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Wednesday, 5 July, 2000, 14:34 GMT 15:34 UK
Rafter eases past Popp
Patrick Rafter
Rafter looked mightily impressive in beating Popp
(12) Patrick Rafter (Aus) bt Alexander Popp (Ger) 6-3 6-2 7-6 (7-1)

Alexander Popp's Wimbledon run is over after a very impressive Patrick Rafter cruised into the semis with a clinical straight sets victory.

Popp, who had beaten the likes of Gustavo Kuerten and Marc Rosset on his way to the quarter-final, was powerless to stop the 12th seed.

The athletic Australian produced a consumate display that suggested he is certainly a real threat for this year's singles title.

He served and volleyed to great effect, displaying a fine combination of power and finesse.

His returns also unsettled the giant Popp, who began to suffer badly on his second serve and make numerous unforced errors.

Stylish triumph

Rafter wrapped up the first two sets within an hour before Court One finally began to see some of the flashing double-handed backhands that had proved such a key weapon for Popp in earlier rounds.

Rafter broke in the seventh game of the third set and looked poised to serve out at 5-3, but his victory was delayed by an inspired returning game from his opponent.

There was no way back however once the pair reached a tie-break as the Australian stepped up another gear to take it 7-1 and complete a stylish triumph to the delight of his adoring fans.

For Rafter then, a confidence-boosting performance which will leave him in great heart for a semi-final against second seed Andre Agassi.

For Popp, the end of a memorable run but surely there will be more to come from the man who could one day be playing alongside Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski for Great Britain.

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See also:

05 Jul 00 | Wimbledon2000
Agassi blows Scud off course
05 Jul 00 | Wimbledon2000
Sampras heads for record
03 Jul 00 | Wimbledon2000
Press Popp passport question
05 Jul 00 | Wimbledon2000
Voltchkov creates SW19 sensation
03 Jul 00 | Wimbledon2000
Rafter through in four
01 Jul 00 | Wimbledon2000
Popp too hot for Kuerten
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