Kevin Anderson joked he would have played another 21 hours to reach the Wimbledon final after his marathon run to the showpiece ended in a straight-sets defeat to Novak Djokovic.
Anderson contested the second-longest match in Wimbledon history as he overcame John Isner 7-6 (8-6) 6-7 (5-7) 6-7 (9-11) 6-4 26-24 in an epic last-four tie on Friday.
That encounter lasted six hours and 35 minutes, taking his total time on court prior to the final to just over 21 hours.
The South African duly made a sluggish start against Djokovic on Sunday and, although he raised his level significantly in the third set, was beaten 6-2 6-2 7-6 (7-3) by the former world number one.
Speaking at the trophy presentation, Anderson said: "The first two sets, Novak beat up on me pretty bad. [For] the whole fortnight I just tried my best to keep at it.
"I really worked hard at that, came within a point or two of pushing it to a fourth set. It would have been great to play longer here but obviously playing against Novak isn't easy. He's really a true champion of our sport."
Asked about his herculean efforts in reaching the final, Anderson said: "I'm definitely not feeling as fresh as I was coming into the week. We dedicate our whole lives to trying to fight for a spot to be on this court.
"There's only been very few individuals who have made it here. That's what it had to take for me to get here.
"I would have given another 21 hours to have the opportunity to play out here, so it really meant a lot to me."
Anderson has now played in two slam finals. He was beaten by Rafael Nadal in last year's US Open decider.
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