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Live Blog : Thursday 4 July 2013

by Caroline Cheese
Bye!

17:43Bartoli and Sabine Lisicki need to get their semi-final celebrations out of the way quickly. They've got a Wimbledon final to play on Saturday. No day of rest for you though. Tomorrow, we have men's semi-finals day and it should be a cracker. See you then!

Marion Bartoli on reaching her second Wimbledon final

17:37"I truly believe in hard work and determination...Even if I was having some hard times outside of the court, I was still able to go on the practice court every day and practice hard no matter what was happening in my outside life, and remember myself every day I was a tennis player and what I wanted the most was to win matches. Somehow I felt like those kind of attitudes should be rewarded at some point...So I felt because I put that, I should have kind of a reward from it. Obviously I did this year."

17:22The men's doubles final is set - and both sets of finalists needed five sets to get there. Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo beat No.4 seeds Leander Paes and Radek Stepanek 3-6, 6-4, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3. They'll meet the Bryan Brothers on Saturday after the twins came through an earlier grueller against Bopanna/Roger-Vasselin.

17:13The ladies' semi-finals may be over but there is still plenty going on around the grounds. Lisicki and Radwanska have been replaced on Centre by an invitational doubles involving Richard Krajicek/Mark Petchey and Jonas Bjorkman/Todd Woodbridge. Speaking of invitational doubles, a visitor to the Bunker has revealed that Pam Shriver did a forward roll on No.3 Court earlier. Maybe it was to celebrate her birthday - she turns 51 today. And on the 4th of July too!

17:08Lisicki also reveals she got a good luck text from Steffi Graf before the semi-final. Lisicki won that semi-final by the tightest of margins: she won 115 points to Radwanska's 111.

Lisicki on her recovery from 3-0 down in decider

Sabine Lisicki shows passion on Centre Court.17:07"I thought 'OK, you've done it against Serena so you can do it today as well. The crowd was really super. Wimbledon is my favourite tournament, I love it so much, I love being in England, I can't believe I'm in the final."

Sabine Lisicki

17:03"Unbelievable. The last few games were so, so exciting. We were fighting. It was a battle and I'm just so happy to have won it. I didn't know how it will end up, I just fought with all my heart and I believed I could still win no matter what the score was."

17:00Wow, Radwanska does not hang around, packing up her stuff and marching off court while Lisicki laps up the crowd's applause. Lisicki is the first German woman to reach the final since Steffi Graf in 1999, when she lost to Lindsay Davenport.

Lisicki def. Radwanska 6-4, 2-6, 9-7

16:57Lisicki gets that booming serve firing and it takes her to three match points. Radwanska saves one but Lisicki flings a forehand down the line to seal an epic victory. She falls to the floor in disbelief. Not the friendliest of handshakes between the two - which is a bit of a shame after that contest.

Radwanska 4-6, 6-2, 7-8* Lisicki

16:52This is the longest women's match at Wimbledon 2013 in terms of games played. Lisicki has a break point but makes a complete mess of a forehand to let Radwanska off the hook. Now a second break point and this time, Radwanska overcooks a volley. More fist-pumping from Lisicki - but there's a long, long way to go.

Radwanska *4-6, 6-2, 7-7 Lisicki

16:48Lisicki's winners to unforced errors count now stands at 58-44, while Radwanska is on 20-9.

Radwanska 4-6, 6-2, 7-6* Lisicki

16:44We're officially partying like it's 2009! This is the first time a ladies' singles semi-final has gone into "overtime" (past 6-6) since 2009 when Serena beat Elena Dementieva, also the year Venus thrashed Dinara Safina in the other semi-final.

Radwanska *4-6, 6-2, 6-6 Lisicki

16:38Lovely point ends with Radwanska flinging her racket across the court from way outside the trams. Watch out, Bahrami, you've got competition. Lisicki so tense, trying a drop shot at the worst possible moment. That gets A-Rad back to deuce, but Lisicki gets her act together. We continue...

