Instead, the two players - and a disappointed audience - were sent home after the third set on Friday with Djokovic leading 6-4 3-6 7-6 (11-9) after a tense tiebreaker that had more entertaining rallies than some entire matches.
Anderson suggested in the aftermath that change was needed at the Grand Slams to stop players from being forced to keep playing for so long.
It is the third-longest match in tennis history, falling short of the 11 hours and five minutes that it took for Isner to beat France's Nicolas Mahut 70-68 in the fifth set in their first-round match at Wimbledon in 2010.
Joining Sir David Attenborough in the Royal Box for the men's semifinals were a few other famous faces.
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. But if and when Djokovic does break serve, or win a set, or save a set point, or do something to fire himself up and sow doubt in Nadal's head, all of that could be turned upside-down in a hurry, the same way their rivalry has been turned upside-down in a hurry in the past.
Dan Martin ends 5-year wait for second Tour win Dylan Groenewegen powered home to take victory at the end of a marathon seventh stage of the Tour de France . Having not long joining Team Emirates from Quick Step, Martin dedicated the win to his new team.
Another player who needed a decider was Rafa Nadal, as he squeezed past Juan Martin Del Potro to land us a victor from our recommended bet, but the after-effects of these arduous wins for Anderson and Nadal may not help them in their quest to reach Sunday's final.
After 6ft 8in Anderson edged the opening tie-break he eked out another break point in the second set, but once again Isner repelled it and this time the tie-break went the way of the American.
But the 31-year-old has been rejuvenated at Wimbledon, sweeping into the semi-finals for the eighth time. "Just disappointed to lose". Not only is he advancing to the first Grand Slam semifinal of his career at Wimbledon, he and his wife, Highland Park native Madison McKinley, are expecting their first baby girl. Anderson fell to his backside trying to return an Isner serve, but got to his feet with his racket in his off hand.
Overall, it's been incredibly close between these two over the years, as Djokovic owns a 26-25 head-to-head record. I will just try to do the same protocols.
A total of 569 points were played, with Anderson winning 298 points and Isner winning 271.
The reason the match went on for so long comes down to one of Wimbledon's quirks - a five-set match can not end on a tiebreaker, a tradition shared at the French Open and the Australian Open.
Anderson had already won the first point of the game but was blown back while returning yet another of Isner's monstrous serves. Isner finished with 53 aces to Anderson's 49, and Isner during the fifth set broke the single-tournament aces record with his 214th.