Sports: Women's semis begin at Wimbledon

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London, July 6 : The Wimbledon women's semi-finals begin a day later than scheduled today and the four contenders will have to sit tight and first watch the men wrap up their rain-delayed quarter-final matches.

With world number one Justine Henin the overwhelming favourite against the Frech18th seed Marion Bartoli, tomarrow's decider should be a reprise of eithe this year's French Open final or the 2001 Wimbledon final.

Champion here in 2005 and 2000 as well as 2001, American Venus Williams faces French Open runner-up Ana Ivanovic of Serbia for a place in the final.

Yet as has been the case for the last 10 days at the All England Club, the weather will dictate whether the traditional Saturday final goes ahead or not.

Henin and Bartoli must await the completion of Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis's battle with fourth-seeded Serb Novak Djokovic and twice finalist Andy Roddick's test against Richard Gasquet before stepping out on Court One.

On Centre Court, Spanish second seed Rafael Nadal's tricky encounter with Czech Tomas Berdych is to be followed by the resumption of champion Roger Federer and Spaniard Juan Carlos Ferrero's quarter-final. The pair were 5-5 in the first set when rain stopped play yesterday.

Williams, now 23rd seed and Ivanovic follow them.


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