Anderson, the eighth seed, who made the US Open final past year, broke the Isner serve twice in the fourth set to level the match.
Three-time victor John McEnroe said in commentary that there should be fifth-set tie-breaks at grand slams and Anderson agreed, adding: "I really hope we can address this". "I wish I could have one". At 6-5, Anderson saved a set point with a smash on his serve and went on to take the opener 7-6 (10-8) in 63 minutes on two errors by his opponent. Anderson finally came through on his sixth to lead 25-24, then served out the victory when Isner sailed a forehand wide. Isner was 8-3 lifetime versus Anderson coming into the match.
Anderson was two sets to love up against Djokovic in the Wimbledon round of 16 back in 2015, but he won't on to lose that match.
The Anderson-Isner match, the second-longest in Wimbledon history, marked the second time in a 48-hour span that Anderson had played a marathon fifth set at the All England Club.
After being kept on the run for six hours and 36 minutes, the longest ever singles semi-final at the All England Club, how the 32-year-old was still standing was anyone's guess.
"Playing like that in those conditions was really tough on both of us", Anderson said.
They eventually stepped out under a closed Centre Court roof at around 8pm, with officials keen to avoid further disruption when darkness fell. There was this: the tumble Anderson took late in the match, only to somehow hop up, hit the ball left handed and ultimately claim the point - all as the typically stoical Wimbledon crowd gasped and screamed above them.
"Whoever wins this (second) match you would think, because of how much time Kevin spent on court, will be the prohibitive favourite".
"John's a great guy and I really feel for him".
At least 2 dead in violence after France World Cup victory
They might follow different paths but they will be marked together and from this moment on, they are going to be different. They also nailed it by predicting a pretty European tone to the final rounds, and a very strong Belgium side.
Nadal will regret his missed opportunity the night before, when he was in the ascendancy but passed up two set points.
And another all-time great awaits him on Sunday in either Nadal or Djokovic.
The expectation was that the first semifinal Friday would be a tight contest filled with tiebreakers - and that's precisely what it was.
"Of course I am not happy with the final result".
Anderson reached his first grand slam final at the US Open past year, at the 34th time of trying. He played pretty well, I think, in the fifth set. "I can say he deserve (the win), because he deserve it".
"I apologize I'm not more excited right now", he continued.
That's how the U.S. Open settles things at 6-all in the fifth set of a men's singles match - or at 6-all in the third set for women - and has since 1970. "If I was on the opposite side, I don't know how you take it - getting through something like that is quite different". I've felt better before.
At Wimbledon, there are no fifth-set tiebreaks, a rule with which Isner is extremely familiar, so one of the players was going to have to break the other's serve at least once in order to reach the final. Djokovic saved that set point but Nadal earned another with a whipped forehand victor.