Women’s Semifinal Preview: Radwanska, Bartoli Eye Return To Wimbledon Final

by Staff | July 3rd, 2013, 7:34 pm

For the first time in the Open Era not one single Grand Slam champion has reached the women’s Wimbledon semifinals. After 10 days of upsets and intrigue still standing on the hallowed lawns are Agnieszka Radwanska, Marion Bartoli, Kirsten Flipkens and Sabine Lisicki.

In the first semifinal Bartoli seeks a return trip to the Wimbledon final. The 28-year-old hasn’t lost a set through the quarterfinals, trouncing Americans Christina McHale and Sloane Stephens and a bunch of no names. But the oddly alluring Frenchwoman was a finalist in 2007 and despite her rotund physique she’s the favorite to reach the final in this one.

Her opponent in this first time meeting is the resurgent Flipkens. The Belgian was ranked down at No. 262 last June after a bout with blood clots in her calf left her career in doubt. Now she’s at a career high No. 20 and will move even higher on Monday in the new rankings. Flipkens won the Wimbledon juniors 10 years ago just stunned the former 2011 Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova on Tuesday and now is out for more.

“I never expected this to happen in my life,” said Flipkens. “I mean, it was already a great performance that I managed to get into the fourth round I think in the Australian Open this year. Yeah, being in the semifinals of a Grand Slam, of the biggest tournament throughout the year, yeah, it has no words. As I said, I never expected I would be able to come and get this far, so far.”

Flipkens follows the lineage of other Belgian greats Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters. To reach their status she’ll have to first beat Bartoli, and unknown quantity to the 27-year-old.

“I never played Marion, so I really have no idea,” Flipkens said. “I never played her, as I said, so I don’t really know what to expect.

“I only know she has a two‑handed forehand and backhand. That’s about it.”

In the second semi, 2012 finalist Agnieszka Radwanksa clashes with Lisicki. The German Lisicki earlier in the week scored one of the biggest upsets of the year, defeating Serena Williams from 0-3 down in the third set. Lisicki, though, is no stranger to Wimbledon success. She’s beaten the last four French Open winners at the tournament and she reached the semi just two years ago.

In this match, the two have split sets with the Pole winning last year in Dubai.

“I think we didn’t play for couple years I think now,” Radwanska said. “And I think we didn’t play on grass yet. So I think, you know, will be good challenge. We know each other since the juniors tournaments, so, you know, is always a good challenge to play someone like Sabine ‑ especially this is a semifinal of a Grand Slam. Well, we going to fight, for sure.”

Regardless of winner, there will be a first-time Grand Slam champion crowned on Saturday. But who will it be?


Centre Court 1.00pm Start Time
Marion Bartoli (FRA)[15] v. Kirsten Flipkens (BEL)[20]
Sabine Lisicki (GER)[23] v. Agnieszka Radwanska (POL)[4]

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32 Comments for Women’s Semifinal Preview: Radwanska, Bartoli Eye Return To Wimbledon Final

funches Says:

Lisicki over Bartoli.

But would anyone be shocked if the final were Flikpens vs. Radwanska? I wouldn’t.

Humble Rafa Says:

But would anyone be shocked if the final were Flikpens vs. Radwanska? I wouldn’t.

It certainly won’t be as good as the “rivalry”, would it, even though you get the same quality of tennis in both cases.

Humble Rafa Says:

The Arrogant One is also playing Hamburg. Good Lord!

Michael Says:

The elimination of Serena, Sharapova, Azarenka, Wozniacki et al. Does this anyway signify the depth in Women’s Tennis ? One swallow doesn’t make a summer goes an adage.

grendel Says:

Not a single comment on the first womens’ semi-final? Well, it was a bit of a damp squib, for sure. Poor Kipkens couldn’t control her nerves and besides seemed to have knee problems. Not much to say about the tennis. Bartoli’s was superb, but she wasn’t pushed.

Meanwhile, I was wondering what Bartoli’s serve put me in mind of – and suddenly, it came to me. You have to imagine her as an officer about to lead her men into battle. Her arms are crossed, and then with a flourish both arms are flung high, there is a pause before the racket/sword arm comes crashing down with a “Tally-ho!” and “charge!” It is the most eccentric action, but effective nonetheless.

Many of Bartoli’s movements are peculiar to her. For instance, when players raise their clenched fists, it is generally either to motivate them selves or to get into the face of their opponent. But Bartoli thrusts forward her entire arm with dash and brio and you almost expect her to take a bow – for this is a performer, deeply conscious of her audience.

The way she runs around, skipping, dancing, waving her racket in between points is Bartoli’s way of keeping in focus. And I, for one, greatly prefer it to the long, lugubrious preparation of a Sharapova where the earth seems to stop as Her Blonde Graciousness considers her next move.

Bartoli gave Flipkens a consolatory hug as they moved off court, and the commentator aptly referred to the exit of “the little likeable ball of perpetual motion”.

She’s got to be in with a decent chance in the final.