Tweet from NY Times writer @christophclarey

16:37"#Wimbledon verb: "To Aga" Definition: To use every shot in the book to break Lisicki when she serves for the match"

Radwanska 4-6, 6-2, 6-5* Lisicki

16:34Slicey dicey, cheeky monkey. Radwanska with a bizarre-looking but super effective backhand slice that bamboozles Lisicki and gets her to 40-15. Now she is but a game away from the final.

Radwanska *4-6, 6-2, 5-5 Lisicki

16:28Or maybe not... Lisicki begins with an ace but then it all goes up the swanny. She saves one break point with a desperate backhand winner and then a second with a service winner up the T. Missed backhand gives A-Rad a third chance. Ace! Huge return and a fourth break point. This time, Lisicki gets a lob all wrong and we're all square.

Radwanska 4-6, 6-2, 4-5* Lisicki

16:24Huuuge forehand from Lisicki and a stretching Radwanska can't get it back in court. Break point and now Lisicki forces Radwanska to miss again. The German will have a short sit-down before coming out to serve for a place in the final. Easy.

Radwanska *4-6, 6-2, 4-4 Lisicki

16:19Lisicki pegged back to deuce, continuing to hit stunning winners and wild errors, but she holds to level the set. Over to you, Aga.

Radwanska 4-6, 6-2, 4-3* Lisicki

16:16Big, big hold for Radwanska, stemming the tide a little. Lisicki has hit more winners this tournament than any other woman - 185 in total, including 45 in this match.

Radwanska *4-6, 6-2, 3-3 Lisicki

16:14A love service game from Lisicki and all of a sudden, we're all square. Not sure who the crowd are rooting for now...

Radwanska 4-6, 6-2, 3-2* Lisicki

16:10Maybe going 3-0 down in the deciding set is some kind of tactic by Lisicki. The German is back on serve after whipping a forehand crosscourt for her 43rd winner of the match.

Tweet from @andy_murray

16:09"Amazing stuff from the bryan brothers.. One match away from holding all 4 slams and the olympics! Would be first team ever to do that.."

Radwanska *4-6, 6-2, 3-1 Lisicki

16:08Rot stopped. Lisicki ends a run of five straight breaks of her own serve. A determined fist pump as she holds to 15.

Tweet from Wimbledon.com editor @alex_willis

16:06"Sabine Lisicki came back from 0-3 in the third v Serena..."

Radwanska 4-6, 6-2, 3-0* Lisicki

16:05If Lisicki could find her first-set self, that would be a start. Radwanska running away with it at the moment...

16:03Call off the upset: The Bryan Brothers remain on track for a historic non-calendar Grand Slam, beating Rohan Bopanna and Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-7, 6-4, 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 in the semi-finals. Chest bumps all round. The final is on Saturday after the women's final.

Radwanska *4-6, 6-2, 2-0 Lisicki

15:58This is not the cool, calm, collected and smily Lisicki we've become used to over the last few days. The German is up to 35 unforced errors - compared to Radwanska's 5.

Marion Bartoli on how she would paint her tournament (yes, really)

15:57"Spirit of love, I don't know. Well, it would be really something smily and enjoyable because I'm really feeling great...This kind of moment is coming from hard work, so I would have to put that in somehow. Then the bright sun, smily two weeks that I have had so far. It would probably be a mix of the two. It would be maybe a gray sky at some part, and then the sunshine is coming out."

Radwanska 4-6, 6-2, 1-0* Lisicki

15:55With her back to the court, Sabine Lisicki looks down and takes the deepest of breaths. It works and she win the next point, pegging Radwanska back to 40-15, but she hammers a forehand wide on the next point.

