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Make it snappy: Nadal zooms in on title

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By Chris Bevan at Wimbledon

1747: That's us about done for the day, although Jamie Murray and Liezel Huber have just come out on Centre Court for their mixed doubles semi-final against Bob Bryan and Samantha Stosur - come back later for a report of that match.

Please join us again tomorrow too for the big match of the day - yes, Britain's Laura Robson is in the girls' final against Thai third seed Noppawan Lertcheewakarn. There is also the small matter of the all-Williams women's final at the All England Club too of course - join Caroline and Piers for that one and enjoy it, I'm sure you will.

1740: "Nadal is like the tiger that Tim could never be, a true beast! I think this is the year he can dominate the Fed'ster."
Elfie in Notts, via text on 81111

1734: "The final will boil down to who can win the key points. With the way Rafael Nadal has been playing recently, he is going to fancy his chances against Roger Federer even more than last year. He admitted he did not play his best today but he has won and provided the match-up everyone has been waiting for and expecting to a certain extent - it should be a fascinating final."
BBC commentator Tim Henman on BBCi

1728: If, like me, you had a dream men's final in mind at the start of Wimbledon fortnight you will probably be happy to have seen Rafael Nadal beat Rainer Schuettler 6-1 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 to set up a clash with defending champion Roger Federer on Sunday. It should be a cracker.

Rafa is certainly pleased to be there, telling BBC Sport: "First of all, I am very happy to be in this final. Now I will just try my best on Sunday - it is the only way."

Third set:

Schuettler 4-6 Nadal
Nadal makes a rare foray to the net and dispatches a neat drop-volley that just eludes Schu. Rafa is in again on the next point and a wild shot by the German flies over his head and a long way out to make it 30-0. Another rasping forehand down the line make it 40-0 and three more match-points. No more mucking about either - one big serve later and that is game, set and match.

Schuettler 4-5 Nadal
A final flourish from Nadal as he looks to get over the finish line and a couple of errors by Schu hand the Spaniard three match-points. He slips on the first, spooning a backhand into the net, then fires a forehand into the top of the net when it is there for the taking and a fierce Schu forehand hauls the German back to deuce. Surely Rafa is going to finish it now though? No, he's not - two more mistakes hand Schu a reprieve and Nadal must serve this one out.

Schuettler 3-5 Nadal
Rafa is doing well with his challenges - he wins another one here and I cannot remember him getting one wrong in this match. A double-fault - the first from either player in this match - does not make much difference and a precise drop-shot put him on the brink of victory and a place in the final.

Schuettler 3-4 Nadal
Quite a lively game, helped by some German fans who suddenly decide to get behind their man - not sure what they were shouting though. Some great shots from both players, or at least attempted shots. Schu plays one though his legs but sees it fly just wide then it is Rafa's turn to be disappointed after he somehow gets a racquet on a Schu smash only for it to go inches long. End result is Schu holds but he is still a break down.

Schuettler 2-4 Nadal
Hmmm, a sloppy shot by Rafa and a tidy volley by Schu give him a sniff at 15-30 on the Rafa serve. That forehand I was talking about earlier brings him level at 30-30, though, and a couple of big serves help him hold. Schu must be running out of ideas now, although he still has some hope.

1704:"Even though this match is one-sided and Nadal is completely on top, we have still seen a few more unforced errors by him in these last two sets."
Former champion and bbc commentator Boris Becker on BBCi


It's bad news for a Briton at Wimbledon
Time for a rare Brit down graphic I'm afraid. Tara Moore and Heather Watson are out of the girls' doubles, beaten by Aussie pair Isabella Holland and Sally Peers.

Schuettler 2-3 Nadal
Schu's still fighting hard, though, and he has still got a few tricks up his sleeve too - a couple of drop-shots are just good enough to beat Nadal and help him hold out.

Schuettler 1-3 Nadal
No respite from Rafa - trust me, you just don't want to play it to his backhand at the moment. He holds out and this one could be over very quickly...Schu has won just two points in the last three games.

Schuettler 1-2 Nadal
Schu's in at the net here but all it means is that we get to see Rafa fire a passing shot down the line on the run - the sort of winner Andre Agassi used to hit at will in his prime. The Spaniard is back at his best now, and because Schu is not doing a lot wrong there is not a lot he can do about it. Rafa breaks to take the lead in this third set and that could just prove to be the end of Schu's hopes...although Rafa does have a nasty graze on his knee so this might not be over just yet.

