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Last Updated: Thursday, 26 January 2006, 12:58 GMT
Setwatch: Nalbandian v Baghdatis
Australian Open, semi-final result:

D NALBANDIAN Arg v M BAGHDATIS Cyp

3-6 5-7 6-3 6-4 6-4


Fifth set:

Nalbandian 6-3 7-5 3-6 4-6 4-6 Baghdatis
A sudden burst of rain stops the tense thriller at 15-15. The players return to the court after 20 minutes and Baghdatis earns a historic break on his second serve but hits long on his next point. But the unseeded surprise package gets another chance closing out the game and match with an unreturnable serve, setting up a final against Roger Federer or Nicolas Kiefer.

PLAY SUSPENDED AT 6-3 7-5 3-6 4-6 4-5 (15-15) DUE TO RAIN

Nalbandian 6-3 7-5 3-6 4-6 4-5 Baghdatis
A nightmare game for Nalbandian sees him slump to 0-30 after hitting wide. The Argentine then hits into the net to leave Baghdatis serving for a place in the final.

Nalbandian 6-3 7-5 3-6 4-6 4-4 Baghdatis
Baghdatis makes no mistake this time as he refuses to relinquish his serve and ties up the scores.

Nalbandian 6-3 7-5 3-6 4-6 4-3 Baghdatis
Baghdatis proves to be the comeback kid once again as roars of cheers go around the Rod Laver Arena. He races to three break points before converting the first when Nalbandian's crosscourt forehand fails toe clear the net.

Nalbandian 6-3 7-5 3-6 4-6 4-2 Baghdatis
Nalbandian gets another vital breakthrough as Baghdatis tires. The Argentine eases to three break points, converting the first as Baghdatis' shot splutters into the net.

Nalbandian 6-3 7-5 3-6 4-6 3-2 Baghdatis
Nalbandian halts the Baghdatis comeback by holding serve and keeping the deciding set tight.

Nalbandian 6-3 7-5 3-6 4-6 2-2 Baghdatis
A tremendous love service game from Baghdatis helps the former junior world number one bring the scores back level.

Nalbandian 6-3 7-5 3-6 4-6 2-1 Baghdatis
Baghdatis breaks back as Nalbandian plays a sloppy game and squanders a 30-0 lead.

Nalbandian 6-3 7-5 3-6 4-6 2-0 Baghdatis
Baghdatis is showing signs of fatigue as he struggles with accuracy on his service game and is broken by Nalbandian.

Nalbandian 6-3 7-5 3-6 4-6 1-0 Baghdatis
Nalbandian gets off to a perfect start in the deciding set, wrongfooting his opponent with a shot into righthand corner to secure a love service game.


Fourth set:

Nalbandian 6-3 7-5 3-6 4-6 Baghdatis
Baghdatis earns to two critical set points with his 12th ace of the match. He converts the second when Nalbandian's return is long, much to the delight of the crowd in the Rod Laver Arena.

Nalbandian 6-3 7-5 3-6 4-5 Baghdatis
Nalbandian holds service but knows he must break Baghdatis in the next game to have any chance of avoiding a fifth set.

Nalbandian 6-3 7-5 3-6 3-5 Baghdatis
Baghdatis suffers a scare as he is taken to deuce by Nalbandian, who then earns a break point. But the Argentine squanders his chance when he hits a return long and Baghdatis holds his nerve to close out the game and retain his vital lead.

Nalbandian 6-3 7-5 3-6 3-4 Baghdatis
A relatively straightforward service game for Nalbandian as Baghdatis seems happy to concentrate on his own service game rather than challenge his opponent's.

Nalbandian 6-3 7-5 3-6 2-4 Baghdatis
Another emphatic game for the Cypriot, who seems to be going from strength-to-strength as the match goes on.

Nalbandian 6-3 7-5 3-6 2-3 Baghdatis
Nalbandian cruises to 40-0 but Baghdatis hits a winning backhand return down the line and the Argentine suffers a midhit to put some pressure on his serve. However he finally closes out the game to stay in pursuit.

Nalbandian 6-3 7-5 3-6 1-3 Baghdatis
Baghdatis survives a few anxious moments but holds on to maintain his lead.

Nalbandian 6-3 7-5 3-6 1-2 Baghdatis
More raucous cheers as Baghdatis grabs a vital break in the fourth set as a weakened Nalbandian hits wide.

Nalbandian 6-3 7-5 3-6 1-1 Baghdatis
Baghdatis hold his serve to keep the pressure on Nalbandian as this tense semi-final draws closer to its thrilling conclusion.

Nalbandian 6-3 7-5 3-6 1-0 Baghdatis
Nalbandian closes out a comfortable love service game, hitting his third ace of the match along the way and closing out the game with a passing shot down the left side as his opponent is left stranded at the net


Third set:

Nalbandian 6-3 7-5 3-6 Baghdatis
Baghdatis sends the crowd wild as he holds serve to claim the third set and remain firmly in contention.

Nalbandian 6-3 7-5 3-5 Baghdatis
It feels like the whole crowd in the Rod Laver Arena are rooting for Baghdatis but it does not stop Nalbandian holding his nerve to claw a game back.

Nalbandian 6-3 7-5 2-5 Baghdatis
Baghdatis is really on a roll as he races to 40-0 when his shot trips the net. He converts the second point to move one game away from claiming a set back.

Nalbandian 6-3 7-5 2-4 Baghdatis
There are more loud cheers as the Cypriot threads a backhand passing shot down the line to earn two break points. Baghdatis converts secures the second of these to take a vital foothold in the match.

