Sabine Lisicki has turned a ton of heads the last few weeks at All England Club, and she’s going to cap her run at Wimbledon with her first Grand Slam title.
Lisicki may not have been considered a contender entering Wimbledon, but she’s proved every single doubter wrong. It all started when she was matched up against the No. 1 player in the world, Serena Williams, in the fourth round.
Lisicki was a massive underdog entering the quarterfinals, as Williams had been as dominant as a tennis player could be over the last few months. Williams had won three of the last four Grand Slam titles, including the French Open just a few weeks prior. But none of that frightened the young German.
Williams was off her game from the get-go, falling in the first set to Lisicki, 6-2. It was the first set that Serena dropped all tournament long. But she wasn’t going to give up right then and there. No, she made it a match with a 6-1 second-set victory. That would set up an incredible third set between the two women.
Lisicki played a fantastic set, as the momentum swung in her direction. She topped Williams with a 6-4 third-set win, advancing to the quarterfinals and sending home the favorite to win the crown. Lisicki said that she was fighting for every point no matter what, according to the Associated Press (h/t Sports Illustrated).
But Lisicki wasn’t satisfied with her third straight appearance in the quarterfinals at the Grand Slam and she had every right not to be. She absolutely demolished Kaia Kanepi in the quarters, dropping just six games the entire match in a straight sets victory. Topping Agnieszka Radwanska in the semifinals wouldn’t be too easy, though.
Lisicki opened the match with a strong first-set victory. The second, however, would prove to be more difficult. Radwanska put the pedal to the metal en route to a 6-2 second-set win to tie the match up at one set apiece. The third set was a grueling one, with each semifinalist going back and forth.
When Lisicki got an opportunity to close out No. 4 Radwanska, she took full advantage of it. Lisicki got ahead and ended Radwanska’s hopes of a title match appearance with a 9-7 third-set win, clinching her spot in the final. It’s the first Grand Slam final match of Lisicki’s career and she’s going to make the most of it.
Wimbledon announced the news via the tournament’s official Twitter account:
Lisicki is taking the rest of Thursday to soak in the win and will think about her upcoming title match against Marion Bartoli later, per Wimbledon:
Bartoli has had a great run at Wimbledon as well, but there’s no question that Lisicki has had the more difficult route. Bartoli has yet to face a top-10 seed whereas Lisicki has beaten the No. 1 and No. 4 seeds. Bartoli is really going to need to play the match of her life in order to capture the Grand Slam crown.
Even then, Lisicki is still the favorite.
Lisicki has credited her success this year at Wimbledon to “serving well,” according to Ben Rothenberg of The New York Times. And serving well is going to be a major factor in the title match on Friday. She’s won at least 65 percent of first serves in all but one match and is averaging more than six aces per match.
If Lisicki can continue to serve like she has been, Bartoli is going to be having nightmares throughout the match. Bartoli has been slightly worse than Lisicki in return games and if Lisicki is on, it’s going to be difficult topping her. But the biggest advantage Lisicki has is knowing what she’s capable of.
This is what Lisicki said after the match against Radwanska, per Wimbledon:
If Lisicki takes an early lead, it’s all over. If she gets herself in an early hole, she knows how to dig her way out of it. In each scenario, Lisicki is going to be successful in the final against Bartoli. It’s been quite the run for the young German and on Friday, she’ll hoist the first Grand Slam title of her career.