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Sabine Lisicki: path to the final

Sabine Lisicki enters Centre Court.
by Dan Imhoff
Saturday 6 July 2013

First Round – [23] Sabine Lisicki bt Francesca Schiavone 6-1, 6-2
Only days before the 2013 Championships, Lisicki had been practising with the player she was drawn to face in the first round. On paper it was among the toughest of the opening matches – Francesca Schiavone was the 2010 French Open champion and appearing in her 13th straight Wimbledon main draw, where she had reached the quarter-finals three years ago. But under fading light on No.1 Court, Lisicki hit the 33-year-old off the court, sending down 25 winners to just six from the Italian.

Second Round –  Lisicki bt Elena Vesnina 6-3, 6-1
A title run on the grass at Eastbourne only the week before had bumped Russian Elena Vesnina up to No.22 in the rankings, two spots above Lisicki’s ranking of No.24, but as the seedings for Wimbledon were determined beforehand, she entered the Championships unseeded. Lisicki’s grasscourt credentials shone as she prevailed in straight sets on No.2 Court.

Third Round – Lisicki bt [14] Sam Stosur 4-6, 6-2, 6-1
Australian Sam Stosur had won four of the pair’s previous five meetings coming into this match, including two on grass. The 2011 US Open champion, though, had never progressed beyond the third round at SW19 and despite starting the stronger, Lisicki found her range and only dropped three games in the final two sets

Fourth Round –  Lisicki bt [1] Serena Williams 6-2, 1-6, 6-4
When Lisicki stormed back from a 0-3 deficit to stun 16-time Grand Slam winner and defending women’s champion Serena Williams, it became the fourth time in her past four Wimbledon appearances she had knocked out the reigning French Open champion. She ended Svetlana Kuznetsova’s run in 2009, Li Na’s in 2011 and Maria Sharapova’s last year. Furthermore, Williams had been on a 34-match winning streak coming into the match.

Quarter-final – Lisicki bt  Kanepi 6-3, 6-3
Big-hitting Estonian Kaia Kanepi had made the last eight at Wimbledon back in 2010 and had taken out home hope Laura Robson in straight sets in the fourth round but against Lisicki she too often misfired her booming groundstrokes to bow out in straight sets.

Semi-final – Lisicki bt [4] Agnieszka Radwanska 6-4, 2-6, 9-7
For the second time in her career Lisicki was through to the semi-finals at Wimbledon and faced last year’s runner-up Agnieszka Radwanska. The Pole is renowned for her court craft and consistency but it was not enough when Lisicki’s power game finally found its range. For the second time at his year’s tournament, Lisicki rebounded from a 0-3 third-set deficit and despite wobbling while serving for the match at 5-4, went on to seal it after 2 hours 18 minutes to reach her first Grand Slam final.

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