Tennis-Bartoli outbreaks Stephens to reach semis

LONDON, July 2 Tue Jul 2, 2013 6:56pm BST

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LONDON, July 2 (Reuters) - Marion Bartoli is within one match of a surprise second Wimbledon final appearance after beating American Sloane Stephens 6-4 7-5 in a bizarre rain-interrupted quarter-final on Tuesday that featured eight successive breaks of serve.

There was little to choose between the two players until a two and a half hour rain break late in the first set, which the hyper-active French 15th seed took immediately upon resumption.

There followed an extraordinary second set that included eight successive dropped service games, most of them to love as Stephens, the only remaining American in the either singles competition, garnered only one point in four service games.

Both women finally managed a hold each before Bartoli, who lost to Venus Williams in the 2007 final and has yet to drop a set in five matches in this tournament, broke to love again to triumph.

(Editing by Ed Osmond)

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