Kevin Anderson loses in Wimbledon final

Kevin Anderson loses in Wimbledon final

KEVIN ANDERSON VS. NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Wimbledon final, Djokovic wins in straight sets

The magical run at Wimbledon for Kevin Anderson has ended.

The former Illini lost in straight sets to Novak Djokovic during Sunday's championship match in front of a capacity crowd at Centre Court despite a valiant effort in the third set.

Djokovic won his fourth Wimbledon championship with a 6-2, 6-2, 7-6 (3) victory, with Anderson failing to capitalize on five set point chances in the third set.

The match ended when Anderson hit a forehand return in the net off a Djokovic serve to conclude the match in 2 hours, 18 minutes.

Anderson led Djokovic 6-5 in the third set, but Djokovic forced a tiebreaker with an ace to tie the set at 6.

From there, Djokovic went up 3-1 on Anderson in the tiebreaker before closing out the win.

This was Anderson's second-ever championship appearance at a Grand Slam, with the 32-year-old finishing runner-up at the 2017 U.S. Open, where he lost to Rafael Nadal in straight sets.

Despite the loss on Sunday, the second-place finish at Wimbledon for Anderson is the best of his pro career at the Grans Slam event after he failed to get past the Round of 16 until this year's tournament in his previous nine appearances at the All England Club.

A member of the second class of the Illinois athletics Hall of Fame, Anderson is set to be inducted into the UI's Hall of Fame in September.

KEVIN ANDERSON VS. NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Wimbledon final, Anderson leads 6-5 in third set

Anderson's strong serving in the third set has continued. And it's given the former Illini a chance to close out the set and force a fourth set.

Anderson only had three aces in his first two sets, but the 6-foot-8 South African native unleashed in the third set, compilling seven so far.

Anderson had his chances leading 5-4, a point away from closing out the set. But Djokovic managed to hit enough winners and keep Anderson off balance to tie the set at 5.

KEVIN ANDERSON VS. NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Wimbledon final, Anderson leads 5-4 in third set

Anderson has won all five games he's served so far in the third set.

Which is a good thing, since he's one game away from beating Djokovic and forcing a fourth set.

Anderson had a chance to break Djokovic in the eighth game, leading 40-30, but the three-time Wimbledon champion answered to tie the set at 4. Anderson, however, responded with some efficient serving and strong play at the net to take the lead at the moment.

KEVIN ANDERSON VS. NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Wimbledon final, Anderson leads 4-3 in third set

Anderson is standing toe to toe with Djokovic in the third set.

The former Illini seems to have regained his strong service game, with him winning all four games this set in which he's held the serve.

If he can keep doing that, while possibly breaking Djokovic, this match could extend into a fourth set. Or, if he's able to outlast Djokovic in a tiebreaker, he'll be able to hold off the anticipated celebration of Djokovic winning his fourth Wimbledon title perhaps a bit longer.

As we've seen throughout his stay at Wimbledon, never count Anderson out.

KEVIN ANDERSON VS. NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Wimbledon final, Anderson leads 3-2 in third set

Well, Kevin Anderson is at least keeping the third set entertaining.

The former Illini has won all three games in which he's served, delivering a fist pump and a 'Come on,' shot after taking the fifth game to lead at the midway point of the third set against Djokovic.

Anderson's forehand winner to end the fifth game has at least given a glimmer of hope right now for Anderson, who is all too familiar this week with having to come back against some of the game's top players.

Can he pull off a similar moment against Djokovic like he did against Roger Federer? Stay tuned.

KEVIN ANDERSON VS. NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Wimbledon final, Anderson leads 2-1 in third set

Anderson took an early lead in the third set, going up 1-0 thanks to some strong serving, and takes an advantage into the fourth game after managing to fend off Djokovic in the third game.

The former Illini will need to continue his solid play at the start of the third set if he wants to prevent Djokovic from winning his fourth Wimbledon title in straight sets.

KEVIN ANDERSON VS. NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Wimbledon final, Djokovic wins second set

Kevin Anderson lost his first two sets to Roger Federer on Wednesday in the quarterfinals at Wimbledon, only to come back and pull off a thrilling five-set win.

The former Illini will need to recapture that same magic formula he used to topple the eight-time Wimbledon champion if he wants to prevent Novak Djokovic from winning a fourth Wimbledon championship.

Djokovic has dominated the first two sets of Sunday's championship match at the All England Club in a little more than an hour, negating Anderson's powerful serve and preventing Anderson from getting into any sort of rhythm.

Djokovic won the first set 6-2, and Anderson trailed 2-0 early in the second set before winning the third game 2-1, much like he did in the first set. And, much like the first set, Djokovic regained control after Anderson trimmed ever so slightly into Djokovic's lead, going up 4-1 before winning two of the final three games to close out another 6-2 win in the second set.

KEVIN ANDERSON VS. NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Wimbledon final, Djokovic leads 4-1 in second set

Djokovic has followed through on one item almost none of Anderson's opponents have been able to do thus far at Wimbledon: neutralize Anderson's poweful serve.

The 6-foot-8 Anderson has only three aces midway through the second set, with Djokovic again taking a point off Anderson serving.

