket against the wall behind the baseline.
A lot will depend on how much the two players can offer after their draining semi-final encounter.
Djokovic, who made only one unforced error in the first set, picked over the carcass with relish. Ideally, I'd like to get out and hit for maybe 30 minutes [on Saturday], just to try to keep the same sort of routines that we've been having. There is no set time for the match to end, and they can often go on for more than two hours. With Rafa and Novak there are no secrets‚ we've all seen these guys play a million times.
He was even angrier minutes later when he squandered three more break points to allow Nadal to level the semi-final with an ace.
And Anderson himself possessed a potent serve from early on.
"I don't know if I would be in the mood to sign some autographs like Rafael Nadal did after a match like that", said Cash, as per the Express. "It's my first Grand Slam final in a couple of years and this is the best place to come back".
It led to the unusual situation of both players leaving the court to a huge ovation - and applauding the fans in return - but without there being a clear victor or loser.
The champion of 2011, 2014 and 2015 can now celebrate another Wimbledon success, which is sure to be all the sweeter given his recent struggles.
So it was no wonder that, with all of that time on court, all of that stress on his racket-swinging arm, Anderson was visited by a trainer after Sunday's opening set to get his right elbow massaged. "I wish I could have one, but it is what it is", Djokovic said. However, the momentum shifted instantly with Djokovic dropping his serve thanks to some good returning, particularly down the line.