Radwanska *4-6, 6-2, 0-0 Lisicki

15:48Lisicki serving to stay in the second set then, and trying to find a little bit of that confidence she was so brimful of in the first set. But it's in vain. She double faults at 30-30 and it's break point and set point Radwanska. Something seems to have gone a bit wrong with her ball toss, she double faults AGAIN and Radwanska takes the second set. We were not expecting that.

Radwanska 4-6, 5-2* Lisicki

15:45Yes she can. Lisicki's radar very off. Wonder if she started to think about Saturday after that emphatic first set?

Radwanska *4-6, 4-2 Lisicki

15:40You'll never guess: Radwanska has a break point and Lisicki swings a forehand into the trams. It's a breakfest all of a sudden. Can Radwanska consolidate one...?

Radwanska 4-6, 3-2* Lisicki

15:38Lisicki turns on the power again to force two break-back points. On the second, she punches away a volley, yells "come on" and fist pumps at her players' box.

15:37No.1 Court are enjoying a battle royale between the Bryan Bros and Rohan Bopanna and Edouard Roger-Vasselin. They're into a fifth and the twins have broken for a 2-0 lead in the men's doubles semi-finals.

Radwanska *4-6, 3-1 Lisicki

15:30Lisicki starting to miss more frequently now - and this game is a right old struggle. Radwanska sees two break points come and go, but snaffles the third.

Kirsten Flipkens after her loss to Bartoli

15:28"I think the semis was the maximum I could get to this year. I mean, I had to play, I don't know, 500% I think to beat Marion today. She was just too good. To have this memory for the rest of my life, ten years after winning the juniors title here, is great. I mean, I would have signed for that before my career for sure."

Radwanska 4-6, 2-1* Lisicki

15:26Things looking a lot brighter for Radwanska - and the crowd responds. They want three sets here, never mind how popular Smiley Sabine is.

Radwanska *4-6, 1-1 Lisicki

15:19Two break points for Radwanska - but boy, it's handy having a serve like Lisicki's. Three huge first deliveries get her back on track at game point...but then she makes a horrible mess of a volley, squeaking her alarm. Now another break point for Radwanska follows and she takes it with a winning return. She needed that.

Radwanska 4-6, 0-1* Lisicki

15:17Precisely not the way Radwanska needed to kick off this second set: broken to love. Lisicki seals it with an angled winning return.

15:15For every email we've received about the colour of Serena Williams' underpants during this tournament, we've received another asking who the man in the cowboy hat is who always sits in the players' box. I have an answer for you: introducing David Spearing, honorary steward. One of this morning's missives described him as being dressed as "an American Civil War general." Not quite...

Radwanska *4-6, 0-0 Lisicki

15:11Radwanska with an outrageous forehand winner to get to break point but Lisicki finds a first serve and takes control of the point from there. The German edges the first set in 33 minutes.

Radwanska 4-5* Lisicki

15:07Lisicki with a look at a second serve at 15-30 - but wastefully hits the net with the return. The German will have to serve out the set...

Radwanska *3-5 Lisicki

15:06And Lisicki consolidates the break to move a game away from the first set.

15:04Britain has not one but two semi-finalists here at Wimbledon as 18-year-old Kyle Edmund recovers to beat American Stefan Kozlov 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 to reach the last four of the boys' singles.

Radwanska 3-4* Lisicki

14:59Trouble for Radwanska as she faces three break points. She battles to see off all three - but then ruins her hard work with a baseline error. Big slice of luck for Lisicki as her pass clips the net, catching Radwanska off guard and her loopy volley lands wide.

Radwanska *3-3 Lisicki

14:57Lisicki goes for touch instead of power - and it's not a great experiment, her drop shot landing in the trams. That's the only blot on an otherwise emphatic service game.

Radwanska 3-2* Lisicki

14:54In stark contrast to the previous semi-final, there is nothing to choose between these two. Lisicki has made 7 winners and 7 unforced errors - Radwanska is 1 and 1.

Radwanska *2-2 Lisicki

14:49Best point of the day so far as Lisicki scampers across the baseline and delivers an inch-perfect lob. Even Radwanska is applauding that one. The German is pushed to deuce, but holds.

