28
Jun
11

Lisicki will play Sharapova in the Wimbledon semifinal.

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Sabine Lisicki’s fairytale Wimbledon continued as she knocked out Serena Williams’ conqueror Marion Bartoli to reach her first grand slam semi-final. The 21-year-old wild card certainly did things the hard way after blowing three match points in the second set and being taken to a decider, but she held her nerve eventually to triumph 6-4 6-7 (7/4) 6-1.

Ninth seed Bartoli had been the favourite going into the third set but simply could not sustain the level she had showed on Monday in beating defending champion Williams. Lisicki said: “I’m speechless. It’s unbelievable. I was very disappointed with the game I played in the second set at 5-4 but I felt like I was the better player today and I knew I just had to focus and fight again in the third set to win it.” A quarter-finalist two years ago, Lisicki spent last summer on crutches after an ankle operation and earlier this year dropped outside the top 200 in the rankings. Although the roof was on Centre Court, that did not stop the weather affecting Lisicki as a huge rumble of thunder reverberated just as she was about to serve.

Maria Sharapova swept Dominika Cibulkova aside to march into her first Wimbledon semi-final since 2006. The 24-year-old Russian took exactly an hour to complete a 6-1 6-1 victory and set up a clash with Sabine Lisicki. Cibulkova, who beat top seed Caroline Wozniacki in the last round, could not live with the power or accuracy of the 2004 champion’s thumping groundstrokes. Sharapova crashed down 23 winners to clinch a runaway win and show why she is favourite to reclaim her title. The fifth seed, who is the only Grand Slam winner left in the tournament following the departure of the Williams sisters on Monday, lived up to that billing with a devastating display of power and panache under the Centre Court roof. She attacked from the start, winning eight games in a row after Cibulkova had held in the opener, and produced some stunning shots from either flank.

 

 

 

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