Wimbledon: Marion Bartoli reached her second semi-final beating Sloane Stephens
Last Updated: July 3, 2013 2:22pm
Marion Bartoli: Broke Stephens five times to clinch the second set
Marion Bartoli reached the Wimbledon semi-finals for a second time with a 6-4 7-5 victory over young American Sloane Stephens.
In a topsy-turvy match that had a two-and-a-half hour break for rain and countless breaks of serve, 2007 finalist Bartoli finally put paid to the last surviving American.
The French woman, who lost to Venus Williams in the final six years ago, applied most of the pressure early on but Stephens hung on to her serve and then had two chances to break for 5-4 but could not take either.
After the rain delay, Stephens - poised at deuce on her own serve - promptly found herself facing a third set point.
This time she could not save it as a long rally ended with Stephens chasing down a Bartoli drop shot but seeing the ball bounce off the net and into the tramlines.
The second set proved to be a remarkable affair with 10 of the 12 games won against the serve.
Bartoli was the first to gain the advantage, moving into a 2-0 lead, but it merely set the tone as three times Stephens retrieved breaks, but could not hold onto her own serve.
However, when Bartoli served for the set at 5-3 the American inevitably broke again and then held for what proved the only time in the set for 5-5.
But Bartoli held too and swiftly moved 40-0 up on the Stephens delivery, clinching victory at the first opportunity with a cross-court forehand winner.
The 15th seed will play Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium, seeded 20, for a place in the final.