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Lisicki Edges Radwanska In Epic Semi

Sabine Lisicki rallied from 3-0 down in the third set to beat Agnieszka Radwanska in a thriller and become the first German to reach a Grand Slam final since Steffi Graf all of 14 years ago.

Published July 04, 2013 12:05

Lisicki Edges Radwanska In Epic Semi
Sabine Lisicki

LONDON, England - With one last forehand winner up the line - her 60th winner of the match - Sabine Lisicki won absolute thriller against Agnieszka Radwanska in the second Wimbledon semifinal on Thursday, moving through to the first Grand Slam final of her career by virtue of a 64 26 97 scoreline.

The big serves and huge groundstrokes were hitting their marks from the start - Lisicki broke in the seventh game of the match and calmy held the rest of the way to put away a 33-minute opening frame.

The two traded breaks early in the second set but there was a swing brewing - from 3-2, Radwanska reeled off six games in a row, running away with the second set and building a 3-0 lead in the third.

But anyone who witnessed Lisicki's fourth round upset of Serena Williams knew that wasn't the end by any means - and in an almost identical turnaround, the German battled back from that deficit, winning three games in a row to tie things up at 3-all. Things between the two were dead even once more.

Lisicki was the next player to draw blood, breaking serve to lead 5-4 and then serving an ace to go up 15-0. But there's a reason Radwanska is the No.4 player in the world, and that she's generally regarded as the craftiest player on tour - a perfect drop shot, volley and lob later and she brought up double break point, and a few points later she got the break back, drawing even to 5-all again.

She couldn't pull those kinds of tricks out of her bag again, though - after the two traded holds the next four games Lisicki broke one last time for 8-7 and swiftly served out the match, the No.23-seeded German firing a forehand winner to close out the No.4-seeded Pole in two hours and 18 minutes.

"She played well in the second set - she made some great points, and I also made a few errors too many," Lisicki said. "But I regained my focus and game in the third set, and that's the main part.

"There's a comparison that I was down 3-0 in the third set against Serena too, and I came back to win both of these matches. Yes, I wasn't able to serve this one out the first time, but she played an amazing game. There wasn't much I could have done differently. But I just hung in there and played every single point, and I'm so happy I was able to serve the match out the next chance I had.

"I think I still haven't realized what I've done yet. When I arrived here at the tournament, I said that anything's possible. That's what I believed; I still do. But I came to win every match that I walked onto the court for, and that's what I've done so far, so I'm really looking forward to Saturday.

"There couldn't be any better place to play my first Grand Slam final."

Lisicki is now through to her first Grand Slam final and is the first German to reach a Grand Slam final since Steffi Graf at Wimbledon in 1999 (Graf finished runner-up to Lindsay Davenport there).

"I don't remember that match, unfortunately, but she wished me luck before the match, she told me to go for it, and I'm just so happy. I was fighting for every point out there. I fought my heart out."

This is by far Lisicki's best Grand Slam - she has reached the quarterfinals or better four times now, and never at any of the other majors. So just how popular is the German here in England?

"I don't know," she said with a smile, "but I think Germany's pretty happy right now."

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