Final Four: Which two will reach the Wimbledon title match?

Final Four: Which two will reach the Wimbledon title match?

Two 30-something former college players, including an ex-Illini, chasing their first-ever major championship. Two former Wimbledon winners seeking a return to glory. Take a closer look at today's semifinal matches at the All England Club, courtesy N-G copy editor Joe Vozzelli:

John Isner vs. Kevin Anderson

Isner's vitals: Height — 6 feet, 10 inches; Age — 33; ATP Ranking — No. 10

How Isner reached the semifinal: def. Yannick Maden 6-2, 7-6 (4), 7-5; def. Ruben Bemelmans 6-1, 6-4, 6-7 (6), 6-7 (3), 7-5; def. Radu Albot 6-3, 6-3, 6-4; def. Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 7-6 (8), 7-6 (4); def. Milos Raonic 6-7 (5), 7-6 (7), 6-4, 6-3

Best major finish: Semifinal at 2018 Wimbledon

Fast facts: Isner leads Anderson 8-3 in head-to-head matchups on the ATP tour. The two also played each other in college, when Anderson was at Illinois and Isner was at Georgia. ... This is Isner's first-ever Grand Slam tournament semifinal in his 41st appearance. ... Isner is perhaps most famous for having won the longest match in tennis history, 70-68 in fifth set over Nicolas Mahut at 2011 Wimbledon.

Quotable: "We've known each other forever," Isner said of his rivalry with Anderson.

Anderson's vitals: Height — 6 feet, 8 inches; Age — 32; ATP Ranking — No. 8

How Anderson reached the semifinal: def. Norbert Gombos 6-3, 6-4, 6-4; def. Andreas Seppi 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-4; def. Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3, 7-5, 7-5; def. Gaël Monfils 7-6 (4), 7-6 (2), 5-7, 7-6 (4); def. Roger Federer 2-6, 6-7 (5), 7-5, 6-4, 13-11

Best major finish: Runner-up at 2017 U.S. Open

Fast facts: This will be the first time in a Grand Slam that all four semifinalists are in their thirties. ... Anderson, an ex-Illini who reached last year's U.S. Open final where he lost to Rafael Nadal, has never won a major. ... The big-hitting South African has averaged 24.6 aces in the tournament, which ranks third. Isner's average of 32.2 aces ranks first.

Quotable: "It's like that with the big servers. You're never really safe," Roger Federer said of Anderson after his five-set loss Wednesday to the former Illini.

Novak Djokovic vs. Rafael Nadal

Djokovic's vitals: Height — 6 feet, 2 inches; Age — 31; ATP Ranking — No. 21

How Djokovic reached the semifinal: def. Tennys Sandgren 6-3, 6-1, 6-2; def. Horacio Zeballos 6-1, 6-2, 6-3; def. Kyle Edmund 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4; def. Karen Khachanov 6-4, 6-2, 6-2; def. Kei Nishikori 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2

Best major finish: Champion (12 titles, 3 at Wimbledon)

Fast facts: This will be the 52nd meeting between Nadal and Djokovic, the most all-time men's singles matchups. Nadal leads overall (26-25) and at Grand Slam tournaments (9-4). Djokovic did beat Nadal in the 2011 final at Wimbledon. ... Djokovic underwent right elbow surgery in February after an injury-plagued 2017.

Quotable: "I like the level of tennis that I'm playing on right now. I really do. I think with the performances I've had, I deserve to be in the semifinals," Djokovic said.

Nadal's vitals: Height — 6 feet, 1 inch; Age — 32; ATP Ranking — No. 1

How Nadal reached the semifinal: def. Dudi Sela 6-3, 6-3, 6-2; def. Mikhail Kukushkin 6-4, 6-3, 6-4; def. Alex de Minaur 6-1, 6-2, 6-4; def. Jirí Veselý 6-3, 6-3, 6-4; def. Juan Martín del Potro 7-5, 6-7 (7), 4-6, 6-4, 6-4

Best major finish: Champion (17 titles, 2 at Wimbledon)

Fast facts: Nadal’s 17 major singles’ titles rank second behind only Roger Federer’s 20 on the all-time list. ... Nadal is the most recent major winner, having taken home his 11th title at the French Open last month. ... Nadal had a more difficult path than Djokovic to the semifinals, after a four-hour, five-set thriller over Juan Martín del Potro in the quarterfinals.

Quotable: “We always played in important stages, important places,” Nadal said of facing Djokovic.

Sections (3):Illini Sports, Sports, Tennis
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