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Pat Rafter on his defeat of Andre Agassi
"I felt very comfortable."
 real 28k


Friday, 7 July, 2000, 17:35 GMT 18:35 UK
Rafter knocks out Agassi in epic semi
Patrick Rafter
Rafter secures revenge for defeat 12 months ago
(12) Pat Rafter (Aus) bt (2) Andre Agassi (US)
7-5 4-6 7-5 4-6 6-3

Pat Rafter is through to the Wimbledon final after edging out Andre Agassi in a thrilling five-set battle on Centre Court.

The 12th seed earned a decisive break at 3-2 in the fifth set and held his nerve to serve out in impressive fashion after a fantastic encounter featuring tennis of the very highest quality.

A captivated crowd looked on in amazement as both men enjoyed periods of dominance in a see-saw semi-final.

With the athletic Rafter in supreme form at the net and Agassi returning well as always, winners came from all directions as the match first swung one way and then the other.

Composure

12th seed Rafter went ahead early on after a double fault by Agassi gave him two set points, and another unforced error by the former champion gifted him the opening set.

But Agassi soon rediscovered his composure, and at deuce in a pivotal eighth game of the second set, he clipped the net to gain advantage and duly served out.

In the next game as he broke Rafter with an excellent return of serve at 15-40, and the American took the second set 6-4 with an ace.

The third set went with serve, but Agassi was now making Rafter work a lot harder.

The Australian began making a few more unforced errors, but hit his eighth ace of the match in the sixth game - the longest of the match - to take the score back to deuce, and aced Agassi again to win.


Pat Rafter
Rafter on his way to his first Wimbledon final
Rafter broke Agassi to love in the next game, with a double fault, a mishit and an unforced error at the net gifting him the lead.

But the American played some inspired shots to break back immediately for 5-4, and then played a sublime service game to level the set at 5-5.

Rafter held his own serve and then broke Agassi once again at a crucial point to go ahead and regain the psychological advantage.

Agassi bounced back by breaking immediately to take control of the fourth set, and did well to find enough passes to keep Rafter at bay.

However, the Australian was now back into his rhythm on his own serve and that proved the crucial factor.

Agassi was unable to put him under enough pressure in the early stages of the fifth set, and when Rafter earned that break at 3-2, it was to prove decisive.

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See also:

07 Jul 00 | Wimbledon2000
Sampras cruises into final
05 Jul 00 | Photo Galleries
Men's quarter-finals in pictures
07 Jul 00 | Wimbledon2000
Double success for Venus and Serena
05 Jul 00 | Wimbledon2000
Rafter eases past Popp
05 Jul 00 | Wimbledon2000
Agassi blows Scud off course
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