Schuettler 1-1 Nadal
Rafa's trademark shot on grass is fast becoming his booming forehand from behind the line when a winner looks out of the question. He fires off a couple of them here, and one of them is measured at over 100mph - which is, er, very fast for a groundstroke let me tell you. He holds to love too.

Schuettler 1-0 Nadal
Rafa has changed his trainers now - see, I told you I would keep you posted. The big question at the start of this third set is can Schu maintain the level he played at in the second, after coming so close to winning it? The answer is yes, well so far anyway. He holds to love, actually.

Second set:

Schuettler 6-7 (3-7) Nadal
A timely ace by Nadal gets him off to a good start in the tie-break and, with Schu's forehand wobbling again, he is soon 4-1 up. A couple of slips from Rafa - which might be why is thinking about a change of footwear - bring the score back to 4-3 but two big serves give him three set points and a wide Schu backhand means the Spaniard has the second set. It was a bit of a struggle though.


"Oddball film director and husband of Helena Bonham Carter, Tim Burton, is in the house. On any other day this would be exciting, yet I'm so underwhelmed. The search for the Hoff is draining my every sinew."
BBC Sport mole

Schuettler 6-6 Nadal
Nadal gets a strange delivery at the changeover - an old pair of trainers, courtesy of his dad in the players box. Not that he has put them on or anything, but I will keep you posted. Schu holds to love too - why couldn't he do that in his last service game? It's tie-break time.

Schuettler 5-6 Nadal
Talk about upping the ante. Nadal holds to love - with ease - and he has just won the last four points. A few seconds ago, Schu served for the set - now he is serving to stay in it.

Schuettler 5-5 Nadal
Schu has new balls AND a new racquet as he looks to serve out the set. I think they might have been the same ones he used in the first set though, because he is soon in trouble - a backhand into the net and a long forehand helps put him 15-40 down before the German sees his next shot fly miles out. The upshot is that we are all square in the second set - is that Schu's goose I smell cooking? Surely he had to take that chance to level.

Schuettler 5-4 Nadal
Nadal is serving to stay in this set and he manages that with out too much trouble - a couple of big serves and some swinging forehands do the trick. But now he has got to break Schu...he did it easily enough in the first set but has not managed it in the second...yet.

Schuettler 5-3 Nadal
Schu's using his backhand to move Nadal around the court and create openings for him to finish him off with his forehand. That is the plan anyway - Rafa does not give much away. But the German is coming into the net too and the way he is putting his volleys away there is not much Nadal can do about it.

Schuettler 4-3 Nadal
More trouble for Nadal, and on his own serve too. A delicate drop-shot from Schu settles a stunning rally and puts him 15-30 up but the Spaniard hits back, powerfully, to hold out. He is still a break down though.

Schuettler 4-2 Nadal
Great stuff by Schu who follows a sweeping backhand winner with two big forehands that Nadal does not get near. It is Nadal who is chasing shadows at the moment and the German has got a firm hold on this second set.

1615:Marat Safin is in laid-back mood as he takes on the press following his defeat by King Fed. "The beginning was terrible," he admits. "I should have stayed with him a little bit longer. It was my first semi-final here and I was a little bit nervous. I put too much pressure on myself." The Russian seems to think Rafa will have the edge on Sunday providing he gets past Rainer Schuettler.

Schuettler 3-2 Nadal
Rafa was pretty much perfect in the first set but he is finding things a little more difficult now. He wobbles again to let Schu reach 30-30 and needs two big serves to dig himself out of trouble.

Schuettler 3-1 Nadal
Schu has got the taste for this one now and even umpire Jake Garner is on his side - over-ruling in his favour by calling out a Nadal forehand that Hawkeye then shows us landed in. A wild backhand by Rafa flies wide and that is the game for Schu, who has now won three in a row. Can this last?

Schuettler 2-1 Nadal
What's this? Some punishing backhands by Schu, a sloppy spell by Nadal and all of a sudden the German is 40-15 up. Rafa saves one with a well-placed forehand but, and I never thought I'd be writing this, Schu scampers to the net to put away a forehand to break AND take the lead in this second set. Somebody cancel that taxi.

