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Bartoli stuns Henin at Wimbledon

Unheralded Frenchwoman Marion Bartoli stuns the world number one to move into the final with a famous 1-6, 7-5, 6-1 win.
AFP | By HT Correspondent, London
UPDATED ON JUL 07, 2007 02:11 AM IST

Unheralded Frenchwoman Marion Bartoli stunned world number one and top seed Justine Henin to move into the Wimbledon final on Friday with a famous 1-6, 7-5, 6-1 victory.

The 18th seed, who had never got beyond the fourth round of a Grand Slam before this tournament, clinched a memorable triumph against the two-time runner-up and will face triple champion Venus Williams in Saturday's final.

Henin, fresh from a fourth successive French Open title, went into Friday's semi-final as the overwhelming favourite.

She had beaten Bartoli, who was playing in her first Grand Slam last four match, on both previous occasions they had met including in the last four of the Eastbourne grasscourt event in June.

Bartoli was crippled by nerves on her Centre Court debut and gave up the first set in just 22 minutes as she looked to be heading for a routine defeat.

But she broke to lead 3-1 in the second set before being pegged back by the four-time French Open champion.

Bartoli saved two break points in the 11th game to nip ahead 6-5 before she stunned the world number one with a break to take the set in the next game with a confident volley.

Bartoli, who plays double-handed off both sides and indulges in a bizarre little skip on the spot before each serve, stormed into a 4-0 lead with two breaks in the deciding set as Centre Court sensed a major shock.

She held her nerve to go to 5-0, on the back of winning seven games in a row, when Henin blasted one of her trademark backhands out.

Henin then held serve to trail 1-5 but Bartoli was not to be denied as the Belgian hit a return long on the Frenchwoman's first match point.

Bartoli fell to her knees, shocked at her historic win while Henin made a hasty exit from the court still without the only Grand Slam title missing from her collection.

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