Nalbandian 6-3 7-5 2-3 Baghdatis
Nalbandian is looking vulnerable at this stage in the match as Baghdatis has little trouble holding service. However, the 20-year-old still has some work to do, having never fought back from two sets down to win a match.

Nalbandian 6-3 7-5 2-2 Baghdatis
Nalbandian pulls level with the Cypriot with a comfortable service game.

Nalbandian 6-3 7-5 1-2 Baghdatis
Baghdatis is determined to make Nalbandian work for it as he continues to battle in the third set, hitting his sixth ace along the way.

Nalbandian 6-3 7-5 1-1 Baghdatis
A fiesty effort from Baghdatis but Nalbandian closes out the game with a nifty backhand winner down the line.

Nalbandian 6-3 7-5 0-1 Baghdatis
Baghdatis has a lot of work to do after going two sets down but makes a positive start with a comfortable sevrice hold.


Second set:

Nalbandian 6-3 7-5 Baghdatis
Nalbandian gets his second chance to close out for the set and makes no mistake this time around. He races to a 40-0 lead before securing the game and second set when Baghdatis hits a backhand return into the net.

Nalbandian 6-3 6-5 Baghdatis
Fireworks to celebrate Australia Day act as a momentary distraction from the tension at the Rod Laver Arena. Baghdatis goes 40-30 up with an ace but Nalbandian battles back to earn a break, which he converts when the Cypriot hits long.

Nalbandian 6-3 5-5 Baghdatis
The raucous Cypriot supporters are on their feet as Nalbandian sends the ball into the net to go 15-40 down. Baghdatis converts the second break point to move back level with the Argentine, to lound cheers around the court.

Nalbandian 6-3 5-4 Baghdatis
Baghdatis consolidates his break by holding his serve, while Nalbandian is left wondering how he let his 20-year-old opponent back into the set.

Nalbandian 6-3 5-3 Baghdatis
Baghdatis refuses to make it easy for Nalbandian who, despite a rare ace, finds himself 15-40 down. The young Cypriot is denied his first break by a slip but makes no mistake with his second, sending a low short ball past Nalbandian's forehand.

Nalbandian 6-3 5-2 Baghdatis
Baghdatis refuses to give up just yet, digging in from 0-30 down to make sure Nalbandian must serve out for the second set.

Nalbandian 6-3 5-1 Baghdatis
The Argentine consolidates his break with a fairly comfortable service game. He races to 40-0 before Baghdatis battles back to 40-30 with some persistent running but Nalbandian eventually closes out the game with a forehand winner into the righthand corner.

Nalbandian 6-3 4-1 Baghdatis
Nalbandian now seems to be in full swing against his shell-shocked opponent as he races to another break and stretches his lead.

Nalbandian 6-3 3-1 Baghdatis
Another topsy-turvy game as Nalbandian manages to hold on to lead in the second set. Baghdatis twice earns break points at deuce, first with a forehand winning return and then wrongfooting Nalbandian with a crosscourt forehand into the corner of the court. But the Argentine soals up the pressure battling back and going ahead with a smash.

Nalbandian 6-3 2-1 Baghdatis
Bagdatis gains a little confidence as he wins his first game in six. Nalbandian claims just one point and goes on to hit wide to hand the Cypriot his first game of the second set.

Nalbandian 6-3 2-0 Baghdatis
Nalbandian consolidates his early break by comfortably holding serve and piling more pressure on his Cypriot opponent, who will need to dig deep to find a way back into the match.

Nalbandian 6-3 1-0 Baghdatis
Nalbandian grabs another early break as Baghdatis continues to look downbeat about conceding the first set.


First set:

Nalbandian 6-3 Baghdatis
Bagdatis is clearly still shaken by the controversial line-call in the previous game as Nalbandian easily captures the first in the three break points.

Nalbandian 5-3 Baghdatis
Baghdatis fails to close out the game at 40-30 when Nalbandian hits a winning crosscourt volley after a lengthy groundstroke duel. The former junior world number saves a break point with an unreturnable serve but suffers after an controversial linecall on the next point. Nalbandian crosscourt forehand is called wide but the umpire overrules and Nalbandian is awarded another break point which he quickly converts.

Nalbandian 4-3 Baghdatis
Nalbandian pulls back from 0-30 down with a sturdy performance on the baseline. The 24-year-old closes out the game when Baghdatis hit into the net.

Nalbandian 3-3 Baghdatis
Nalbandian hits a backhand return down the line for his only point before Baghdatis races to an easy service game.

Nalbandian 3-2 Baghdatis
The Argentine holds service in one of the first straightforward games on this semi-final clash.

Nalbandian 2-2 Baghdatis
A see-saw ride as Baghdatis saves four break points on his way before eventually holding serve. The unpredictability of the Cypriot is seen when he serves the first ace of the match on 15-30 and then gets a double fault on the next point.

Nalbandian 2-1 Baghdatis
Baghdatis immediately breaks back after losing his opening sevice game, racing to 15-40 and converting the first of two break points.

Nalbandian 2-0 Baghdatis
The poressure seems to already be telling on Baghdatis, who is playing in his first Grand Slam semi-final. The 20-year-old saves two break points at 15-40 but fails to close out his opening service game on three seperate occasions, while Nalbandian takes his chance and goes two games ahead.

Nalbandian 1-0 Baghdatis
A slightly nervy Nalbandian is pulled back to 30-30 on his opening service game after an unforced error goes straight into the net but the Argentine eventually prevails in the battle of groundstrokes, closing out with a backhand winner down the line.




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