Schuettler 1-1 Nadal
For Schu to have a ghost of holding he needs to get pretty much every first serve in and at the moment he is only managing a 64% success rate - Nadal is eating him alive on his second delivery. Credit to the German, though, he is at least trying to gee himself up and he saves another break point before holding for only the second time in the match. Well done.

1555: "Just overheard a sunbathing ball girl on Court Six say 'God, I'm so over Jamie Murray.' Women - fickle."
BBC Sport's Piers Newbery

Schuettler 0-1 Nadal
Schu is still giving as good as he gets but it is not doing him much good. Nadal unleashes some pretty hellish groundstrokes that the German returns with interest but he still ends up empty-handed at the end of the rally. That big Rafa serve means Schu has not had a sniff of a break yet.

First set:

Schuettler 1-6 Nadal
Phew, that Rafa forehand is just unstoppable, as Schu is finding to his cost. Nadal engineers two break - and set points - and although a big Schu serve saves the first one, he buries a backhand into the net and that is the first set done and dusted in just 24 minutes. What have you got planned for the rest of the afternoon once this is all over?

Schuettler 1-5 Nadal
Let's be honest, it's probably too much to ask for Schuettler to challenge on the Nadal serve right now because at the moment he can barely take a point of him - four more big deliveries help the Spaniard record his second love service game. I don;'t think Schu saw most of them.

It's good news for a Briton at Wimbledon
1542: It just gets better and better if you're British. Jade Curtis and Jocelyn Rae are through to the semi-finals of the girls' doubles, 6-4 7-6 winners over fifth seeds Lesley Kerkhove and Arantxa Rus. Hurrah! Elsewhere, Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic will face Old Man Bjorkman and Kevin Ullyett in the men's doubles final after beating Lukas Dlouhy and Leander Paes 8-6 in the fifth.

Schuettler 1-4 Nadal
Well, Schuettler has been outclassed in the first few games here but he is not giving up just yet. He is off the mark too - a rasping backhand makes it 40-30 and a big serve gives him his first game. The crowd on Centre Court give him generous applause for his efforts too.

Schuettler 0-4 Nadal
A dinky drop-shot gets Nadal up and running, quickly followed by his first ace, and I think we have seen the full repertoire of the Spaniard's shots now. Schu replies by winning his first point off the Nadal serve, and a belting backhand from the German makes it 30-30. The start of a fightback? No chance. Nadal wins the next two points in double-quick time.

Schuettler 0-3 Nadal
Um, let's be honest here, things are not getting much better for Schuettler, who has just been broken again. Nadal hits a brilliant cross-court backhand from nowhere and slices a wicked shot down the line from the same wing. Quite brilliant, and he is well in charge.

It's good news for a Briton at Wimbledon
1522: British superstar Laura Robson, 14, on making the girls' final: "I'm really looking forward to it because I get to pick a out a dress for the champions' final." And in answer to the inevitable boyfriend question: "No, but I like Safin." Aiming high on an off the court, our Laura.

Schuettler 0-2 Nadal
No such problems for Nadal, wh has quickly found his stride. A couple of huge serves are followed by a raking forehand into the corner for 40-0 and he is into the net to put away a backhand volley to extend his lead.

Schuettler 0-1 Nadal
Hmmm, that first game could have gone a tad better for Schuettler if he was hoping to hold Nadal up at all. The German puts two backhands into the net to leave Nadal 0-30 up, then hits the outside of the net post with his next forehand too. He does bang down an ace but then another wild forehand sees him broken in his very first game. Shall we order his taxi now?

1522: "Re 1505: 32-year-old unseeded German Rainer Schuettler's mum?"
Carl in the office in Notts, via text on 81111

1518: Schuettler won the toss and will serve first.

"Statistically Schuettler doesn't have a chance, he should have just stayed in bed this morning. But this is tennis. We should not underestimate he has won five matches to get here and he also knows what it is like to reach a Grand Slam final. Nadal should not underestimate him either."
Former champion and BBC commentator Boris Becker

1516: They are both out and knocking up on Centre Court. I suppose Schuettler could take a leaf out of my book from my junior tennis days and try to win the least he would have something to take from his day.

