After winning each of his first four matches in less than two hours and 25 minutes, Nadal needed just about double that-four hours and 48 minutes-to take down Juan Martin del Potro in five sets (7-5, 6-7, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4) in the quarterfinals on Wednesday.
It was the second longest singles match ever played at a Grand Slam.
The final set alone lasted two hours and 50 minutes.
"You feel like it's a draw between the two of us, but somebody has to win".
Experience will play a big part here for Anderson - he has been in this position before and alas he capitulated completely to Rafael Nadal in the US Open final previous year, but it is a series of matches that will have served him in good stead.
Djokovic and Nadal had met 51 times before Saturday's semi-final - the most prolific rivalry in men's tennis.
Although the All England Club has a retractable roof with lights, in the past it has stopped play for the day at 11 p.m. local time in order not to disturb its residential neighbors in southwest London.
Carried by this momentum, John grabbed the tie break 11-9 after saving two break points, clinching another marathon set to move closer to his first Grand Slam final.
The American battled for 6 hours, 35 minutes but fell 7-6, 6-7, 6-7, 6-4, 26-24 to South Africa's Kevin Anderson in the men's semifinals on Friday.
Striking the ball clean and true, Djokovic pressurized Nadal and broke in the seventh game when the Spaniard netted a forehand. After the break, Anderson closed out the match on his serve 26-24, after more than six and a half hours.
And they were somewhat right, with numerous aces from both athletes, but at 10-10 in the final set tiebreaker, American giant Isner had the advantage, and what he did next was a thing of beauty.
They combined for 102 aces, 53 by Isner, 49 by Anderson. Djokovic owns 12 Slam trophies, three from Wimbledon.
"I'm really not thinking about being an underdog or being a favourite", he said.