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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 July, 2004, 11:46 GMT 12:46 UK
Gamewatch: Sharapova v Davenport

All the action as Maria Sharapova earns her first appearance at a Grand Slam final after a 2-6 7-6 6-1 victory over America's Lindsay Davenport on Centre Court.

Third set:

Davenport 6-2 6-7 (5/7) 1-6 Sharapova
Sharapova earns her match-point with a quite breath-taking forehand return on the run. A long return from Davenport gives the 17-year-old Russian her place in the final on Saturday.

Davenport 6-2 6-7 (5/7) 1-5 Sharapova
A weak forehand from Davenport on 40-0 lands straight in the net, summing up the American's game at that moment. Two aces from Sharapova are the highlights of the game.

Davenport 6-2 6-7 (5/7) 1-4 Sharapova
Sharapova takes advantage of more nervous play from Davenport to earn a break point, but her forehand return finds the net. However a wonderfully struck forehand winner on advantage from Sharapova, measuring a powerful 85mph on the speedgun, gives the Russian yet another break of serve.

Davenport 6-2 6-7 (5/7) 1-3 Sharapova
A double fault on 40-30 from Sharapova, her eighth in the match, takes the game to deuce. But an ace and a fierce forehand winner help the Russian to claim the game.

Davenport 6-2 6-7 (5/7) 1-2 Sharapova
A wonderful double-handed backhand from Sharapova earns her a break point, but Davenport manages to hold on to take the game to deuce. She eventually holds out for the game when Sharapova fires a serviced return into the net.

Davenport 6-2 6-7 (5/7) 0-2 Sharapova
Sharapova's confidence and composure is shining through. Despite serving a double fault at 40-15, she make amends for her mistake with a fast, accurate serve which Davenport sends wide.

Davenport 6-2 6-7 (5/7) 0-1 Sharapova
The momentum is definitely with the Russian. Davenport saves three points in a long game, but the fourth break point goes to Sharapova, who is now in a strong position.


Second set:

Davenport 6-2 6-7 (5/7) Sharapova
Davenport wins the first point against serve, but Sharapova produces some fine tennis to take the next three. The Russian turns that 3-1 advantage into a 6-3 lead and earns three set points. Davenport saves the first two, but on serve Sharapova blasts a brilliant winner to level the match to the delight of the crowd.

Davenport 6-2 6-6 Sharapova
A comfortable service game from the American takes the match into a nail-biting tie-break.

Davenport 6-2 5-6 Sharapova
Sharapova again shows great spirit, producing a big serve at break point down, then going on to take the game.

Davenport 6-2 5-5 Sharapova
Davenport holds despite a double fault along the way, conjuring up her seventh ace to clinch the game.

Davenport 6-2 4-5 Sharapova
Sharapova faces real pressure as Davenport earns a break point. But the Russian shows admirable composure as she fires an ace, then wins the next two points to move ahead once more.

Davenport 6-2 4-4 Sharapova
A difficult game for Davenport who is taken to deuce after a Sharapova passing shot is ruled good - although replays suggest it was wide. But the American keeps focused and comes through to win.

Davenport 6-2 3-4 Sharapova
Sharapova wins her third game in succession, blasting her second ace of the match to move ahead in a set for the first time.

Davenport 6-2 3-3 Sharapova
A cheer goes around Centre Court as Sharapova finally breaks the American's serve to suggest she will make a real fight of this match. She wins on break point after a good rally in which she forced the American out wide.

Davenport 6-2 3-2 Sharapova
A confident service game from Sharapova, who serves her first ace and wins to love to show she is not ready to give up yet.

Davenport 6-2 3-1 Sharapova
After the second rain break of the match, lasting around 50 minutes, Davenport returns and instantly fires her sixth ace. Sharapova is given little chance and Davenport moves two games clear.

Davenport 6-2 2-1 Sharapova
The Russian has shown glimpses of the quality which brought her to the semi-final, but she cannot produce form consistently. However, she digs deep here to end Davenport's run of games, saving two break points to hold.

Davenport 6-2 2-0 Sharapova
Sharapova has a half-chance as she battles to 30-30, but Davenport is still too strong, serving her fifth ace and winning her fifth game in a row.

Davenport 6-2 1-0 Sharapova
Davenport is in control as she breaks Sharapova again to make it four games in a row. The Russian will have to up her game to stay in the tournament.


First set:

Davenport 6-2 Sharapova
Davenport has looked strong on her serve so far, and she does not fail here, dropping just one point on her way to taking the first set.

Davenport 5-2 Sharapova
A disastrous start to the game from Sharapova, who serves two double faults, then cannot return a Davenport forehand. Sharapova fights back to 30-40, but an impeccable Davenport forehand puts the American two breaks up.

Davenport 4-2 Sharapova
Sharapova gets her first chance to break at 30-40 but Davenport brings out three huge serves to hold once more.

Davenport 3-2 Sharapova
An impressive game from the Russian who holds comfortably, producing a great winner along the way.

Davenport 3-1 Sharapova
The crowd comes to life as Sharapova produces a great forehand pass - but Davenport snuffs out the danger with another big serve to hold.

Davenport 2-1 Sharapova
Sharapova looks to have found her form as she races 40-0 ahead and, although she wobbles slightly in losing the next two points, Davenport hits a forehand pass into the net to give the Russian her first game.

Davenport 2-0 Sharapova
A great start from Davenport is backed up as she blasts her first ace on the way to holding her serve to love.

Davenport 1-0 Sharapova
Resuming at 15-15 after a 20-minute rain delay, it is Davenport who adjusts better. She wins three of the next four points to move one break up.


Pre-match build-up:

1311 BST: The players prepare to start with Sharapova serving first.

1307 BST: Both players are playing warm-up shots in front of a near-capacity crowd.

1303 BST: The skies have cleared at Wimbledon and both players come on to a Centre Court bathed in sunshine.

Rising star Maria Sharapova aims to confirm her reputation as one of the best prospects in women's tennis by reaching the Wimbledon final.

In her way is 1999 champion and former world number one Lindsay Davenport of America.

Newcomer Sharapova has shown she is not intimidated by the Wimbledon surroundings, but in Davenport she faces an experienced and powerful opponent.




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Commentary from BBC Radio Five Live




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