1513: A final word from both players before the action starts. You sense Schuettler knows just how difficult a task he faces if he is going to face Federer in Sunday's final. Nadal is just 'focused', naturally.

Schuettler: "I'm going to make it as hard as possible for him. If I hadn't got through to the semis, I would be at a Challenger event in Cordoba this week - but I'm happy to be here, it's much better."

Nadal: "I'm focused on playing my best tennis. I'm playing well, probably my best year. I always go on court with all the respect for my opponent. Hopefully I will play against Roger Federer in the final."

1510: Here they come now. Not sure if anyone recognises Schuettler but Nadal gets a hearty cheer when he appears.

1508: We are just waiting for Nadal and Schuettler to arrive on court - Nadal's taking his time to get ready apparently. We have just seen the German though and he is all smiles...not sure how long that will last, though.


In response to Dan, who texted in to tell the Mole that Sergio Garcia (see 1435) is in fact playing at the European Open. The BBC Sport Mole responds: "Back at ya Dan, Garcia WAS playing in the European Open this morning and fired a sparkling second round 64 at the London Club in Kent - only a stone's throw from SW19. I imagine he hitched a lift straight after finishing and will be in his seat munching on a tuna baguette by the toss. Then again I may be horribly wrong. WHERE IS THE HOFF!?!"

1505: Right then. Let's get this out of the way. Is there anyone out there who actually thinks 32-year-old unseeded German Rainer Schuettler has got any sort of chance of beating Rafael Nadal?

By Mark Barden at Wimbledon

"It's just another faultless, flawless performance from Roger," says BBC co-commentator Tim Henman, and the four-time Wimbledon semi-finalist is not wrong. Surely only Rafa Nadal can derail the Fed Express this year...

Federer 6-4 Safin
It's all over, and even a lucky netcord for Safin can't stop Roger from hitting the match-winning shot. It's been another awesomely efficient performance from Federer.

Someone is having a tantrum at Wimbledon
Federer 5-4 Safin
Safin slams his racquet into the turf then finishes it off on his chair at the changeover. He gets a code violation but the umpire doesn't make a big deal about it - he's feeling Marat's pain.

Federer 4-4 Safin
Safin holds again; he's not doing much wrong but his best shots always seem to come in his own service games.

Federer 4-3 Safin
Federer cruises through another service game - he's making it look oh, so easy. Neither player has double faulted yet.

Federer 3-3 Safin
Safin's serve is keeping him in the set but he's not a happy bunny and is starting to mutter to himself. Always a bad sign.

1440Andrew Castle says: "Safin's best chance of getting back into this match is if Federer goes off the boil a tad, loses concentration a bit..." No chance at all then.

1435: "Hoff watch: Frustrated. I have bribed court coverers, line judges, catering staff and even Roger Federer to give me any tips as to where the Hoff is. Cheese, you've got binoculars, train them off Marat's derriere and find the Hoff. Celeb tip - golfer Sergio Garcia will be in Nadal's box for his game later - you heard it here first folks."
BBC Sport mole

Federer 3-2 Safin
Safin is still pulling off some great shots, but every one of his is met by a better one from Federer. Another hold for the champ. Safin is toying with idea of inflicting damage on his racquet during the changeover.

Federer 2-2 Safin
More unforced errors from the Russian give Fed break point at advantage. Safin survives to hold, but even his own service games are looking like a bit of a struggle now after just an hour and 23 minutes on court.

Federer 2-1 Safin
Safin finally erupts with a scream of anguish and frustration as Fed hammers down another winner to make it 40-0. That's the Marat we all know and love - Mr Angry.

Federer 1-1 Safin
Safin holds again but he knows by now that the match is well and truly slipping away from him.

Federer 1-0 Safin
Federer is quickly into the lead in the third set - he's simply asking questions of Safin that are leaving the Russian scratching his head. It's not as if he's even playing that badly - he's just being badly done over.

1420Venus and Serena book themselves a very busy weekend as they crush Casey Dellacqua and Nathalie Dechy 6-3 6-3 to reach the women's doubles final. They are likely to face Samantha Stosur and Lisa Raymond, currently 6-3 5-2 against Cara Black and Liezel Huber.

