Germany’s Sabine Lisicki won an electrifying Centre Court semifinal match yesterday against Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska prevailing in three sets in the Wimbledon championships at the All England Club in London 6-4, 2-6, 9-7.
Before her semifinal match with Radwanska, Lisicki became the tournament favorite after her stunning upset of defending champion Serena Williams in the fourth round and a straight set drubbing of Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi in the next round.
Lisicki took the first set, 6-4 after 33 minutes. Radwanska accelerated her game, however on the next stage and equalized breaking Lisicki’s serve four times against two by her counterpart aided by a string of errors by the German to win the second set, 6-2.
The third set was a classic battle, a nip-and-tuck game resulting to be the longest semifinal third set decider in the tournament with the Polish World No. 4, a junior Wimbledon champion and last year’s losing finalist, showing quiet court finesse and accuracy with winners of her own to deny Lisicki an easy time. And the 23-year old German who won Wimbledon’s heart with her smile felt the pressure, falling into a quicksand of unforced errors, losing the first three games to the give the Pole a 3-0 lead. The two traded breaks with Radwanska gaining the upper hand on the 11th game notwithstanding 52 winners by Lisicki, 6-5. Not done yet, Lisicki ups her game with her trademark powerful serve that featured at one point a chase for the ball and a spectacular back-to-the net return winner in the next game, and equalizes when Radwanska sends a forehand long 6-6, keeping the Centre Court fans wildly guessing as to the outcome of the night’s main feature. With the score tied at 7-7, Lisicki asserts her aggressiveness and keeps on with the attack masterminding a crucial break in the 15th game to take the lead 8-7. She holds serve in the next game at 40-15 with a forehand winner to win the match 9-7, raising her arms in victory and dropping down on her back on the grass. After two hours and 18 minutes of a scintillating show of power and talent the German is on the final of Wimbledon and stayed on course for her first grand slam championship.
With the win Radwanska, who lost to Serena Williams last year in the final saw her hopes for the title vanish and Lisicki is riding on the crest of the tide to become Germany’s Wimbledon champion since Steffi Graf in 1996.
In the post-game interview, Lisicki said she gained much confidence after the Serena match, and asked what she thought about her coming match for the title with France’s Marion Bartoli, the young German said, “Oh, I don’t think about it. I think I’ll just be happy first today and later think about the match and be ready for the match tomorrow.” When the host remarked about her Wimbledon experience, that she came out always smiling and enjoying herself so much, she said, “Yes, definitely I love it here. I’m happy that I won and Wimbledon is such a nice experience.”
July 5, 2013