James Says:

I expected Bartoli to reach the final. Hopefully it’s Lisicki she meets in the final. It’s Sabine Lisicki’s Wimbledon baby! :-)
I hope.

James Says:

@grendel, where I am they’re showing the Bryan brothers match on tv. As much as I enjoy their matches, I’d rather they show Sabine-Aga match.

James Says:

Sabine and Aga have won a set each. On to decider set. C’mon Sabine!

grendel Says:

One set all. An interesting but somewhat scrappy match. About Radwanska. When she made the great effort to break Lisicki, she preceeded to give a whole series of dollopy serves which the German just licked up, disdainfully, though not without gratitude, to get her break back. We all know Radwanska doesn’t have a great serve, but she is perfectly capable of decent placement, as she proved after she broke Lisicki again. Don’t know what it is, it’s almost as if the whole process of serving is a bore to radwanska.

Another thing. When she has the whole court open and a nice easy ball to deal with, for God’s sake whack the bloody thing! Yes, I know, this is Radwanska, supreme artist, magic touch, death by the thousand cuts and all the rest of it. But when you get an easy ball, put it away! If you don’t, she will – and that’s exactly what happened. It’s almost as if Radwanska disdains the simple, and only brings her game out when faced with a challenge.

Anyone’s match, providing Lisicki gets herself together.

James Says:

Not looking good for Sabine in 3rd set :(
C’mon Sabine! Still not too late. Calm down girl and enjoy your game.

James Says:

Lisicki breaks back! Now get your 1st serves in. Hold serve and break Aga’s again.

James Says:

Sabine Lisicki serving for the match! Woohoo!! Pls hold, Sabine.

Kimmi Says:

I feel lisicki chances has come and gone.

Tennis x hippy chic Says:

Kimmi can i just ask am i right in thinking that Murray is your second favorite player just wondering?

the DA Says:

This is an incredible match. Go Sabine! (sorry Aggy)

Thomas Says:

This is the first WTA match I have watched in a while. What a bunch of jokers. They certainly don’t deserve equal pay to men :P

the DA Says:

^ take that elsewhere please.

Kimmi Says:

I would say Murray is my third in this tournament after delpo. If they are playing I would cheer for delpo

Kimmi Says:

Sucks to serve second. Can she hold it together now?

the DA Says:

Sabine does it! Only fitting seeing as she knocked out Serena. Aggy left the court rather quickly.

Brando Says:

Congrats to Sabine- gutsy play in a awesome SF. Gutted for Aggy though: really wanted her to win Wimby!:-(

Kimmi Says:

Wow! What a way to serve for the match. Just following score but I felt as tense as I was watching it. Happy fog lisicki. I thought since she beat Serena, it is her time to shine this year.

grendel Says:

Absorbing final set, which Lisicki takes 9-7. Big switch in momentum in the middle, but it continued to be nip and tuck all the way. Even so, I always felt Lisicki just had not so much the edge, but that reserve of power.

The indomitable Radwanska broke Lisicki when she was serving for the match, but the trouble is to win, she had to do it again – which was just a bit beyond her powers.

Pity. I doubt if Radwanska will ever again have such a good opportunity to win Wimbledon.

Tennis x hippy chic Says:

This has been a fantastic match,congrats Sabine now go and get the title,bad luck for Agie shame there has to be a loser on some occasions,would be lovely if Sabine wins the title,would love Agie to get a GS at some point too.

the DA Says:

First German in the final since 1999. Bartoli-Lisicki is a promising final. I’d pay to see it. I just hope the Lisicki of the last 2 matches shows up.

James Says:

Always believed she’s a future slam winner. Hope she proves me right. Go Sabine!

andrea Says:

wow. what a win by bartoli. even though she’s definetly the weird little girl on the block that your mom wouldn’t let you play with, she’s done it her way. and hey, she’s now made two wimbledon finals which is more than most players on the WTA can claim.

thrilled for sabine. what a comeback. great final set. sabine seemed patchier of the two, but she found a way. i like radwanska though. she’s a small, quiet player which is deceiving once you see her play. after seeing she had a 7-0 record against bartoli, she’s got to be bummed not making it to the final, but them’s the breaks.

both bartoli and lisicki are big hitters so that is an intriguing match up. here’s hoping for a great final.

Thomas Says:

AgnieASSka Radwanska’s handshake at the net was dreadful. Ugh.

Thomas Says:

Hope Lisicki wins the tournament.

Colin Says:

No matter what Thomas says (and I must resist the temptation to add another name to that!), it was an excellent and absorbing match. The crowd clearly thought so. As one commentator said, it was quite retro, with all-court play, dropshots and volleys, rather than the usual baseline slugging. The great thing was, you couldn’t tell who was going to win right to the last game, which is unusual in women’s tennis.
I should think Lisicki will win the final. Bartoli hits the ball as hard as she can, certainly, but that’s not as hard as the German.

Humble Rafa Says:

Crazy Frenchie, Bartoli’s serve is an act of God.

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