Second set

Federer 7-6 Safin
A brace of hugely disappointing unforced errors by Safin, including a tame forehand into the net, gift Fed a 4-0 lead in the breaker. His blistering shot onto baseline for 5-2 is so good, even the usually discreet Roger cries out in celebration. He wins the tie-break with ease 7-3. This is turning into another Fed masterclass.

Federer 6-6 Safin
Er, 'no' is the answer once again as Federer holds again to love. Tie-break it is then. Safin has won all five of his at Wimbledon this year, Fed has won the two he has played.

Federer 5-6 Safin
Anything you can do... Safin sends down a few howitzer serves of his own as he holds to love, too. Now, can he ruffle Federer's feathers as he serves to stay in the set?

Federer 5-5 Safin
Federer holds to love as we start approaching tie-break territory.

Federer 4-5 Safin
Safin holds again but it always seems to be more of a struggle for him than it does for his opponent. Still, he's keeping his cool a lot better than he used to in such circumstances. This boy has smashed a few racquets in his time...

Federer 4-4 Safin
30-30 is as close as Safin gets to exerting any pressure of his own as another service game is safely banked by Fed.

Federer 3-4 Safin
Safin is taken to deuce before holding as Federer cranks up the pressure, looking for the mid-set break that will give him a match-winning advantage. It's surely only a matter of time.

Federer 3-3 Safin
After wobbling a couple of times in his last service game, normal service is resumed by Fed as he levels matters again. Every time Safin has a sniff of really getting into the match, the Swiss world number one lets him know who's in charge.

Federer 2-3 Safin
Safin takes his latest service game 40-15 to keep the onus on Fed to maintain his form on his own serve.

Federer 2-2 Safin
A couple of unforced errors from Federer give Safin his first couple of break points, but the five-time champion pulls himself out of trouble, aided by poor returns of serve from the Russian. Still, at least he had a chance.

Federer 1-2 Safin
Safin lets a 40-0 lead slip to 40-30 but manages to hold, but as BBC commentator Andrew Castle says, it's all about the "speed, pace and power of the Federer racquet".

It's good news for a Briton at Wimbledon
1341: Somebody get out the bunting, sweep up Trafalgar Square, prepare the open-top bus parade¿ Britain's Laura Robson is into the girls' singles final! At the age of 14! She's the new Annabel Croft! Robbo sees off Slovakia's Romana Tabakova 6-2 7-5 on Court Three. She will play Thailand's third seed Noppawan Lertcheewakarn in the final. For Britain, and for all text commentators who may have to type that name out in the future, here's hoping Robbo can do the business again.

Federer 1-1
The short answer is 'no' as Federer continues to cruise through his own service games. Not sure what Safin can do about it when his opponent is in such imperious form.

Federer 0-1 Safin
Safin starts the second set confidently with a series of crunching serves, but can he now put some pressure on Fed?

First set:

Federer 6-3 Safin
Federer pounds down three aces to underline his superiority as he clinches the set.

It's good news for a Briton at Wimbledon
1332: Britain's Laura Robson remains the heroine of Commentary Box Three, calmly working her way back from a break down in the second set to stand at 6-2 5-5 against Slovakia's Romana Tabakova in the girls' singles semis on Court Three.

Federer 5-3
Safin is taking care of business on his own serve, but Fed doesn't care as he'll be serving for the set next.

Federer 5-2 Safin
Safin is starting to look a little frustrated as nothing he does on Federer's serve makes any impact. He can't afford to get too dispirited.

Federer 4-2 Safin
That's more like it from Marat as he takes his turn at holding to love, but that early break looks likely to win Fed the set.

Federer 4-1 Safin
Federer is holding with ease - he has won 12 of 14 of the points on offer so far, and is looking his usual unruffled self, in total control.

Federer 3-1 Safin
The 6ft 4in Safin finally gets off the mark as he gets his eye in with his big serve, but now he needs to make an impression on the Fed service.

Federer 3-0
Federer wins to love again - looks like it could be a bad day at the office for the Russian.

Federer 2-0 Safin
Safin fails to find his range with his first serve and his second is easy meat for the Fed. He saves one break point but the reigning champion breaks him on the second to take a 2-0 lead.

Federer 1-0 Safin
Roger whizzes through his first service game, holding to love. Conditions are dry, calm, not too hot - just right in fact.

