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Saturday, 6 July, 2002, 13:36 GMT 14:36 UK
Gamewatch: Nalbandian v Malisse
Game-by-game action from Court One as David Nalbandian beats Xavier Malisse to earn a place in the men's singles final at Wimbledon.

Fifth set:

Nalbandian 7-6 6-4 1-6 2-6 6-2 Malisse
Malisse is looking out of sorts as he comes out to serve to stay in the tournament. He wins the first point but two sloppy points put him in danger at 15-30. A low backhand from Nalbandian forces the error from Malisse and the Argentine has two match points - he needs just one as a clever dropshot puts the 20-year-old into the final at his first ever Wimbledon.

Nalbandian 7-6 6-4 1-6 2-6 5-2 Malisse
Nalbandian goes 15-40 down but manages to save both break points and then comes up with another cracking forehand down-the-line to end another absorbing rally.

Nalbandian 7-6 6-4 1-6 2-6 4-2 Malisse
Malisse is not looking as sharp as his rival and Nalbandian takes advantage. Malisse loses his ninth point in a row to go 0-15 down but the losing streak breaks when Nalbandian's lob on the next point is just long. Malisse double-faults at deuce to give his opponent a break point but saves it with a brave forehand that just clips the baseline. But another unforced error gives Nalbandian another chance and the Argentine breaks with a down-the-line winner. He yells "vamos" in delight while Malisse flings his racket to the ground in disgust.

Nalbandian 7-6 6-4 1-6 2-6 3-2 Malisse
Nalbandian consolidates his break back with a strong service game in which he does not concede a point.

Nalbandian 7-6 6-4 1-6 2-6 2-2 Malisse
Nalbandian stays positive and wins the first point by attacking the net. A Malisse forehand goes long and suddenly he is 0-40 down. A hooked backhand from the Belgian then lands wide and Nalbandian has broken back.

Nalbandian 7-6 6-4 1-6 2-6 1-2 Malisse
Nalbandian squanders a 30-0 lead and some good work on the forehand gives Malisse a break point - he converts after a brilliant rally which sees the Belgian send a running cross-court forehand pass which a diving Nalbandian cannot get back.

Nalbandian 7-6 6-4 1-6 2-6 1-1 Malisse
Malisse also begins confidently - coming up with two aces in his first two points. But Nalbandian wins a marathon rally at 40-15 and then comes to the net to take the game to deuce. He tries the same tactic on the next point but his backhand drop volley does not quite clear the net. Malisse comes up with another ace to take the game.

Nalbandian 7-6 6-4 1-6 2-6 1-0 Malisse
Nalbandian begins play with the fastest serve of the match - 120mph - which Malisse cannot get back. The Argentine holds to 15.

1355 BST: The players arrive on Court One and begin knocking up.


Fourth set:

Nalbandian 7-6 (7/2) 6-4 1-6 2-6 Malisse
Malisse wins the first point with an ace but Nalbandian dictates the next point, winning it with a backhand volley. Two loose shots from Malisse give the Argentine two break points but Malisse composes himself to get himself to set point and then cracks a backhand down the line to secure the fourth set. Play is suspended due to the fading light.

Nalbandian 7-6 (7/2) 6-4 1-6 2-5 Malisse
The crowd try to get behind Nalbandian, cheering loudly as he wins the first two points. Nalbandian holds comfortably but is clearly still angry, banging a ball into the ground as he walks to his chair.

Nalbandian 7-6 (7/2) 6-4 1-6 1-5 Malisse
Malisse is looking like a different player from the one who turdged off court before the rain delay. Malisse serves an ace and a double fault on his way to holding serve. Nalbandian loses his cool over a non-call on the baseline, throwing his racket down and letting the umpire know about his anger.

Nalbandian 7-6 (7/2) 6-4 1-6 1-4 Malisse
Both players have been producing some wonderful tennis up to now but Nalbandian is beginning to look a little ragged. Malisse earns two break points with a running forehand pass which thunders down the line. Nalbandian saves the first but Malisse secures the double break with the second.

