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Gamewatch: Mauresmo v Sharapova
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Wimbledon semi-final latest:

A MAURESMO Fr 1 v M SHARAPOVA Rus 4

Result: 6-3 3-6 6-2

GAME-BY-GAME UPDATES

Third set:

Mauresmo 6-3 3-6 6-2 Sharapova
After two hours and eight minutes, Sharapova finds herself serving to stay in the match. She puts a forehand millimetres wide at 15-0, and two more pushed forehands from 30-15 give Mauresmo a match point. Sharapova saves it with a gutsy volley, but she nets a tricky one to give Mauresmo another chance. Sharapova sends another forehand long to send Mauresmo leaping into the air with the relief of victory.

Mauresmo 6-3 3-6 5-2 Sharapova
Sharapova is resilience personified, digging out a Mauresmo volley with a perfectly-judged lob. A ferocious forehand gives the Russian a break point, but Mauresmo responds with her seventh ace and holds serve impressively to put herself within one game of a Wimbledon final.

Mauresmo 6-3 3-6 4-2 Sharapova
At 30-30 on the Sharapova serve, Mauresmo produces her favourite shot, a cross-court backhand winner, to earn another break point. But Sharapova is not about to give this one up lightly, and holds serve under duress.

Mauresmo 6-3 3-6 4-1 Sharapova
Now it is Mauresmo's turn to find herself under pressure with two break points against her. She saves the first with an ace before Sharapova puts a backhand into the net, much to her disgust. But the Russian 19-year-old earns another which she converts with a thunderous forehand winner.

Mauresmo 6-3 3-6 4-0 Sharapova
Sharapova tries to serve and volley at 15-30, finding the net to give Mauresmo two more break points. A sweet cross-court forehand winner and some gritty defence saves both, before Mauresmo earns a third. Sharapova double faults to put Mauresmo within two games of victory.

Mauresmo 6-3 3-6 3-0 Sharapova
Sharapova takes Mauresmo to deuce but a beautiful drop-volley and a fifth ace from the Parisian complete a remarkable swing in fortunes. Can Mauresmo hold her notoriously fragile nerve and reach her first Wimbledon final?

Mauresmo 6-3 3-6 2-0 Sharapova
Mauresmo survives a barrage of Sharapova groundstrokes to earn three different break points. Sharapova responds with an ace to the first, followed by her fastest serve of the match, 111mph. A succession of deuces follow before a double fault gives Mauresmo a third break point, and Sharapova puts a forehand long to lose the initiative.

Mauresmo 6-3 3-6 1-0 Sharapova
This is becoming painful to watch. Mauresmo, having lost the last five games, double faults to go 0-30 down. But Sharapova misses several good opportunities to break again, Mauresmo holding serve, shakily, to stem the Sharapova tide.


Mauresmo heads off court for a toilet break, no doubt composing her thoughts before the deciding set. She has reached the semi-finals in three of the last four years, but has yet to take the final step. Can she reverse that trend this year, or will 2004 champion Sharapova prevail? We will soon find out...


Second set:

Mauresmo 6-3 3-6 Sharapova
Sharapova takes a temporary break from grunting and shrieking with a back-hand cross-court winner to earn two set points. She fails to convert either, only for a crunching forehand to give her a third, promptly followed by a double fault. Mauresmo's netted backhand hands her a fourth, and the Frenchwoman finally puts a forehand long to lose the set.

Mauresmo 6-3 3-5 Sharapova
Mauresmo's supporters must have that sinking feeling again as two more double faults give Sharapova another break point. When the Russian puts her return into the net, Mauresmo lets out an anguished scream of relief. But she then puts a backhand long to give Sharapova another break point, and this time she takes it for a second successive break.

Mauresmo 6-3 3-4 Sharapova
The steely Sharapova is certainly finding her range now, thumping forehands to all corners as she secures a third game in a row. The tide appears to have turned, but not decisively, as yet.

Mauresmo 6-3 3-3 Sharapova
Sharapova finds an extra gear to track down a Mauresmo smash and return it with interest. She then attacks a slow second serve to earn herself two break points. There is a distinct sense of deja vu floating around the Centre Court as Mauresmo double faults to lose her serve. Is she about to capitulate once again?

Mauresmo 6-3 3-2 Sharapova
There is not much about Sharapova that is ugly, but she won't want to watch her attempt at a forehand volley again in a hurry. She then pushes a forehand wide to fall 0-40 down, but saves all three break points. Two points later Amelie rips a forehand winner down the line and celebrates with a leap into the air, pumping her fist. But Sharapova stays strong for a crucial hold.

Mauresmo 6-3 3-1 Sharapova
Until now Mauresmo has committed only three un-forced errors in the match, and two of those were double faults. Can she maintain her impressive form? An ace and an inch-perfect volley indicate she can, at least for the time being.

Mauresmo 6-3 2-1 Sharapova
Mauresmo is unaffected by the loss of her serve as she earns another break point with a sublime flicked forehand cross-court winner from the back of the court. Instead it is Sharapova who fails to cope with the pressure, double-faulting to hand Mauresmo the initiative again.

Mauresmo 6-3 1-1 Sharapova
Mauresmo has twice previously been a set and a break up in Wimbledon semi-finals, but is yet to reach a final in SW19. Seemingly in control, she surrenders her serve to offer Sharapova a route back into the match.

Mauresmo 6-3 1-0 Sharapova
Two forehands from Mauresmo - one elegant cross-court winner and another that Sharapova can barely get a racquet on - gets her to 30-30. The world number one then earns a break point and takes full command by breaking Sharapova with an exquisite volley.


First set:

Mauresmo 6-3 Sharapova
Mauresmo is in top form, ripping a forehand winner down the line to go to 30-0 and producing an ace for three set points. Sharapova saves the first with a running forehand pass and Mauresmo's nerves start to prey on her with a first double fault of the match. But she gets lucky when Sharapova mis-hits a volley long to give the Frenchwoman the opening set.

Mauresmo 5-3 Sharapova
Sharapova is serving with new balls but loses the first two points to fall 0-30 behind. Another punishing Mauresmo forehand gives her three break points, but Sharapova saves all three with three big serves. The depth of Mauresmo's groundstrokes is keeping her pinned back though, and the number one seed earns another break point, which she converts.

Mauresmo 4-3 Sharapova
Mauresmo is serving well and she wins the game with an 118mph ace down the middle.

Mauresmo 3-3 Sharapova
Sharapova finds greater consistency and her powerful groundstrokes are starting to make their impression.

Mauresmo 3-2 Sharapova
Mauresmo hits her first ace and, although Sharapova produces one awesome backhand pass, the Frenchwoman maintains her impressive start.

Mauresmo 2-2 Sharapova
Mauresmo hits a glorious backhand pass as Sharapova fails to put away a volley but Sharapova's serve, which is at one moment powerful and the next subtle and sliced, digs her out of her first test.

Mauresmo 2-1 Sharapova
Mauresmo, sporting an impressive suntan, is playing well. She shows superb defence on the volley in one exemplary grass-court point won by Sharapova, and then hits a winning volley in the next to hold serve impressively.

Mauresmo 1-1 Sharapova
Sharapova hits an ace early on in her opening service game - the effort needed for the 102mph serve producing her first serious grunt of the match. Mauresmo takes the game to deuce but the Russian hits a second-serve ace to win the game.

Mauresmo 1-0 Sharapova
Mauresmo makes a positive start, coming into the net to execute an elegant volley, and holds her serve with ease.

The players are warming up in sunshine.



SEE ALSO
Wimbledon day 10 photos
06 Jul 06 |  Tennis


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