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MaliVai Washington Beat Todd Martin

July 6, 1996

WIMBLEDON, England (AP) _ MaliVai Washington overcame a 1-5 deficit in the fifth set, a controversial line call and yet another rain delay today to beat fellow American Todd Martin and reach the Wimbledon final.

The unseeded Washington served out the rain-suspended match in the 18th game of the fifth set to win 5-7, 6-4, 6-7 (8-6), 6-3, 10-8.

Washington, 27, became the first black player to reach the Wimbledon men’s final since Arthur Ashe won the title in 1975.

Washington, in a Grand Slam final for the first time in his career, will face the winner of the second semifinal between Richard Krajicek and Jason Stoltenberg.

Washington’s victory over Martin, the 13th seed, meant that Wimbledon will have its first unseeded champion since Boris Becker in 1985.

In today’s women final, defending and six-time champion Steffi Graf met Arantxa Sanchez Vicario in a replay of last year’s championship match.

The Washington-Martin match, which was suspended by rain at two sets apiece Friday, ended 25 hours after it began following 3:49 of actual playing time.

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