1305: The players are on court and warming up. Roger's other half, Mirka, has been joined in the friends-and-family box by pop temptress Gwen Stefani and her hubby Gavin Rossdale, who has also shifted a few units with his band Bush.

A celeb has been spotted at Wimbledon

In the plush seats of the royal box, Bjorn Borg is mixing it with Des Lynman, Sir Michael Parkinson, Sir David Frost and Sir Trevor McDonald. And Mansour Bahrami.

Safin wins the toss and elects to receive.

1300: The big question about today's first semi-final is which Marat Safin will turn up on Centre Court?

Will it be the one who saw off Federer in five sets in the 2005 Australian Open semi-finals en route to his second Grand Slam win, or the player who has let his form and world ranking slide since that title?

There's no doubt that Safin has the game to really put Federer's sublime grass court skills to the test, but he needs to be in the right frame of mind to do so.

If he isn't, we could be in for a repeat of last year's third-round match between the pair which the unflappable Swiss genius won in straight sets.

1255: Thanks for those kind words, Caroline. She's lying of course, but the girl needs a lunch break, having slaved over her live text since 0850. I'll do my best to fill the void.

By Caroline Cheese at Wimbledon

1252: Time to hand you over to Mark Barden, who will do a far more professional job of taking you through Federer v Safin than I ever could. Don't panic, he'll also keep you up to date with Laura Robson's progress and a bit of Hoff-watch too.

It's good news for a Briton at Wimbledon
1248: "LTA chief exec Roger Draper and head of women's tennis Carl Maes are in front of me now. They're enjoying this so far. Robson is playing some 'unbelievable' shots according to Draper. Robbo has only droppd four points on her own serve to take the first set. Two of them were double faults too. Impressive stuff."
BBC Sport's Chris Bevan as Laura Robson takes the first set

1241: All eyes on Laura Robson on Court Three - but there are matches going on elsewhere. Aussie boys' number one Bernie Tomic is on serve against Henri Kontinen of Finland. Grigor Dimitrov is closing in on the first set against Filip Krajinovic in the other boys' semi-final.

1238: "'Re 1140: The Poo' Philippoussis is recovering in hospital following a surfing mishap at Bell's Beach. Quite a drama actually."
Pete in W12, via text on 81111

The view from the fans
1234: Sue just texted in to ask if I knew where Rafael Nadal was practising so she could tell her daughter, who's at Wimbledon. I assume she is joking, since we've talked about little else for the last 10 minutes. But just in case: Court Five, Sue, Court Five. Still, I recommend she heads to Court Three for a look at the (possible) future of British tennis. Laura Robson is going great guns, 4-1 up.

1232: "Mac slumps over the net, slugs some water, and exits through the swarming crowd. Nadal starts whacking backhands past uncle Toni. Hoping I'm next."
BBC Sport's Piers Newbery at Court Five

1228: "Great start by Robbo. A break up already at 3-0 and she seems to be comfortable with the bumper crowd. Her opponent Romana Tabakova, in contrast, looks very nervous."
BBC Sport's Chris Bevan watching Britain's Laura Robson

1226: "Never been elbowed by so many middle-aged women in my life. Big applause for a Mac half volley. Big laugh when Nadal smacks a forehand past him. 'Which one's Nadal?' asks one panicking lady."
BBC Sport's Piers Newbery at Court Five for Mac v Rafa

1222: Mac completely does Rafa with a cunning drop shot-smash - the like of which you will not see at this year's Wimbledon. Nadal doesn't even bother running. To be fair though, it's a rare moment of glory for Mac.

1219: "'It's Nadal! And McEnroe!' Chaos at Court Five. 'You're tall. Can you take a photo for me?' enquires a woman. The battery runs out. 'David, I told you! Oh for God's sake!' Long day ahead for David."
BBC Sport's Piers Newbery at Court Five for Mac v Rafa

1217: "Laura's here, a bit late because she had to fight through the crowds, and knocking up with Tabakova, who is almost three years older and about six inches taller than her."
BBC Sport's Chris Bevan

1213: They've only left the on-court mike on on Court Five. Here's Mac's advice for Nadal: "When you serve and volley, you have to take a little off the serve so go to 110 or something." I am now expecting to see Nadal to play like Boris Becker a la 1985 later.