Radwanska 2-1* Lisicki

14:46Lisicki rifles a return onto the baseline to open the game. An audible gasp from the crowd greeted that one - but Radwanska holds. Decent start to this one.

Radwanska *1-1 Lisicki

14:45Lisicki chucks in a double fault to ruin a love service game, but otherwise plain sailing.

Radwanska 1-0* Lisicki

14:42Comfortable start for the No.4 seed who's looking to make a second straight final here.

14:37Radwanska won the toss and chose to serve. She is the only woman to reach the quarter-finals or better at every Grand Slam this year...

14:31Hmm... Radwanska has both thighs taped just above the knee. Bit worrying. The Pole said after her quarter-final that she was struggling from having played too much tennis.

14:30The Bryan Brothers are back on track on No.1 Court where they took the second set 6-4 and are into a third...

14:27We await the second semi-final - which SHOULD be a much tighter affair between Lisicki's power game and the slice-and-dice of Aga Radwanska. On her Twitter profile, Lisicki describes herself as a "happy and passionated" player. Let's see...

14:24That semi-final was not the shortest in Wimbledon history. That honour (?!) belongs to the last four clash between Miss A. Marble and Mrs S. Sperling in 1939. Miss Marble won 6-0, 6-0 in 19 minutes. In the Open era, Venus Williams beat Dinara Safina 6-1, 6-0 in 2009.

14:21Bartoli was asked if she'll have trouble sleeping before the final on Saturday - and reveals that she actually had a nap at midday before beginning her semi-final against Flipkens "and as you saw, I was razor sharp right away!"

Bartoli on her performance

Marion Bartoli plays aggressively off the backhand.14:19"I saw the ball like a football today. I was playing so well, hitting the ball cleanly from the start. Everything was just working so perfectly - to do that in the semi-finals of Wimbledon was amazing."

Marion Bartoli

14:17"Oh my gosh, I just really can't believe it. I played so well and I was feeling so great. Kirsten had a great run and I want to congratulate her on a fantastic Wimbledon. I think she was a bit injured today...I wanted to give her a big hug at the end. She deserves a lot of respect."

14:14Few tears from Bartoli there as she reaches her second final here. She looks overwhelmed. The Frenchwoman even manages to beat Flipkens off the court - leaving the Belgian to sign a few autographs.

Bartoli def. Flipkens 6-1 6-2

14:11The hyperactive Bartoli runs back to the baseline Rocky-style after an ace gives her three match points. Flipkens saves the first but not the second. Slightly awkward applause on Centre after that one-sided affair.

Bartoli *6-1 5-2 Flipkens

14:07Flipkens holds off the inevitable. There's no doubt that she has been overawed and probably hampered by that knee - but Bartoli has really been excellent.

Bartoli 6-1 5-1* Flipkens

14:02I imagine Marion Bartoli fist-pumps every success in her life - opening a particularly troublesome jar, parallel-parking at the first attempt, getting two KitKats out of the vending machine and only paying for one. Hold to 15 and she's one game away from a second appearance in the women's final.

Bartoli *6-1 4-1 Flipkens

14:00The fist pump returns as Bartoli hits a clever return down the line to bring up two break points. Wow, another brilliant lob from Bartoli and she has the double break back.

Bartoli 6-1 3-1* Flipkens

13:55Flipkens has a lot more tape applied to her right knee and resumes battle. Bartoli's momentum is interrupted and she belts a backhand long to face a break point before then flinging a forehand over the baseline. Crowd delighted.

13:53Upset Alert on No.2 Court where the Siblings Slam-chasing Bryan Brothers are a set down in their semi-final against Bopanna/Roger-Vasselin.