Nalbandian 7-6 (7/2) 6-4 1-6 1-3 Malisse
On the first point, Malisse comes up with a second service ace but Nalbandian is not at all happy, believing it to be long. Things go his way on the next point when the umpire over-rules in his favour. Nalbandian is looking a bit disheartened, especially when his attempted drop-shot at 15-30 lands on top of the net before falling agonisingly back onto his side of the court. Nalbandian whacks his head with hand three times in annoyance at a error and then Malisse finishes another entertaining game with an ace.

Nalbandian 7-6 (7/2) 6-4 1-6 1-2 Malisse
Nalbandian looks to be in trouble when Malisse soaks up pressure from the Argentine before coming up with a backhand passing shot down the line to go 0-30 on his opponent's serve. Another down-the-line from Malisse give him two break points - he takes the second and secures the break.

Nalbandian 7-6 (7/2) 6-4 1-6 1-1 Malisse
Malisse manages to hold quite comfortably. Nalbandian, not for the first time, is not happy with a call on the baseline but it is Malisse's turn to be unhappy on the next point when his first serve is called out.

Nalbandian 7-6 (7/2) 6-4 1-6 1-0 Malisse
Malisse, who it transpires has called his own doctor in Belgium during the rain delay to discuss his palpitations, seems to have seized the initiative. The Belgian earns two break points but Nalbandian comes up with four consecutive solid points to hold.


Third set:

Nalbandian 7-6 (7/2) 6-4 1-6 0-0 Malisse
Nalbandian is not playing badly but Malisse is just coming up with the more incisive shots. Nalbandian misses a smash at 30-30 and Malisse has a set point which he converts.

Nalbandian 7-6 (7/2) 6-4 1-5 Malisse
The first point of the match is one of the best of the match with Nalbandian finally winning it with a superb dinked cross-court winner from the baseline. A lucky net-cord gives Malisse the next point. Another fabulous point sees Nalbandian diving full-stretch but proving unable to get back Malisse's cross-court winner. Nalbandian nets on the next point to hand Malisse a double break.

Nalbandian 7-6 (7/2) 6-4 1-4 Malisse
Malisse drives a sitter into the net to give Nalbandian a break point but makes amends with an ace. But the Belgian then double-faults to offer Nalbandian another chance. The Argentine cannot take advantage and Malisse comes up with two aces to finish the game.

Nalbandian 7-6 (7/2) 6-4 1-3 Malisse
The match could be turning as Malisse breaks. He gets a glimmer of hope when Nalbandian nets to go 30-40 down. The Argentine saves it with a dropshot followed by a lob. Malisse gets another chance when he finds the back of the baseline and Nalbandian goes long on the following point to give Malisse the break.

Nalbandian 7-6 (7/2) 6-4 1-2 Malisse
Malisse comes up with a couple of aces but also produces a two careless-looking shots that allow his opponent back into the game. But the Belgian finds another ace and a service winner to secure the game.

Nalbandian 7-6 (7/2) 6-4 1-1 Malisse
Nalbandian holds to 30, finishing the game with a well-constructed point that has Malisse scurrying from side to side across the court.

Nalbandian 7-6 (7/2) 6-4 0-1 Malisse
Malisse begins the third set well by holding. Now that his breathing problems seem better, his chest seems less restricted and he is able to put more into his serve. Both players are producing some delightful shots and there are plenty of entertaining rallies.


Second set:

Nalbandian 7-6 (7/2) 6-4 0-0 Malisse
Nalbandian secures the second set. The Argentine begins with an ace and goes on to earn two set points, covering one of Malisse's attempted pass with an extravagant and completely unnecessary full-length dive. He squanders the first set point but wins the next with a delicate drop volley.

Nalbandian 7-6 (7/2) 5-4 Malisse
Malisse holds but Nalbandian is playing some very aggressive and effective tennis, rushing to the net to put Malisse under lots of pressure and earn a set point. Malisse saves that with a good first serve and then wins the next point with a very lucky net cord which stops the ball dead, giving Nalbandian no chance.

Nalbandian 7-6 (7/2) 5-3 Malisse
Nalbandian is also looking sharp and he holds to 15.

