Sabine Lisicki (click to enlarge)
Going into Saturday’s matches at Wimbledon 2013, Serena Williams led the ladies singles draw in unreturnable serves, which measures aces plus serves that the opponents get their racquets on but don’t get back into play. That statistic should surprise nobody as Serena’s serve is one of the best shots, if not the best outright, in the history of women’s tennis. To close followers of the ladies game, the name in third place on the unreturnable serves list should not be a surprise either, Sabine Lisicki. Sabine has a bazooka of a serve, maybe the second best serve among consistently active players. I say consistently active because I would put Venus Williams #2, but I hesitate to do that right now while she moves in and out of activity. With Lisicki’s win over the similarly hard serving Samantha Stosur in the 3rd round, Sabine sets up a showdown with Serena Williams. Last year, Lisicki upset Maria Sharapova. Can she handle the pressure and hold her unforced errors down against Serena, as she did in the last two sets (24 winners to 5 unforced errors) against Stosur? If she can, she will give herself a chance. An odd stat: Sabine has beaten the reigning Roland Garros champion at Wimbledon 3 times previously (2012: Sharapova; 2011: Li Na; 2009: Svetlana Kuznetsova). This year’s reigning Roland Garros champion just happens to be Serena. Will Sabine do it a 4th time?
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