13:50The trainer is out on court to look at Flipkens' right knee - which is already taped up. The medical time-out has been called. I'm not sure if it's worth remembering at this stage, but Bartoli recovered from losing the first set 6-1 to beat Justine Henin the last time she played in the Wimbledon semis. Maybe Flipkens can flip the script?

Bartoli *6-1 3-0 Flipkens

13:46Bartoli is showing absolutely zero mercy. This is INTENSE even by her incredibly intense standards. She jogs to the chair after sealing the double break - and Flipkens needs a miracle here. Or a Murracle as we call it these days.

Bartoli 6-1 2-0* Flipkens

13:43Flipkens ambling to the net behind a poor approach as if she knows exactly what's coming - and Bartoli does indeed come up with the pass. Hold to love. Flipkens has called the trainer for the next changeover.

Bartoli *6-1 1-0 Flipkens

13:40Bartoli is hitting the ball better and better. Flipkens seems to be shrinking before our very eyes. Bartoli sends up a brilliant lob on the run to clinch the break to start the second set.

Friday Order of Play

13:39It's out... for Centre Court anyway. And it'll be Djokovic v Del Potro at 1pm followed by Murray v Janowicz.

Bartoli 6-1 0-0* Flipkens

13:35Marion Bartoli must have broken the record already for fist-pumping during a Wimbledon semi-final. Less than half an hour gone and the Frenchwoman is well on her way. Flipkens looks completely overawed.

Bartoli *5-1 Flipkens

13:31Bartoli flings herself at a forehand up the line - single-handed too - and a flailing Flipkens can't reach it. Two more break points and Flipkens could really do with her first serve here, but it's nowhere to be seen. Bartoli pummels a couple of volleys for the double break.

Bartoli 4-1* Flipkens

13:27Flipkens booms a forehand down the line and comes in behind it - no need, that one's not coming back. That puts her 15-30 up, but Bartoli slams the door shut.

Bartoli *3-1 Flipkens

13:23Wimbledon.com's intrepid photographer has just returned from Aorangi Park where he reports there was a huge media scrum jostling to catch sight of Andy Murray practising. Look out for those pictures later... Flipkens looking a bit uncertain still but at 40-30, she finds a big serve out wide to get on the board.

Bartoli 3-0* Flipkens

13:18Bartoli gets into her stride with some big hitting from the baseline to save a break point. Flipkens will be desperate to get a game on the board here to get her teeth into the match...

Bartoli *2-0 Flipkens

13:15Definitely a nervy opening from Flipkens. Bartoli pounces on a weak second serve to bring up two break points and she takes the first when Flipkens balloons an awkward-looking backhand long.

Bartoli 1-0* Flipkens

13:09I wouldn't call that an emphatic start by the former AEGON International champion. One double fault in the game but Bartoli is up and running. Flipkens slaps a simple volley into the net at game point - few nerves perhaps?

13:07Here we go then: Marion Bartoli - once she has removed her long-sleeved top - will serve first...

13:00Marion Bartoli and Kirsten Flipkens walk out onto Centre Court for the first semi-final. Don't know about you, but I'm really looking forward to these matches...

12:59Hey Sandy, snap! I was also 100 percent yesterday. Sometimes it's almost like I know what I'm talking about. Bit trickier today, but I'm going for Flipkens and Lisicki.

Email from Sandy in New York

12:56"100 percent on the men's side yesterday. Going for the gusto today…Agga and Flipper!!! Go go go!"

Semi-final facts

12:53This is the first time in the Open Era (1968) that all four ladies' semi-finalists at Wimbledon are seeking their first Grand Slam title. It has happened nine times at other Grand Slams - the last time at 2010 Roland Garros (Schiavone, Stosur, Jankovic, Dementieva).

12:44Belinda Bencic takes her winning streak to 32 matches, and remains unbeaten in juniors in 2013. She beats American Jamie Loeb 6-2, 6-3 to reach the semi-finals.

