This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
London • Novak Djokovic might win Wimbledon this year. Juan Martin del Potro will not.
No matter how it ends, both men always will have their spot in one of the most memorable matches in the storied history of the All England Club.
Slugging back and forth for 4 hours, 43 minutes of withering, backbreaking tennis Friday, top-seeded Djokovic emerged with a 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (2), 6-7 (6), 6-3 victory over del Potro to move one victory away from his seventh major title.
"One of the best matches I've been a part of," Djokovic said. "One of the most exciting definitely. It was so close. You couldn't separate us. Exciting."
It was the longest semifinal in Wimbledon history and was only five minutes short of the 2008 five-set final between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal that's also considered one of the greatest matches played on Centre Court.
Djokovic moved into his 11th Grand Slam final, where he'll play the winner of the late semifinal between No. 24 Jerzy Janowicz and No. 2 Andy Murray.
And, yes, that one did begin late nearly 6:15 p.m., London time, after Djokovic and del Potro spent the entire afternoon exchanging huge groundstrokes, long rallies and even a few laughs during their marathon, which covered five sets, 55 games, two tiebreakers and 368 points.