A day after the biggest win of her tennis career over Serena Williams, Sabine Lisicki avoided a letdown by ousting Kaia Kanepi 6-3 6-3 to advance to her second Wimbledon semifinal. She will be joined by Agnieszka Radwanska, Marion Bartoli and Kirsten Flipkens. Flipkens took out the only remaining former Wimbledon champion, Petra Kvitova, in the quarterfinals. In my mind, although we won’t have the star power of Serena or Sharapova or Vika in Saturday’s final, what we will witness is somebody’s life change by capturing not only their first Wimbledon singles championship but their first singles Major, period.
Sabine Lisicki will play Agnieszka Radwanska in the more celebrated semifinal match-up. Aga is probably the best player at the moment without a Major. She is a human backboard that just keeps getting ball after ball back. That can be frustrating for a player like Sabine who will look to hit winners but will have to deal with the fact that she will have to hit more shots than she’s accustomed to because Radwanska will get shots back that would be outright winners against other players. Sabine has tremendous power, but so does Li Na, whom Aga handled in the quarterfinals (with an assist from Li Na, who didn’t challenge a bad call that would have won her the first set). My heart wants to see Sabine win, and go on to win the championship. However, my head wonders if she can keep her errors down if Aga makes her play shot after shot.
As much as my heart is with Sabine in her semifinal, it is also with Marion Bartoli in her semi. I love her attitude and personality. When asked once why she hadn’t received the same sponsorships and stardom as some other tennis players she answered, “Maybe I’m not blonde enough.” Marion is a non-blonde, fiery spark plug of a player. If you look at her, you wonder how she can compete with other women who look like they spend all of their time in the gym. Sometimes I wonder, with her big two-handed shots from both sides, if she were fitter whether she’d already be a Major winner. Nonetheless, she will have her chance now to win Wimbledon if she can handle the streaking Kirsten Flipkens and then the Sabine/Aga winner.
Sabine Lisicki (23) vs. Kaia Kanepi 6-3, 6-3 final
Agnieszka Radwanska (4) vs. Na Li (6) 7-6 (7-5), 4-6, 6-2 final
Petra Kvitova (8) vs. Kirsten Flipkens (20) 6-4, 3-6, 4-6 final
Marion Bartoli (15) vs. Sloane Stephens (17) 6-4, 7-5 final
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