Semi-final facts

12:34Aga Radwanska has been on court for nearly three hours longer than her opponent Sabine Lisicki at these Championships. Marion Bartoli and Kirsten Flipkens have taken about the same amount of time getting to the last four - give or take three minutes.

12:26Someone's just cleaned my glasses (it's the kind of great service you get at the All England Club) and it's a revelation. I feel like I'm in a whole new world. Speaking of which, Kirsten Flipkens can become the first bespectacled women's singles champion at Wimbledon since Martina Navratilova in 1990.

12:23We also welcomed 3.1 million unique users on Wimbledon.com and hit 150 tweets per second on Twitter, and the BBC audience for the fifth set reached 10.4 million.

12:17How loud do you reckon Henman Hill got yesterday? How about louder than a rock concert or a clap of thunder? As Andy Murray served for the match in the fifth set, a jam-packed crowd on the hill reached a crescendo of 112.7 decibels. Who said Brits were reserved?

12:10If you're on the grounds, I recommend a scoot past Court 12 where girls' top seed Belinda Bencic is in action. The 16-year-old Swiss is unbeaten in 24 junior matches this year. Her coach is a name you might be familiar with - Melanie Molitor, mum of Martina Hingis.

12:03Kirsten Flipkens recently took part in one of the most appropriate promotional opportunities ever when the player nicknamed Flipper visited Birmingham's SeaLife Centre ahead of the AEGON Classic grass-court tune-up tournament. Top marks.

Tweet from Wimbledon.com reporter @NickMcCarvel

11:58"A marching band is playing Lady Gaga's 'Bad Romance' outside Centre Court. How quintessentially... #Wimbledon?"

11:49And what to make of Kirsten 'Flipper' Flipkens? The 27-year-old Belgian wasn't ranked high enough to enter qualifying here last year after suffering blood clots on her legs. "In hard times you learn who your friends are," she says. "I've had so many injuries. Even after the juniors. I was a world champion junior. The year after I had a really bad back injury. All doctors said my career would have been over normally."

11:40"Every time, for some reason, I am back here I have a smile on my face. I felt great right away.” So says Marion Bartoli - the 2007 runner-up who is on her best run here since then.

11:33Marion Bartoli faces Belgian surprise package Kirsten Flipkens in the first semi-final from 1pm UK time. It's their first ever meeting - and it'll be on the world's most famous court. Not bad.

11:21So Andy Murray will face first-time Grand Slam semi-finalist Jerzy Janowicz tomorrow, while Novak Djokovic meets Juan Martin Del Potro and his dodgy knee in the other semi-final. First, though, it's the ladies' turn...

Andy Murray on his comeback

Andy Murray digs deep to progress into the semi-final.11:17"I think when you play more and more matches and gain more experience you understand how to turn matches around and how to change the momentum of games. That can be tactical. Sometimes it can be your opponent. But often you need to be the one making the change. Maybe when I was younger, I could have lost that match. But I think I've learnt how to come back from tough situations more as I got older."

11:11"Squeaky Bum Time" is what the Daily Mirror calls it - a reference to the watching Sir Alex Ferguson. "Phew" says The Guardian. "Murraycle Comeback For Andy," puns the Metro. "Congratulations Andy, But Please Don't Put Us Through That Again," pleads the Daily Telegraph.

11:04Those early birds on Henman Hill this morning get to relive yesterday's drama involving Andy Murray, who very kindly provided what we'd all been missing: a classic five-setter.

10:56A few days ago, there were excitable reports about a July "heatwave" in Great Britain. Not much sign of it yet - more of a "bit-muggy-wave." Official weather forecast: cloudy start to the day's play, risk of light and patchy rain until 12pm, but mostly dry and brightening up during the afternoon with some sunshine breaking through. High of 23C (73F).

Morning!

Fans in good voice at The Championships.10:50Everyone recovered from yesterday? Hopefully you've all taken a long ice bath, rehydrated and rested, and are ready to go on Day 10: ladies' semi-finals day.


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