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Wimbledon: Lisicki v Bartoli in final

Sabine Lisicki will face Marion Bartoli in Saturday's Wimbledon final after contrasting wins for the pair in the last four.

Staff Reporter
4 July 2013, 12:00am
Sabine Lisicki celebrates
Sabine Lisicki celebrates


Lisicki booked her place in the final after a battling three-set victory over Agnieszka Radwanska on Centre Court.

The German set up a Saturday showdown for the title against Marion Bartoli by outlasting the Polish fourth seed 9-7 in the third and final set to seal victory 6-4 2-6 9-7 overall.

The 23rd seed had caused the shock of the women's draw at this year's Wimbledon by dumping Serena Williams out of the event, and she followed up by making it all the way to the final.

Behind her booming serve and aggressive ground strokes, Lisicki powered to the first set and looked well in control of matters, before Radwanska started to get a foothold in the contest.

The Pole was more consistent and soon Lisicki's attacking shots were missing their mark and as errors crept into her game, Radwanska levelled to send the semi-final into a third and final set.

Radwanska grabbed an early break and a 3-0 lead in the third set as she rattled off nine games out of ten to firmly move onto the front foot.

Lisicki conjured up a break of her own to level at 3-3 and then broke again in the ninth game to go 5-4 ahead and serve for a place in the final.

Radwanska was not done though, and at the fourth time of asking managed to break right back and draw the match level once again, with both then holding serve to make it 6-6.

The pressure was mounting but both managed to hold serve until Lisicki found an extra gear in the 15th game of an extended set to finally break again and serve for the match once again at 8-7.

This time the German made no mistake with some trademark big serves putting her 40-0 ahead in the game, before sealing her spot in the final by taking the second match point.

"It's unbelievable. The last few games were so exciting," said a smiling Lisicki.

"We were fighting, Agnieszka played so well throughout the match.

"It was a battle. I'm so happy to have won that.

"I fought with all my heart and believed I could still win no matter what the score was."

Lisicki was in a similar situation in her fourth-round match against Williams, winning in three after squandering a one-set lead.

"It was a little bit like that in the third set when I was down 3-0," Lisicki added on the BBC.

"I thought, 'Okay, you did it against Serena so you can do it today as well'.

"It gave me so much confidence. I'm so, so happy I was able to finish it.

"Wimbledon is my favourite tournament, I love it so much and I love being in England. I cannot believe I'm in the final."

 

Earlier, Bartoli took just 62 minutes to reach her second Wimbledon final with a 6-1 6-2 victory over Kirsten Flipkens.

The Frenchwoman, runner-up to Venus Williams six years ago, completely overwhelmed a Belgian opponent who had not previously been beyond the fourth round of a Grand Slam before this year's tournament at the All England Club.

Bartoli reeled off 23 winners as Flipkens' frequent attempts to come to the net more often than not ended with the ball flashing back past her.

Flipkens has climbed to 20th in the world after a blood clot problem last year caused her to take two months out of the game, but her inexperience in the latter stages of the major tournaments was brutally exposed.

Bartoli set the tone in the second game as a backhand winner brought up two break points and a long Flipkens backhand sealed the early advantage.

Warm applause greeted Flipkens when she put her first game on the board by holding serve, but Bartoli then won three straight games to wrap up the first set in under half an hour.

Flipkens had beaten former champion Petra Kvitova in the last eight but by the start of the second set it was clear this match was a bridge too far as Bartoli raced into a 2-0 lead.

Another simple break of serve put her three games to the good, with Flipkens then getting some temporary respite as she was seen to by the trainer for an apparent knee problem.

It seemed to do her good as she claimed her first and only break straight afterwards, but she dropped her own serve next up as Bartoli ended any hopes of a comeback.

Flipkens did manage to delay the inevitable with one more service hold, but Bartoli soon served the match out.

"I slept right before the semi-final. You can ask the physio in the locker room," Bartoli told reporters.

"I slept from 12pm to 12.30pm, right before going on, and you can see I was razor-sharp today.

"Maybe tonight it will be hard to sleep but I will be having fun tomorrow."

Flipkens confirmed her knee problem had flared up, but she said: "I'm not going to use it as an excuse. Marion played an amazingly good match.''

A fall in the first set had seemed inconsequential at the time, even to Flipkens.

"At that moment I didn't feel it but a couple of games later I started to feel a really sharp pain,'' she said. "It definitely needs a rest.

"All credit to her today for the way she played. I tried everything but it didn't work out.''
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