Sabine Liscki will meet Marion Bartoli for the 2013 women’s Wimbledon championship this Saturday. Both finalists who will each bid for a first time Grand Slam title took different paths today en route to the final.
Lisicki outlasted Agnieszka Radwanska 6-4, 2-6, 9-7 to become the first German woman since Steffi Graff at the 1999 Wimbledon to reach a Grand Slam final.
“I am overwhelmed, so happy,” Lisicki said. “Steffi Graf texted me good luck before the match. She told me to go for it. I fought my heart out for every single point, and believed I could still win no matter what the score was.
“There could be no place better to play my first Grand Slam final because I have been dreaming of being Wimbledon champion since I was a little girl.”
Lisicki, though, was in dire straights late in the match. Like she did against Serena Williams on Monday, the 23-year-old had to rally from an 0-3 third set deficit.
After exchanging breaks again Lisicki was finally able to break the Pole for a final time in the 14th game before serving it out.
Earlier, Bartoli blasted first time Grand Slam semifinalist Kirsten Flipkens 6-1, 6-2 in just over an hour.
“I just really can’t believe it right now,” Bartoli told the BBC. “I played so well today and was feeling so great. I was seeing the ball like a soccer ball. She hits a lot of slice, so I knew I needed to be sharp on my footwork, and everything was just working so perfectly.
“Playing like that on Centre Court at Wimbledon was just an amazing feeling for me.”
The freakish Frenchwoman was a Wimbledon finalist in 2007 when she also beat a Belgian in the semifinals – Justine Henin – but this time she enters the title match without the loss of a set and more experience.
“The last time I was so young, in a way, and every match I was coming on the court as the underdog,” the 28-year-old said. “This time it was totally the opposite. This time I was the highest-ranked player every match, and I needed to put on a great performance in order to go through. And I think I’ve been able to deal with the pressure really well and keep improving throughout the tournament and keep playing better.
“And also I think I’m doing everything better now than I was back then. I’m able to hit the ball harder. I’m moving faster. Today, I think if I played myself from six years ago, I would be beating myself quite easily. The speed of my shots, the way I’m moving – I’m just doing everything better, honestly.”
Flipkens, who had played so well until Thursday, said an early knee injury affected her play.
“I fell in the first set. Straightaway I didn’t feel anything, but I fell on my bad knee,” the Belgian said. “At that moment I didn’t feel it, but a couple of games later I started to feel a really sharp pain like I had four weeks ago. I’m really trying to handle it already for four weeks.”
Bartoli and Lisicki have meet four times before with the big serving Lisicki winning three including a quarterfinal clash at Wimbledon two years.
“I just can’t wait to play on Saturday,” Lisicki said. “Marion plays aggressive tennis. I have played Serena who plays aggressive too. We’ll see. Two years ago I played an amazing Wimbledon as a wildcard. This time I feel much more ready for the entire tournament and I have that belief.”
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