Marion Bartoli and Sabine Lisicki made the final of Wimbledon – just as
everyone no one predicted prior to the tournament. The most recognizable WTA names were falling like ripe fruit already in the first few days of the weird Wimbledon 2013 and as the tournament progressed the draw was becoming even more open. In today’s semifinals, last year’s runner-up and the highest seed left, No.4 Agnieszka Radwanska, was also eliminated and the women’s line-up came down to the 2007 Wimbledon finalist Bartoli and debutante in major finals Lisicki.
Six years after her Wimbledon breakthrough, Bartoli repeated the feat, even though once again no one considered her a favorite. Today she stormed past Kirsten Flipkens, a surprise Wimbledon semifinalist who is now thriving under the guidance of Kim Clijsters, by winning almost twice as many points as her opponent en route to a 6-1 6-2 victory. Bartoli believes that her present game is way better than her game in 2007, she said she hits the ball harder, is moving faster and added:
Today, I think if I played myself from six years ago, I would be beating myself quite easily. The speed of my shots, the way I’m moving – I’m just doing everything better, honestly.
Moreover, Bartoli estimates that her circumstances for winning the title are much better now because she has a day off to recover, while in 2007 she had less than 24 hours between her semifinal win over Justine Henin and her final against Venus Williams.
Sabine Lisicki may be allergic to grass, but the German who topped the unbeatable Serena Williams in the fourth round, edged Agnieszka Radwanska in the second semifinal on schedule with a tight 6-4 2-6 9-7 scoreline. After taking the first set by virtue of a break of serve in the seventh game, Lisicki opened the second set with another break. But Radwanska answered right back and from 3-2 the Pole took six straight games which gave her a commanding 3-0 lead in the decider. Of course, Lisicki was not to be written off, she leveled to 3-all and broke again to lead 5-4, but faltered in serving for the set and Radwanska got back in the game, 5-5. Four holds followed before Lisicki broke for 8-7 and quickly served out the match.
Bartoli and Lisicki have played each other four times, including twice at Wimbledon where they have split 1-1. Overall, Lisicki leads Bartoli 3-1 and I believe that she has slightly greater chances of winning the title this time. (photos: © Neal Trousdale, Moo’s Tennis Blog)