Nalbandian 7-6 (7/2) 4-3 Malisse
Malisse is showing no signs of his earlier ailments as he serves three aces on the way to holding his serve.

1930 BST The players return to the court and begin knocking up.

Nalbandian 7-6 (7/2) 4-2 Malisse
A comfortable service game for Nalbandian, backed up by solid ground strokes. The Argentine has never played on grass before and is on course for the Wimbledon final.
Play is suspended and Nalbandian is almost swept under the covers in the rush.

Nalbandian 7-6 (7/2) 3-2 Malisse
Malisse battles back after losing three-straight games, but has much more to do if he is to get back in this semi-final.

Nalbandian 7-6 (7/2) 3-1 Malisse
Nalbandian consolidates his break.

Nalbandian 7-6 (7/2) 2-1 Malisse
To Nalbandian's credit he has stood up to the disturbance caused by Malisse's long injury break well. He piles on the pressure and breaks again. The winner of this match will meet Lleyton Hewitt in the Championship game.

Nalbandian 7-6 (7/2) 1-1 Malisse
Malisse was treated for palpitations 18 months ago, but doctors could find nothing physically wrong with him then and there is little wrong with his tennis now. The Belgian forces a break point but Nalbandian keeps his nerve.

Nalbandian 7-6 (7/2) 0-1 Malisse
After a ten minute delay, the players controversially resume their match. Rules dictate that only a three minute break is allowed in the event of medical need, but an exception appears to have been made for Malisse, who holds serve with an ace.


Things are going from bad to worse for Malisse, who calls for the doctor again and leaves the court. He is still suffering from chest pains and may not be able to continue.

It has been more than the statutory three minutes and Nalbaldian is having to bide his time alone on the court.


First set:

Tie-break

Nalbandian holds his serve and then breaks. Malisse is disturbed by the noise and falls 3-0 behind with a double fault.

Things are unravelling fast for Malisse, who falls 6-0 behind in the breaker. Nalbandian converts his third set point to win the tie-breaker 7-2.

Nalbandian 6-6 Malisse
Malisse saves two set points to force a tie-breaker. He looks in better spirits than earlier but is still prone to mistakes.

Nalbandian 6-5 Malisse
Nalbandian holds to forge ahead again.

Nalbandian 5-5 Malisse
An eruption of noise washes over Court One from Centre Court, where Tim Henman has broken Lleyton Hewitt. The atmosphere galvanises Nalbandian, who breaks Malisse to level.

Nalbandian 4-5 Malisse
Both men are finding their range from the baseline. Nalbandian is punished for a loose drop-shot and surrenders his serve.

Nalbandian 4-4 Malisse
Malisse crumples to 0-40 but saves a total of four break points before holding with a dazzling forehand pass.

Nalbandian 4-3 Malisse
Nalbandian's game has been unsettled by Malisse's medical time-out, but the Argentine serves his way out of trouble. There is no return for the trainer at this change of ends, which is a positive sign.

Nalbandian 3-3 Malisse
Malisse regains his composure well and holds to 15, showing good movement.

Nalbandian 3-2 Malisse
There is evidence of some discomfort from Malisse, who seems to be finding it hard to catch his breath between points. The Belgian still manages to force break points but fails to convert and immediately calls for the trainer.

A doctor is called to courtside and a long conversation ensues to discuss Malisse's future participation. He decides to play on.

Nalbandian 2-2 Malisse
Malisse is taken to deuce but works Nalbandian around the court to hold.

Nalbandian 2-1 Malisse
Nalbandian is the more willing of the two baseliners to come to the net and he does so to good effect to edge ahead in games.

Nalbandian 1-1 Malisse
The match begins to take shape from the back of the court. Malisse misses with most of his first serves but holds when his opponent hits tamely into the bottom of the net.

Nalbandian 1-0 Malisse
Nalbandian serves first and wins a scrappy opening game after two unforced errors by Malisse.


1630 BST: The persistent rain at Wimbledon has forced the organisers' hand and they move the second men's semi-final between David Nalbandian and Xavier Malisse to Court One.

Neither player has reached this stage of a Grand Slam before, so nerves could play an important part.

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