WIMBLEDON, England — Novak Djokovic and Juan Martin del Potro played the longest semifinal match in Wimbledon history on Friday. Djokovic prevailed 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (2), 6-7 (6), 6-3 in four hours and 43 minutes.
“It was 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. … That’s why he’s a Grand Slam champion. Every time he’s in a tough situation, he comes up with some unbelievable shots. I didn’t think I played wrong when I was match points up in the tiebreak. Credit to him for fighting.”
ESPN’s Brad Gilbert called it the most physical match he’s ever seen on grass, while Djokovic said, “Such a high level from the first to the last point.”
Here are some of our favorite photos from the historic match.
Juan Martin del Potro: The Argentine played terrific tennis in his first Wimbledon semifinal. (Carl Court/AFP/Getty Images)
Novak Djokovic: The Serb spent a lot of time off balance trying to combat Del Potro’s massive power off the ground. (Alastair Grant/AP)
Juan Martin del Potro: A man of the people. (Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Novak Djokovic and Juan Martin del Potro: The two share a light moment during the match. (Anja Niedringhaus/AP)
Juan Martin del Potro: Both men repeatedly hit the deck in a match that featured tremendous shot making and defense. (Anja Niedringhaus/AP)
Novak Djokovic: The world No. 1 will get a much-needed day off on Saturday. (Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Juan Martin del Potro: It was that kind of match. (Karwai Tang/WireImage; Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images)
Juan Martin del Potro: The big man showed the type of form that won him the U.S. Open in 2009. (Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Juan Martin del Potro: Del Potro showed a range of emotions throughout the afternoon. (Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images)
Novak Djokovic: Djokovic improved to 19-7 in five-set matches. (Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images)
Novak Djokovic and Juan Martin del Potro: Well played. (Anja Niedringhaus/AP)
Juan Martin del Potro: Djokovic was among those who applauded Del Potro’s effort. (Carl Court/AFP/Getty Images)