1207: Alert. Alert. If you're at Wimbledon, get to Court Five immediately. Rafa Nadal is preparing for his semi-final later by hitting with none other than John McEnroe. It's a left-handers' paradise. Mac looks a wee bit slow by comparison but what he lacks in pace, he makes up for in the mind (like Teddy Sheringham) and he's showing the young pup a few volleying skills.

1204: "I dislike both the Hoff and tuna baguettes. I take my Wimbledon with Cliff Richards and strawberries thank you very much."
Anon via text on 81111
(Everyone's welcome here you know. Although if you dislike the Hoff, I'm not sure today's going to be your day.)

1159: "Standing room only on Court Three to see Laura 'Robbo' Robson. I'm sitting next to Chris Eaton's dad. Remember him?"
BBC Sport's Chris Bevan

1151: This weather's put the Voice of Wimbledon in a very chipper mood. "I am pleased to announce we are expecting a dry and mostly sunny day, with temperatures reaching 20C, so you might even need a hat and a spot of sunblock."

1145: "Whoop whoop! Hoff Hoff Hoff Hoff (see 1102). Hoff-watch officially starts here! Minions have been despatched to every gate in anticipation. Wonder if he'll come in disguise to beat the pedants on the front gates? Hope his ego doesn't get the better of him and he gives the game away by screeching up outside in KITT dressed in his Mitch Buchannon outfit. Wonder if he likes tuna baguettes?"
BBC Sport mole

1140: "Where is Philippoussis these days? Last seen on reality TV 'looking for love'. Perhaps you could mention that to the Safin camp, Caroline?"
Katy, working-ish, via text on 81111
(Indeed, 'The Poo' found love on 'The Age of Love' in the US - but lost it again late last year. Now said to be seeing another model.)

1131: "Could I expect to see some good tennis on any other court besides Centre Court on Saturday? Intend to be on Church Road from midnight queuing!!"
Anon via text on 81111
(Don't think you'll need to start queuing from midnight - unless you want to of course. It'll be juniors and seniors and not a lot else.)

1124: The big debate raging on Radio Wimbledon is: who would you rather hang out with, Safin or Philippoussis? Stupid debate. Clearly the answer is Safin. Next.

1121: "Re 0956: Why did he go for Hoff Space when there was an opportunity for Face Hoff? With that contribution I should apply to join the Hoff's (presumably already sizeable) marketing team."
Adam, bravely fighting man flu, via text on 81111

1111: "Had to be in early this morning to do some filming in the Wimbledon museum. (I was paid nothing for the following plug). What a brilliant place! I absolutely insist you all check it out. It's got everything in there, trophies, games, interactive videos of Maria Sharapova, Bjorn Borg outfits, an eerie hologram of John McEnroe (which is terrifying). But no Hoff. Ho hum."
BBC Sport mole (yet to hear the 1102 news)

1108: "My mate got 850-1 on Safin to win at the beginning of the tournament. He put a fiver on it. Not that it will make a difference... Fed will destroy him."
Archie, rotting at his desk, via text on 81111

1102: Praise be. An anonymous texter reveals that Chappers from BBC Radio One's Scott Mills show has got his hands on some tickets for the Hoff.

1057: Yesterday when the rain fell for a second time, the big match between Martina Navratilova and Helena Sukova and Jo Durie and Annabel Croft was finely poised at, er, 6-1 1-0. This morning I discover, to my horror, that Durie and Croft retired. Why? An injury? Or a dinner booking in the Village?

1055: "Re 0950: 200-1 has got to be good for a man that has been to more Aussie Open finals than his opponent."
Rob, at work, via text on 81111
(If only it worked like that.)

1041: Actually, some of the hordes have wisely wandered over to Court 17 to see King Fed go through his paces. He is effortlessly swatting away forehands from the baseline, as you do.

The view from the fans
1036: The gates are open and I imagine the hordes will be heading for Court Three where British super-girl Laura Robson begins play against Slovakia's Romana Tabakova.

1031: "Re 1012: I imagine they are testing Hawkeye to make sure it's ready, but even if the balls stayed on there, Federer and Nadal would still win!"
Matthew, SW19, via text on 81111

1027: "A specially branded set of tennis gear. Similar in ilk to that of Fred Perry. But 'Hoffier' of course. I envisage a logo as an arty silhouette of Hoff running in Baywatch trunks, complete with his orange thing he used to run with. It's active, it's sexy. It's Hoff Sportswear."
Jacob Barker on 606
Where can I buy it?

