Wimbledon Thursday: Aga Aims For Final

Agnieszka Radwanska looks to thwart Sabine Lisicki, while Kirsten Flipkens plays her first Grand Slam semifinal against former Wimbledon runner-up Marion Bartoli.

Published July 03, 2013 12:00

Wimbledon Thursday: Aga Aims For Final
Agnieszka Radwanska

LONDON, England - No matter who emerges victorious from this wild Wimbledon, it will be a new Grand Slam champion, as Agnieszka Radwanska, Sabine Lisicki, Marion Bartoli and Kirsten Flipkens have yet to collect a major. On top of that, this will be just the fifth Grand Slam in the Open Era in which none of the Top 3 seeds reached the semifinals.

Thursday, Semifinals
Centre Court
[4] Agnieszka Radwanska (POL #4) vs. [23] Sabine Lisicki (GER #24)
Tied 1-1
Though Agnieszka Radwanska and Sabine Lisicki wasn't a semifinal many people predicted before the tournament, both of them have had memorable fortnights before at the All-England Club - most notably Radwanska becoming the first Polish Grand Slam finalist here last year and Lisicki making the semifinals two years ago.

Lisicki's fortunes here have been drastically better than at any other Grand Slam, as she is 18-4 at Wimbledon compared to just 16-15 at the other three Grand Slams. Despite all five of her opponents this fortnight being ranked inside the Top 50 and only one of Radwanska's, Radwanska has had the tougher road to the semis, being extended to three sets in three straight matches and requiring nearly three more hours on court than Lisicki.

If she is able to come through against Radwanska, it will be Lisicki's sixth Top 5 win. Four of her five so far have come at Wimbledon, including a defeat of World No.1 Serena Williams in the fourth round on Monday. Another win would also make her the first German to reach a Grand Slam final since Steffi Graf in 1999. However, she will need a much better performance than in her last encounter with Radwanska in the Dubai quarterfinals last year, wherein Lisicki mustered just three games. If Radwanska comes out on top and goes on to win the title, she will be just the fifth Wimbledon junior champion to also capture Wimbledon as a professional.

[15] Marion Bartoli (FRA #15) vs. [20] Kirsten Flipkens (BEL #20)
Head-to-head: First meeting
The only player left yet to surrender a set, Marion Bartoli is competing in her first semifinal of the season. If she beats Kirsten Flipkens, it will be Bartoli's 50th win against a Top 20 opponent. It would also put her into a Grand Slam final for the second time, having been runner-up here in 2007. And if she can win that, she will be France's first Grand Slam champion since Amélie Mauresmo was victorious here in 2006.

Though also a former junior Wimbledon champ like Radwanska, Flipkens will be contesting her first Grand Slam semifinal as a pro. In fact, she had not even been to a Grand Slam fourth round before this year's Australian Open. But her confidence is surely high after securing her third Top 10 win in Tuesday's quarterfinals over World No.8 Petra Kvitova. This is the first time a Belgian has made the semis here since Justine Henin in 2007, when interestingly enough, she was upset by Bartoli.

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