Anderson finally managed to become the first player who has taken John's serve at this year's Wimbledon, earning a break in game eight of the third set but his lead didn't last for long, getting broken in the following game when he served for the set.
The match will resume Saturday.
Isner also holds the record for longest match ever at Wimbledon, when he battled Nicholas Mahut in a 11:05 thriller in 2010 in London.
It was a case of better late than never as Kevin Anderson reached his first Wimbledon final with a heart-stopping 7-6 (6), 6-7 (5), 6-7 (9), 6-4, 26-24 win over the sport's perennial marathon man John Isner on Friday.
As the fifth set dragged on and on, the American Isner appeared more visibly exhausted and had to survive more scares on his own serve than Anderson.
Both players were strong on serve, though it was a tiring Isner, plagued with a blister on his finger, who was under threat, routinely needing to draw on his reserves to close service games out.
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The ridiculous length of the Anderson-Isner clash left Nadal and Djokovic waiting until 8pm local time before stepping on court for their box office semi-final.
While Anderson-Isner was mostly a serving duel with a few longer rallies thrown in, Djokovic and Nadal repeatedly slugged it out from the baseline, chasing each other around the court and coming up with spectacular winners from every corner.
Anderson won, 6-7, 7-6, 7-6, 4-6, 26-24, in a semifinal that lasted 6 hours, 35 minutes. South African-born Kevin Curren contested the 1985 final but he had become a US citizen by then.
John Isner laid his aces on the table but found a way into the Wimbledon semi-finals by breaking the Milos Raonic serve.
Nadal and Djokovic had to wait a further 20 minutes while Wimbledon ground staff closed the roof on Centre Court to protect against the forecasted rain.
"So do I. I think it will be just like the last final; it will be a really good final".
"Either Nadal or Djokovic - neither needs any introduction".