If the former Illini wants to extend the match beyond just three sets, he'll need to figure out a weakness in Djokovic's return game, an aspect that hasn't betrayed the three-time Wimbledon champion so far in the first hour of the championship match.

KEVIN ANDERSON VS. NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Wimbledon final, Djokovic leads 2-1 in second set

Anderson has had little luck so far against Djokovic, falling behind 2-0 in both sets at this point of the match.

Anderson opened up the third game of the second set with an ace and led 40 to love before unforced errors again caused problems for the former Illini.

Djokovic managed to bring the third game to deuce twice before Anderson closed out the third game when Djokovic hit a slow forehand return into the net after a nice drop shot by Anderson.

We'll see if Anderson can break Djokovic's serve and maybe start to get some momentum back in the match.

KEVIN ANDERSON VS. NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Wimbledon final, Djokovic wins first set

Unforced errors told the story of the first set during Sunday's Wimbledon final between former Illini Kevin Anderson and Novak Djokovic.

Anderson had too many, allowing the three-time Wimbleon champion to close out the first set in relatively easy fashion, winning 6-2 in around 30 minutes.

Anderson compiled 10 unforced errors compared to only one by Djokovic.

Anderson's powerful serve wasn't much of a problem for Djokovic outside of one game, and Anderson will have to mount a comeback if he wants to win his first-ever Grand Slam title.

KEVIN ANDERSON VS. NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Wimbledon final, Djokovic leads 5-2 in first set

Anderson's serve got on track in the seventh game to keep the first set intact.

But Djokovic has had little trouble breaking Anderson's serve thus far outside of the seventh game, and will serve to win the first set.

A trainer stopped by to check out Anderson before the eighth game, with Anderson indicating his right elbow appeared to be bothering him. Worth monitoring the rest of the match.

KEVIN ANDERSON VS. NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Wimbledon final, Djokovic leads 4-1 in first set

Anderson has had to play catch up many times before this year at Wimbledon, and today is more of the same.

Djokovic took a 3-1 lead in a game where Anderson didn't have enough to slow him down, and then Djokovic took another game off Anderson's serve to stay in control during the first set.

Unforced errors have hurt Anderson early, with the former Illini compiling nine through the first five games.

KEVIN ANDERSON VS. NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Wimbledon final, Djokovic leads 2-1 in first set

Anderson got back on track in the third game, not allowing Djokovic a point and closing out his first win with an ace that Djokovic could barely handle.

It was the first ace of the match for the big-serving Anderson, and he'll need to generate quite a few more, like he has throughout Wimbledon, to help his cause.

KEVIN ANDERSON VS. NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Wimbledon final, Djokovic leads 2-0 in first set

Djokovic has taken control early, building up a quick 2-0 lead. Anderson couldn't convert with his serve first, while Djokovic had little problem rolling to a win in the second game after building up a 40-15 lead that he clinched after a forehand from Anderson went wide.

Anderson has the serve now.

KEVIN ANDERSON VS. NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Wimbledon final starts

A hot and sunny afternoon in London has greeted both Anderson and Djokovi0c, with the roof open in front of a capacity crowd Centre Court.

Anderson won the toss and elected to serve first, winning the first point of the match on a Djokovic return that went long after a decent-sized rally.

But that was about the only bright spot for Anderson in the first game, with Djokovic breaking Anderson's serve and winning the first game after Anderson double-faulted while trailing 40-30.

KEVIN ANDERSON vs. NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Wimbledon final, 8 a.m.

Good morning, tennis fans. And Illinois fans.

Going to go out on a limb here and say more orange and blue supporters are tuning in to watch the Wimbledon final than usual.

That's because Kevin Anderson is vying for his first Grand Slam title against Novak Djokovic, a 12-time major champion who already owns three Wimbledon titles.

The 32-year-old Anderson, a former Illini All-American who will get inducted in September as part of the school's second-ever athletics Hall of Fame class, has pulled off two memorable wins in order to reach the final against Djokovic.

Anderson rallied to stun top seed and eight-time champion Roger Federer on Wednesday in the quarterfinals, staving off a match point from Federer in the third set after Anderson lost the first two sets, only to outlast Federer in five sets, pulling out the decisive set 13-11.

That only set the stage for what the former Illini accomplished in Friday's semifinals. Trailing long-time foe John Isner two sets to one, Anderson won the fourth set 6-4 to set up a fifth set. And what a fifth set it was, with Anderson finally outlasting Isner 26-24 to reach his first-ever Wimbledon final.

Djokovic, 31, owns a 5-1 career record against Anderson, with Anderson's lone win happening in 2008 in Miami during the first meeting between the two.

The last match played between the duo saw Anderson go up two sets to none during a Round of 16 match at Wimbledon in 2015, only to see Djokovic rally for a five-set win.

Anderson did have a day of rest on Saturday, while Djokovic did not. Djokovic had to defeat Rafael Nadal in five sets, with the final two sets taking place on Saturday after Friday's match was suspended because of the 11 p.m. local curfew in London. Anderson's match against Isner, which took 6 hours, 36 minutes to complete, pushed back the start of the Djokovic-Nadal semifinal.

We'll see if another marathon match will take place today in London for Anderson, but stay tuned here for all updates on if the former Illini can topple Djokovic and win his first Grand Slam.