Twitter was abuzz with jokes that the Anderson-Isner match could well stretch beyond the 70-68 final-set scoreline that Isner won with over Mahut eight years ago.
After 6ft 8in Anderson edged the opening tie-break he eked out another break point in the second set, but once again Isner repelled it and this time the tie-break went the way of the American. He made it 0-30 in that game by winning a point after falling on his back behind the baseline but still got up in time to return Isner's shot. It was that kind of a bonkers contest.
Having been warmed up by the longest semi-final in The Championships' history, the Centre Court crowd feasted on an excellent display of world-class tennis, lapping up the brilliance of two of the greatest sportsmen of all time under the roof on Friday night.
They slugged it out on Centre Court for six hours and 35 minutes before the eighth seed came through 7-6 (8-6) 6-7 (5-7) 6-7 (9-11) 6-4 26-24.
Isner also took part in the longest match - period, no caveats - in tennis history, which, astoundingly, almost doubled the duration of Friday's contest.
Hitting with the ferocity and accuracy that made him the most feared player on the planet, the 12-time Grand Slam champion forced Nadal to net to clinch the break, before sealing the set with another cleanly struck victor.
In April, John Isner won his first career ATP World Masters 1000 title at the Miami Open.
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And the tennis served up in their 52nd encounter was at another level from the earlier match.
"Just playing like that in those conditions, it was really tough for both of us".
In the latter stages of the fifth set, Anderson did look physically the stronger of the two and will hopefully have enough time to recover from this bruising battle, for the final on Sunday.
"Fortunately, I was able to find a way over the finish line". I really feel for him because being on the opposite side, I don't know how you can take that playing for so long and coming out short. Historically, one dominates for a period of time, until the other finally wins an important match, shifts the psychological balance, and begins a run of his own.
The match took a flabbergasting six hours and 36 minutes from first serve to the moment Anderson clinched the match.
A showdown between two tennis skyscrapers - with Isner topping the 6 foot 8 Anderson by two inches - predictably featured three tiebreaks.
Just moments after winning an astonishing semi-final clash 7-6 (8-6), 6-7 (5-7), 6-7 (9-11), 6-4, 26-24 on Centre Court, a tired Anderson, the No 8 seed from South Africa, backed calls from pundits, players and coaches last night to introduce a tie-break in the fifth and deciding set.