Lisicki Races Into Wimbledon Semifinals
Published July 02, 2013 12:02
LONDON, England - Less than 24 hours after producing the performance of her career to dethrone champion Serena Williams, Sabine Lisicki eased into her second Wimbledon semifinal with a comfortable win over Kaia Kanepi.
Any suggestions that Lisicki could suffer a slight hangover following Monday's heroics were quickly dismissed when she broke Kanepi in a lengthy opening game.
Displaying her full repertoire of shots, the German continued to make most of the early running and broke again in the ninth game to clinch the set thanks to a couple of beautifully crafted drop shots.
A momentary lull at the start of the second temporarily allowed Kanepi back into the match, with a flurry of double faults gift wrapping an early break. This setback only succeeded in refocusing Lisicki, however, who responded by reeling off the next four games to take a stranglehold of the match.
It was a grip she never looked in danger of relinquishing and she clinched a 63 63 victory with a drive volley into the open court on her second match point.
Even the arrival of a passing downpour over Court No.1 on match point failed to dampen Lisicki's spirits. "I am very happy," she said shortly after stepping off court. "It was an amazing match yesterday so I had to make sure I calmed down quick enough to be ready today. But I think the experience I had of being in the quarters here three times before helped me a lot.
"There's no pressure because for me it's still a game I love so much and I want to keep it that way. I'm going out there for every match to win it and we'll see what happens."
Lisicki's first Wimbledon semifinal came two years ago and ended in defeat at the hands of Maria Sharapova. This time around, she will face Agnieszka Radwanska and, despite sitting 20 places below her opponent in the rankings, enters the match with an air of quiet confidence.
"Well, I know how it is to be in the semis," Lisicki, who is bidding to become Germany's first Grand Slam finalist since Steffi Graf in 1999, added. "I know the different atmosphere and how it's starting to get empty in the locker room.
"But I'm glad that I had that experience before. I think this time I'm more ready. I feel much fresher, fitter, better than two years ago - I'm hitting the ball well, moving well and just more ready.
"Agnieszka Radwanska plays a very smart game. She moves well around the court. She also was in the final last year, so she has a lot of confidence with that."
Despite never quite rediscovering the level she found to defeat Laura Robson a round earlier, Kanepi, who has missed much of the past 12 months with a succession of foot injuries, was keen to take the positives from her run this fortnight.
"I think I played a bit better yesterday," Kanepi said. "But she played very well also. I have tried to attack all tournament and in previous matches I hit a few more winners and today I was missing a lot.
"The last few months have been quite successful for me with the comeback and it's special to do well at a Grand Slam tournament again.
"I didn't set any goals after the injury. I just wanted to come back and start playing well again and enjoying my tennis."