Bartoli stuns Henin in semis

Wimbledon, July 6:

Justine Henin will have to wait another year to try and complete a career Grand Slam after being stunned in the Wimbledon semi-finals by Marion Bartoli. Bartoli ran the top-ranked Henin around the court over the final two sets, using incredible accuracy to come back from a set and break down to win 1-6, 7-5, 6-1. Bartoli will face Venus Williams in Saturday’s final. The three-time Wimbledon champion, Williams beat No 6 Ana Ivanovic 6-2, 6-4.

The No 31 Williams and the No 20 Bartoli are the two lowest ranked women to reach the Wimbledon final since the computer rankings began in 1975.

In the men’s draw, four-time defending champion Roger Federer, No 2 Rafael Nadal, No 4 Novak Djokovic and No 12 Richard Gasquet reached the semi-finals.

Henin broke to take a 4-3 lead in the second set, but Bartoli broke back in the next game and then again with Henin serving to force a tiebreaker. Henin also held two break points in the first game of the third set.

Williams reached the Wimbledon final for the sixth time. Williams started strong on Friday, winning 12 of the first 16 points to break Ivanovic twice and eventually take a 4-0 lead. She had three match points while leading 5-3, but Ivanovic saved them all and made Williams serve out the match.

Federer dropped a set for the first time this year at the All England Club, but still beat Juan Carlos Ferrero 7-6 (2), 3-6, 6-1, 6-3. Federer was broken in the first set on Thursday, when he and Ferrero played for 37 minutes before play was suspended by rain at deuce at 5-5.

Nadal was broken once early in the first set, but didn’t face any more serious challenges in beating Tomas Berdych 7-6 (1), 6-4, 6-2. He broke the Czech in the opening games of the second and third sets. Djokovic needed exactly five hours to beat Marcos Baghdatis 7-6 (4), 7-6 (9), 6-7 (3), 4-6, 7-5. The longest Wimbledon singles match every played on one day lasted only five minutes longer. Gasquet came from two sets down to upset No 3 Andy Roddick 4-6, 4-6, 7-6, 7-6, 8-6.