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Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Lisicki: French Open champs Waterloo at Wimbledon

In every one of her last four Wimbledons, Germany's Sabine Lisicki (she didn't play in 2010 because of injury) has knocked out the reigning women's French Open champion. Svetlana Kuznetsova in 2009, Li Na in 2011, Maria Sharapova in 2012, and the most unexpected of all, a shock upset win over Serena Williams in 2013.

Lisicki could very well win her first Grand Slam title at the 2013 Wimbledon, where she faces Agnieszka Radwanska in the semi-finals.

              Germany's Sabine Lisicki has had her fair share of injury woes in the last three years, but when fit, she has proved to be the bete noire for the reigning French Open women's champions at Wimbledon. This run started in 2009 when she defeated Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia and the streak continued in 2013 when she dumped out Serena Williams.
    Lisicki, who was ranked No. 41 in the world coming into the 2009 Wimbledon, upset the fifth-seeded Kuznetsova 6-2 7-5 in the third round.

    "I just kept fighting. It was tough but I'm so happy to have pulled it out," said Lisicki, who needed five match points before sealing the biggest win of her career at that time.
    Lisicki reached the quarter-finals of the 2009 Wimbledon where she was defeated 7-6 (5) 4-6 1-6 by top-seeded Dinara Safina.

   Lisicki entered the 2011 edition as a wild card after a prolonged absence from the game because of a career-threatening ankle injury. The then 21-year-old Lisicki, however, had regained fitness and won a tournament in the lead-up to Wimbledon that year.
    She took that confidence into her second round match against that year's French Open champion Li Na, who was seeded third in the 2011 Wimbledon, as the young German staved off two match points en route to winning 3-6 6-4 8-6. Lisicki ranked No. 62 coming into the tournament burst into tears of joy at the end of the match.

   Lisicki's run in the 2011 Wimbledon was ended in the semi-finals by fifth seed Maria Sharapova, who eased to a 6-4 6-3 win. Sharapova was beaten by Petra Kvitova in the final.
    Lisicki extracted sweet revenge for her defeat at the hands of Sharapova in the semi-finals of the 2011 Wimbledon a year later. In the fourth round of the 2012 Wimbeldon, the 15th-ranked Lisicki comprehensively defeated then World No. 1 Sharapova 6-4 6-3.


   "It is just unbelievable for me, I'm just so happy," Lisicki said after falling to her knees with both fists clenched in celebration.

  Lisicki's happiness at beating Sharapova, was however, short-lived, as she was edged out 3-6 7-6 (7) 5-7 by fellow German Angelique Kerber in the quarter-finals of the 2012 Wimbledon.
    Lisicki pulled off another huge surprise at the 2013 Wimbledon when the German 23rd seed clinched a 6-2 1-6 6-4 victory over World No.1 Serena Williams in the fourth round.

    Williams appeared to have averted danger when she reeled off nine successive games to lead 3-0 in the decider but Lisicki rallied with a gripping fightback.
    "I am still shaking, I am so happy," Lisicki told the BBC after she sealed the biggest victory of her career with a rasping forehand winner. "Serena played a fantastic match, she is such a tough opponent. It is an amazing feeling to win this match. This is such a special place for me and the crowd were brilliant to me."

    A day - 2 July 2013 - after producing the shock of shocks at the 2013 Wimbledon that has seen upsets galore by beating red-hot favourite Serena Williams, Lisicki overwhelmed Estonia's Kaia Kanepi to reach her second semi-final at Wimbledon.

    The grasscourt-loving Lisicki needed only 65 minutes to win 6-3 6-3 against 46th-ranked Kanepi.


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