Lisicki Scores Biggest Win, All-German QF Set
Published July 02, 2012 12:00
LONDON, England - It might be an understatement to say Sabine Lisicki lifts her game at Wimbledon - having made her only two previous Grand Slam quarterfinals at the All-England Club, the German did it a third time on Monday, this time at the expense of Maria Sharapova - her first win over a No.1.
The No.15-seeded Lisicki, who came into the tournament on a five-match losing streak, matched Sharapova power for power over on Court 1, losing serve in the opening game but not much else going that wrong from there, as she crafted a 64 63 stunner over the No.1-seeded Russian. After blasting a 108mph second serve ace on match point, Lisicki dropped to her knees with tears in her eyes.
"I had a good practice yesterday evening and felt good this morning. As soon as I stepped on the court I felt like I was playing very well," Lisicki said after the match. "Even though I lost the first game and missed a couple of points here and there, I just felt very good and confident overall. I was feeling very confident."
"I certainly had my chances and didn't take them, but a lot of the credit goes to my opponent," Sharapova said. "She played extremely well today and did many things better than I did on this given day. You just have to hand it to her."
Lisicki had lost the pair's three previous meetings, including the semifinals of Wimbledon last year - she was asked if this one was revenge for that one.
"All three of them, actually!" the German replied. "It's amazing. I mean, she won the French Open. Actually that's a good omen for me, because I've beaten the French Open champion three times here - in '09 I beat Kuznetsova, last year Li Na, and this year Maria. I guess they shouldn't be in my part of the draw."
And on the turnaround from her losing streak coming in? "I didn't play well in my last tournaments, that's why I went to Florida. I practiced before Wimbledon there. I got my confidence and my shots back. I'm having fun again."
"Obviously what I achieved a few weeks ago doesn't just go away in a few minutes - I'll have that for the rest of my career. But the tennis world keeps going," Sharapova commented. "Of course you want to stay at the top as long as you can, but obviously everyone guns for that spot, as it is the top spot."
Next for Lisicki will be another German, the first all-German quarterfinal at a Slam since the 1989 Aussie Open (Steffi Graf against Claudia Kohde-Kilsch), after No.8 seed Angelique Kerber beat Kim Clijsters, 61 61.
"I knew that maybe this was her last Wimbledon, but I wasn't thinking about that, I just knew I had to play very well to beat her," Kerber said. "I think I did a good job today, and I'm very happy to be in the quarters right now."
"I was still probably just thinking about the match - wasn't so much about the last time," Clijsters said. "I just had the feeling there was absolutely nothing I could have done today to have won that match. I just felt my opponent was better on every level. That's all I was thinking about during the match."
The other quarterfinal on the top half of the draw features No.3 seed Agnieszka Radwanska and No.17 seed Maria Kirilenko. Radwanska cruised past Italian qualifier Camila Giorgi in 66 minutes, 62 63, while Kirilenko battled past No.30 seed Peng Shuai in her first three-setter of the tournament, 61 67(6) 63.
Radwanska has an 0-5 record in Grand Slam quarterfinals (she is the only player in the Top 15 never to reach a Grand Slam semifinal); Kirilenko is playing her second Grand Slam quarterfinal, having gone this far in Australia in 2010.
"We played a couple times against each other, but I think never on grass," Radwanska said. "Of course, she's a very consistent player. I have to play good tennis because this is the quarterfinals - everybody is playing very well.
"I think it's gonna be another big challenge."