Kevin Anderson playing for his life on Friday in the Wimbledon semi-finals. Source: Wimbledon

Kevin Anderson kept his South African fans on tenterhooks on Friday afternoon as he battled it out – set for set, game for game, point for point – with American John Isner.

Kevin Anderson playing for his life on Friday in the Wimbledon semi-finals. Source: Wimbledon

But finally our “Miracle Man” – as Wimbledon nicknamed Anderson on Wednesday, after he shocked the world by beating number one seed Roger Federer – clinched the deal and secured his spot on Centre Court on Sunday! Tonight Wimbledon named him “Marathon Man”.

This will be the first time in 97 years – since Brian ‘Babe’ Norton played in 1921 – that a South African plays in the Men’s Singles Final at Wimbledon! (Kevin Curren was playing as an American citizen in 1985. Anderson told reporters this week that his application for American citizenship is “still in the process”.)

It was a nail-biting, stressful match for Anderson’s fans as he won: 7-6, 6-7, 6-7, 6-4, 26-24. It was a very lucky Friday the 13th for the South African expat, who now lives in the USA where he trains.

“At the end you feel like it’s a draw, but someone has to win. John is a great guy and I really feel for him,” said Anderson, in his usual humble manner, at the end of one of the most epic of matches.

As the BBC commentator said, Anderson won himself a whole new army of South African fans tonight with his determination and gutsy performance. Several SA fans could be seen at Wimbledon waving the flag proudly.

Thirty-two year old Anderson is currently ranked world No. 8 by the Association of Tennis Professionals. This is the furtherest he has ever advanced at Wimbledon. Today was his first semi-final and Wednesday his first quarter-final at the prestigious tennis tournament.

Today was also the first time in over 30 years that a South African has played in the semi-finals, since Kevin Curren in 1983. Two years later Curren made it to the Wimbledon Final – after eliminating John McEnroe in the quarterfinals and Jimmy Connors in the semifinals… but by then had had become an American citizen and was playing for the USA! (He unfortunately lost to Boris Becker in the Final… who at 17 became the youngest male Grand Slam champion, a record which has since been broken.)

Today’s match – which was Anderson’s 300th tour level win – was also the longest semi-final in the history of The Championships – at over six hours!!! And officially also the second longest singles match in Championships history. (It still comes nowhere near to the longest match in Wimbledon history – 11 hours and 5 minutes… and that was – of course – John Isner in 2010 playing against Frenchman Nicolas Mahut.)

Kevin Anderson has certainly made a name for himself in tennis history!

#SoProud #SouthAfricansRule #WellDoneKevin

John Isner broke another record today:


SOUTH AFRICANS ABROAD – If you’re overseas and missing home, you can subscribe to Showmax for all your favourite SA TV shows (including Carte Blanche) and movies.

If you’re in the UK – don’t miss A Night to Remember on 4 August, featuring top SA talent – Prime Circle, Just Jinjer and Tailor! Buy tickets here.

Don’t forget to watch Kevin Anderson on Sunday in the Wimbledon Final!


  1. Hi, no actually in 1985 it was Kevin Curren from South Africa against Boris Becker in the Wimbledon final. So actually 33 years ago .

  2. Hi Arnold. If you read through to the end of the article you’ll see Kevin Curren entered Wimbledon in 1985 as an American citizen… so although in our hearts he will always be South African, in history he has been recorded as an American who played Becker in ’85. Kevin Anderson will be the first South African – entered into Wimbledon as a South African – to play in the final since 1921.

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