The two semi-finals of the men's singles in the French International Tennis Championships were played on Saturday in Paris.
GTV Ramirez (far end) serving to Solomon (back to camera)
SV Ramirez returning shots and Solomon putting final volley into net to lose point
SV Solomon serving with long rally conducted from touch lines and Ramirez wins point
SV Crowd applauding
GV Solomon serving with long rally and Ramirez returns out of court giving Solomon game set and match; players shake hands and leave court
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Background: The two semi-finals of the men's singles in the French International Tennis Championships were played on Saturday in Paris. In one, Adrianno Panatta of Italy won through to the final by beating Eddie Dibbs of the United states.
SYNOPSIS: The other semi-final was between another American, Harold Solomon - nearest the camera - and Mexico's Raul Ramirez. The match was played before an enthusiastic crowd of thirteen thousand, sweltering in temperatures that almost reached a hundred and ten fahrenheit on the centre court.
Despite the heat, Solomon continued to run, covering as much of the court as he could and fighting back from precarious positions. In the opening set, the two men had exchanged long rallies, varying their shots as they fenced for an opening. But Solomon was occasionally erratic, hitting the ball fractionally wide or long on important points. Ramirez eventually won this tussle.
But by the final fifth set, the American had won the second and fourth sets, though not without a struggle. In the fourth set he had only dropped nine points on his way from 1-3 to 6-4. He had won the last twelve points of the set.
In this, the fifth, Ramirez became erratic after losing an early chance, and Solomon took the last three games for the loss of only four points. Solomon, who now meets Panatta in the final, is the first American to reach the final for nineteen years.