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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Agassi, Rafter to Meet in Final Four




LONDON -- Second seed Andre Agassi powered past 10th-seeded Australian Mark Philippoussis 7-6, 6-3, 6-4 on Center Court on Wednesday to reach the Wimbledon semifinals.


The American will play another Australian, 12th seed Pat Rafter, for a place in Sunday's final after Rafter beat German Alexander Popp 6-3, 6-2, 7-6 on Court One. Agassi beat Rafter in last year's semifinals before losing the final to Pete Sampras.


"Andre's playing very well but hopefully the result will be different," said Rafter. "When Andre gets ahead he's a tough man to stop."


Top seed Sampras was playing fellow American Jan-Michael Gambill in the top half of the draw for a place in the semis against either Zimbabwe's Byron Black or Vladimir Voltchkov of Belarus.


Agassi absorbed everything huge-serving Philippoussis threw at him, and the 1992 champion snatched the first set on a tiebreaker with his first ace.


He secured the first break of the match in the eighth game of the second set when Philippoussis double-faulted.


He broke again for 2-1 in the third as the Australian was forced into going for more and more power on his serve in the face of excellent returning.


That break was all Agassi needed as he closed out the match on his own serve 6-4 after one hour, 58 minutes.


"Obviously, just one or two points cost me that opening set and it would have been nice to get that set because Andre is such a great front-runner," said Philippoussis.


Rafter coasted to victory against 114th-ranked Popp on a chilly Court One to become the first player through to the men's semifinals.


The twice U.S. Open champion needed only to play solid serve and volley tennis to overcome the 23-year-old Popp, whose jangling nerves caused him to make numerous errors, including five double-faults in his first service game.


The towering Popp, who beat current and former French Open champions Gustavo Kuerten and Michael Chang in earlier rounds, did show flashes of brilliance on the backhand, and he broke Rafter's serve to force the third-set tiebreaker.


But he could not match Rafter's touch and anticipation, dropping four of his service games during the match and losing the tiebreaker 7-1.