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10 facts about the ladies' semi-finalists

The Ladies' trophy.
by Benjamin Snyder
Thursday 4 July 2013

A first time Champion
The woman to hoist the Venus Rosewaster Dish on Saturday will be a first time Grand Slam champion. But what’s fascinating is the fact that she will also be the 42nd Slam winner in the Open Era and the 18th at Wimbledon.

Following in Azarenka’s footsteps
Along with fact No.1, the Wimbledon winner will follow in Victoria Azarenka’s footsteps to become a first time Slam winner. Azarenka, the No. 2 seed at this year’s tournament, collected her maiden Grand Slam win at the 2012 Australian Open.

On court review
Who has spent the longest time on court? It’s Agnieszka Radwanska, the highest-seeded player left in the draw and the 2012 runner-up. The No. 4 seed has been on court for nine hours and 40 minutes. The shortest time spent? The lowest seeded player, No. 23 Sabine Lisicki at six hours and 54 minutes. Marion Bartoli and Kirsten Flipkens, meanwhile, have both spent around the same amount of time with seven hours and 40 minutes for Bartoli and seven hours and 43 minutes for Flipkens.

Coach Kim Clijsters
To many, Belgium’s Flipkens may not be a familiar face and certainly not in the second week of a Slam. But she is very well-known to Clijsters, the former world No.1 and four-time Slam champion. Flipkens, the 2003 champion in the Junior event, is good friends with Clijsters. In fact, the two have worked together on court, with Clijsters speaking to her compatriot on the phone after every match during Flipkens’ 2012 run to the Quebec City title.

From qualifiers to semis
Another nugget about Flipkens: this time last year, she was ranked outside of the top 250. After finding blood clots in her calf in April 2012, she fell to No. 262 in the world, which was not even a high enough ranking to make it to the Qualifying competition. If she wins the title she would move into the world's top 10.

Regaining her grass-court legs
While her movement on grass is tremendous and was key in her upset against Serena Williams in the fourth round, Lisicki suffered a left ankle injury in 2010 that forced her to take five months off the tour. She finished the year as the No. 179 player in the world. In 2011, however, she came back hungry for success and won two titles at Birmingham and Dallas. As a result she was voted Comeback Player of the Year.

Beating French Open Champions
Each time Lisicki has advanced deep at Wimbledon, she’s taken out the defending champion of the French Open. This year was no different. The German began this unusual sequence back in 2009 when she beat Svetlana Kuznetsova en route to the quarter-finals. She then defeated Li Na on her way to the semis in 2011 and finally Maria Sharapova during her run in 2012.

The Sampras, Seles connection
Marion Bartoli, the 2007 runner-up, considers Pete Sampras and Monica Seles among her tennis idols. Bartoli actually had the opportunity to hit with Sampras back in 2012 at Stanford. Meanwhile, the Frenchwoman, who once boasted of having an IQ of 175, shares a trait with Seles: they hit with two hands on both sides.

Sister Act at SW19
Radwanska may be known for her run to the Wimbledon finals last year where she succumbed to Serena in three sets, but she actually also holds a title from the All England Club. She won the Junior Championships in 2005. But she isn’t the only Radwanska with a Wimbledon win. Her younger sister, Urszula, also won the Junior Event back in 2007.

Winning the popular vote
Radwanska, or “Aga” as she is called, is often celebrated for her quirky style of play. A counter-puncher, she mixes it up on court like no other. She hits a signature squatting shot to absorb power, can volley effectively, slice and dice and simply outsmarts her more powerful opponents. Her style has not gone unnoticed by fans. In fact, for the past two years, Radwanska has been voted in polls held by the WTA as the most popular player.

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