John Isner and Kevin Anderson will be playing their first ever semifinals at Wimbledon, but at least they’ll have a familiar opponent across the net.
Both are tall, big-serving former NCAA stars that have been playing each other since college. Isner leads their ATP meetings 8-3, but they have not played since 2015.
WATCH—Kevin Anderson Day 9 Desk Interview:
“There could be a little mental aspect in our match,” said Isner. “I say that because our rivalry, what have you, goes back way before the pro tour. We played each other in college probably three, four, five times.
“We’ve been lined up against each other for about 14 years now, because he left Illinois when I left Georgia. We’ve been doing it ever since.”
Both have been having career seasons. South Africa’s Anderson reached the final of the 2017 US Open, and is at a career-high No. 8 in the rankings. Isner recently won Miami, the biggest title of his career, and is No. 10 in the rankings.
“For me this matchup, and I think for him as well, is especially cool. It’s a very nice spotlight on college tennis, that one of us, no matter what, is going to be playing in the Wimbledon final,” said Isner. “It’s pretty cool.”
Strokes of Genius is a world-class documentary capturing the historic 13-year rivalry between tennis icons Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. It is timed for release as the anticipation crests with Roger as returning champion, 10 years after their famed 2008 Wimbledon championship – an epic match so close and so reflective of their competitive balance that, in the end, the true winner was the sport itself.
WATCH: NOW AVAILABLE AT THE ITUNES STORE