Rafter Conquers Popp to Reach Semis with Agassi

Published July 5th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Australian 12th seed Pat Rafter reached the semifinals of the men's singles at Wimbledon on Wednesday, conquering Germany's Alexander Popp 6-3, 6-2, 7-6 (7/1) in 1hr 48min. 

Rafter will now play US second seed Andre Agassi who defeated Australian 10th seed Mark Philippoussis 7-6 (7/4), 6-3, 6-4 in 1hr 58min. 

Two-time US Open champion Rafter raced to a 4-1 lead having managed the early break as Popp showed early traces of nerves with six double faults in the opening set as the Australian wrapped it up almost effortlessly in just 31min. 

Popp, playing in only his second Grand Slam event, was clearly in difficulty and he conceded serve again in the opening game of the second set to put serve-and-volley merchant Rafter firmly in the driving seat. 

Popp's shoulders slumped as he netted a forehand, registering a 36th unforced error as he fell two sets behind after just 56min. 

For the German, 10 double faults and 60 unforced errors, compared to 4 and 24 for his opponent, told their own story – (AFP) 

 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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