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banner Sunday, 8 July, 2001, 19:36 GMT 20:36 UK
And then there were two
The serving machine: Goran Ivanisevic
The serving machine: Goran Ivanisevic
BBC commentator and former British number one John Lloyd reflects on two momentous men's semi-finals and looks ahead to the Monday final.

I think the two better players in the semi-finals lost and as a Brit Tim Henman's defeat is really deflating.

The bottom line is that he was unlucky and I have no doubt that he would have closed out the match in the fourth set.

Goran Ivanisevic was gone and I really believe it was all over.

Tim Henman
False dawn for Henman
Tim was getting on top of Ivo's serve and he had serious momentum - but then the rain came.

Once Ivo had the chance to-re-group and it became a quick-fire match - well in those situations he can be deadly and it was right up his street.

It's ironic that our weather affected Tim but credit to Ivo in playing that way and coming out with some big shots.

That ace on deuce in the final game was a good example.

After serving two doubles any normal person wouldn't go for the line but he does and what's more he gets it in - you cannot combat that.

If you're going to criticise Tim, and under that pressure it's hard to, the difference was that he hit a couple of key second serves with a lot of spin - one was 88mph.

There wasn't enough stick on those serves and Ivo backed them for winners.

Andre Agassi
Agassi: Lost when he should have won
On those points someone like Pete Sampras would have gone for a serve in the mid to high 90s and sent it close to the line - that's the difference and it's minute.

The differences in the Andre Agassi-Pat Rafter semi were equally small and Andre should have won what was an absolute epic.

It was Andre's match and Pat should have been down two in the last set but grass is an unpredictable surface and you can get out of tight situations.

Pat hung in there, pulled out some great shots and Andre got a little bit rattled.

He queried calls that looked good and although the code violation was fussy and typical of officials who don't read the match well he is a pro and has been around long enough not to get irritated by it.

Now the final has to favour Pat.

Pat Rafter
Rafter: Last chance?
He has had a tremendous advantage in having had two days off and he will be mentally and physically recharged.

In the meantime Ivo's emotions have been going up and down like a roller-coaster for three days and I don't know how much he has left in him.

Up until now Ivo's been loose and has not put any pressure on himself but now he has to get back up for what will be the biggest match of his life and he'll need to serve exceptionally well.

Pat needs to play him the same way that Tim did, make him play a lot of shots and I think he'll grit it out and win.

After Tim it will be an anti-climax for the public but I think it will be a great final with Pat Rafter winning in four.

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See also:

06 Jul 01 |  Wimbledon 2001
Rafter charges into final
08 Jul 01 |  Wimbledon 2001
Goran comeback shatters Henman
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