WIMBLEDON, England — Two points from defeat, Patrick Rafter came back to shock Andre Agassi in five sets Friday and reach his second consecutive Wimbledon final. This time, Rafter won't even have to face seven-time winner Pete Sampras in the championship match Sunday.
Instead, the Australian will play three-time runner-up Goran Ivanisevic or crowd favorite Tim Henman of Britain, but he'll have to wait until Saturday to learn which one.
Their match was suspended by darkness with Henman leading 5-7, 7-6 (6), 6-0. He was ahead 2-1 in the fourth set with Ivanisevic serving. Rain delayed play for two hours and, when it stopped, referee Alan Mills decided to resume the match Saturday.
In the women's final Saturday, defending champion Venus Williams plays 19-year-old Belgian Justine Henin, who ended Jennifer Capriati's bid to win the Grand Slam this year.
Agassi was headed for a chance to add to his 1992 Wimbledon title, leading 5-3 in the fifth set. Serving for the match at 5-4, Agassi went up 30-15 — putting him two points away from winning the semifinal.
But the American hit a forehand into the net, then sent a backhand wide and lost the game when he couldn't get Rafter's crosscourt volley.
Suddenly, the match was even at 5-5, Rafter had the momentum and Agassi, who had criticized two calls that went against him in the fourth set, was about to lose his cool.
At 6-6, Agassi was a point away from breaking Rafter's serve. Then Agassi hit a service return wide and uttered an obscenity. A lineswoman reported him to umpire Mike Morrissey, who issued a code violation warning.
Agassi lost the next point, giving Rafter a 7-6 lead — there are no fifth-set tiebreakers at this grass-court event — then dropped the next three points on his serve in the final game to go to 0-40.
That gave Rafter three match points.
"Big time," Agassi said when asked if he felt the code violation was unfair. He did win the next two points but wouldn't get another.
"I think it was that lady that really got to him in the end," said Rafter, who agreed that the warning was wrong. "Just let it go. Only one person heard it."
Rafter won the match when he lofted a backhand from his left corner over Agassi's head that dropped into the far corner.