Scintillating Showing For Sabine In Semis
Published August 26, 2011 11:51
DALLAS, TX, USA - Sabine Lisicki won her first three matches at the inaugural Texas Tennis Open in dominant fashion, losing just three games in each, yet she somehow surpassed those results in her semifinal on Friday.
Watch Dallas & New Haven on WTA Live powered by TennisTV!The fifth-seeded Lisicki crushed eighth-seeded Irina-Camelia Begu, 60 61, in 53 minutes on the Romanian's 21st birthday.
"I was hitting the ball very clean and doing what I had to do," said Lisicki, who is looking for her second title of the year - having won Birmingham in June - and third of her career. "I think each match I'm getting better, which is great before the Open."
Lisicki won 54 points while losing 24, and her only game dropped occurred when she had a 60 50 lead.
"I'm very happy. I worked very hard to get my confidence back after the injury," said Lisicki, whose 2010 season was hampered by a left ankle injury. "I've played lots of matches, which helps. I'm just happy to be on the court and getting support from the crowd."
Lisicki's opponent in Saturday's final, Aravane Rezai, had a much tougher semifinal encounter. She got past fellow qualifier Angelique Kerber, 62 36 75, raising her record to 2-1 against the German. In the see-saw battle, she faced 18 break points but survived 15 of them. The third set was especially dramatic, with Rezai taking a 4-1 lead, losing three straight games and then regaining control en route to victory.
"I prefer to win easier, but I'm very happy to go from qualifying all the way to the final," said Rezai, the first qualifier to reach a WTA final since Tamira Paszek was triumphant at Québec City last September.
The two finalists have played twice, with both matches going three sets - Lisicki winning in the first round of the 2009 US Open and Rezai winning in the round robin of the 2009 Commonwealth Bank Tournament of Champions in Bali.
"It's a good experience to be able to play against Sabine one more time before the US Open," said Rezai, who is seeking her fifth career title and first since Bastad in July 2010. "It's going to be a good match to help prepare for a Grand Slam. She's a great player, and I hope for the best. We'll see tomorrow."