1022: "So the dream is dead. That was a sleepness night of excitement for nothing. Why on earth hasn't the Hoff been given tickets? (see 0908). This guy single-handedly ended the Cold War through the power of his music for heavens' sake. Give him a ticket, All England Club. I'd even come dressed as Knight Rider in his honour. I'm crushed."
BBC Sport mole

1012: Two men have just carefully placed tennis balls all over one side of Centre Court. Is this some kind of handicap system for Nadal and Federer?

1003: "I've got tickets on Court One on Sunday. What delights does that entitle me to? Aussie Laura perhaps?"
Dave in Wandsworth, via text on 81111

0956: The Hoff (see 0908) has launched his own social networking website called 'Hoff Space'. He says it's all about "getting a pulse on all the crazy people out there". Can someone please get this man tickets? Wimbledon needs some Hoff time.
Thousands sign up to Hoff Space

0952: "Re 0908: Don't you think that the Hoff would make a fantastic tennis umpire?"
Ed, sitting in his office wishing he was out in the sun, via text on 81111

0950: Despite being one of only four players who could win it, you can get odds of 200/1 on Rainer Schuettler winning the title. Harsh. But possibly fair. "I have nothing to lose," said the German. "I just go out there, have fun, try to make it as hard for him as possible, and then who knows."

0941: "The men's semi-finals consist of a German, a Spaniard, a Russian, and a Swiss, three of the four nations taking part in the Euro 2008 semis. I don't think this is a coincidence."
MrSport88 on 606
(I think it is.)

0936: Laura Robson enjoys playing the saxophone and can play the Simpsons' theme tune. For some more interesting facts about Britain's bright new hope, why not have a little look at this excellent feature on the BBC website...
Robson flies flag for Britain

0928: "Having been in the office every day since the start of April, I've spent more time with you live-text-update chaps than is probably healthy. Anyone fancy a pint this weekend? I'll shout the tuna. PS Here's to a Safin-Schuettler final. Ahem."
Dan, London, via text on 81111
Firstly, chaps? Secondly, glass of dry white wine for the lady.

0923: Impressive enthusiasm from growingfeet (below) so I shall respond in kind. Jamie Murray and Liezel Huber feature in the third match on Centre Court in their semi-final against Bob Bryan and Samantha Stosur. Bob will no doubt still be steaming after he and Mike went out of the men's doubles yesterday to old man Bjorkman and Kevin Ullyett. Laura Robson is up against Slovakia's Romana Tabakova in the first match on Court Three.

0917: "Another good day of tennis ahead - love it! Come on the Jamie Murray! Is Laura Robson playing again today? She did brilliantly yesterday!"
growingfeet on 606
Join the debate on 606

0908: Those of you who were with us yesterday (and if you weren't, where the hell were you?) will remember that there was a very strong rumour that David Hasselhoff would be in the house today. But I bring bad tidings. If The Sun newspaper is to be believed, the All England Club has turned down the Hoff's request for tickets. Boo. Don't they know who he is?

0858: We may as well appreciate the sunshine while it's here because I've just seen the forecast for the weekend and it's doom all the way. Back to today though and we'll kick off with world number one Roger Federer against Marat Safin, who may very well lose but will look magnificent in doing so. Then it's Rafa Nadal v Rainer Schuettler, an unseeded 32-year-old playing his first Grand Slam semi-final since 2003. He's also 'fresh' from a five-hour epic against Arnaud Clement. "I will be fine," says Schuettler. "I also work hard. I'm physically fit. I'm not so tired." OK then, Rainer.

The sun is out again at Wimbledon
0850: Hello. I'm starting with a sun graphic. It's a beautiful day, the sun is shining, it's warm (ish). Goodness, even BBC weatherwoman Carol Kirkwood has shed her trench coat.

- We'll be here throughout the day to bring you the latest news from around the All England Club, both on the courts and off, so whether you're settling down at home, stuck in the office or queuing on Church Road, send us your thoughts.

see also
Wimbledon day 10 as it happened
03 Jul 08 |  Tennis
Order of play
23 May 08 |  Tennis

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