Posts Tagged ‘Sabine Lisicki

14
Feb
12

Angelique Kerber carried her impressive form into the WTA Qatar Open by upsetting ninth-seed Sabine Lisicki.

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The 4-6 6-4 6-1 victory was the fourth time in as many matches that Kerber had got the better of her German compatriot, who is ranked 14th in the world and considered as one of the rising stars of the game. “She is a great player who is also a good friend, so it’s not easy playing against her,” Kerber, who won the Paris Indoors last week, said after her victory. “We travel together and live in the same hotels, but I was focused on my game,” Kerber added. Kerber, ranked No.22 in the world, reached at least the semi-finals in six of the past 10 tournaments she played before winning her first WTA title in Paris.

“I am really playing well, but this is a big tournament with many stars playing, but I will really try my best,” she added. The top eight players in the field have been given first round byes and will see kick off their title challenges on Wednesday.

01
Feb
12

Czech Republic will face a strong German team in their first Fed Cup title defense.

The Czech Republic Fed Cup team

Just three months after ending a 23-year wait to win the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas, the Czech Republic begin the defense of their title with a visit to Stuttgart this weekend to take on Germany. Leading the Czech team in the World Group first round tie will be World No.2 Petra Kvitova. Last year, Kvitova proved inspirational in the competition, winning all six of her singles rubbers, as Petr Pala’s team defeated Slovakia, Belgium and then Russia in final. Joining her against Germany are Iveta Benesova, Barbora Zahlavova Strycova and Lucie Hradecka. Although Germany are missing their No.1 player, Andrea Petkovic, who is suffering from a stress fracture in her lower back, they still represent a stern test on the indoor hardcourts of the Porsche Arena. Tennis in Germany is experiencing something of a renaissance at present and three of Barbara Rittner’s team, Sabine Lisicki, Julia Goerges and Angelique Kerber, are in the Top 30, while Anna-Lena Groenefeld is a former Top 10 doubles player.

Also in first round action over the weekend are Italy. The 2009 and 2010 champions have named a full-strength team, including Francesca Schiavone, and start as heavy favorites against World Group newcomers Ukraine on the indoor clay of Biella. The other two ties pit perennial contenders Russia with Spain in Moscow and Belgium against Serbia in Charleroi.

In World Group II, 17-time Fed Cup champions USA, relegated from the World Group for the first time in their history last year, take their first step on the road back to the big time with a tie against Belarus. Spearheading a strong USA side are Serena and Venus Williams, while Belarus include recently crowned Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka. Also bidding for promotion are Australia, France and Japan, who take on Switzerland, Slovakia and Slovenia respectively.

 

21
Jan
12

Zvonareva & Kuznetsova & Kirilenko & Bartoli ousted.

Petra Kvitova and Maria Kirilenko

Petra Kvitova advanced to the Australian Open last 16 after Maria Kirilenko retired injured from their match at 6-0 1-0 down. Russian world number 29 Kirilenko had her thigh strapped before conceding defeat with 38 minutes on the clock. Fourth seed Maria Sharapova had to work harder for her place in the fourth round than the 6-1 6-2 scoreline from her win over Angelique Kerber suggests. Seventh seed Vera Zvonareva lost to fellow Russian Ekaterina Makarova. Kvitova, who could unseat Caroline Wozniacki as world number one by the end of the tournament will take on Ana Ivanovic, who held top spot in the rankings for 12 weeks in 2008, in the next round.

“I’m a little disappointed. I played the first set very well but it was unfortunate it was like this,” said Kvitova of her win over Kirilenko. The Czech second seed had been taken to three sets in the previous round by Carla Suarez Navarro, but her powerful groundstrokes looked too much for Kirilenko even before her opponent called for medical attention at 5-0 adrift in the opening set.

Sharapova had dropped just two games in swift wins over Gisela Dulko and Jamie Hampton in her first two matches and looked set to progress in similar style as she broke early in the second set against Kerber. But the 2008 champion was pegged back as Kerber wrestled the third and fourth games of the set her way. Sharapova responded with steely determination though, edging back in front at 4-2 before securing her passage to the next stage with another break. There will be more German opposition for her in the last 16 where she will meet 14th seed Sabine Lisicki in a repeat of the pair’s 2011 Wimbledon meeting. Lisicki overcame 18th seed Svetlana Kuznetsova 2-6 6-4 6-2 in a see-sawing match that lasted a shade under two hours. Zvonareva was out-fought 7-6 (9-7) 6-1 by Makarova as she became the highest-seeded player to exit the event since Sam Stosur’s first-round exit. The 24-year-old, who lost to eventual winner Kim Clijsters in the semi-finals last year, has had a slow start to 2012, losing in the first round of the Sydney International.

Ninth seed Marion Bartoli also fell victim to an upset as Chinese world number 38 Zheng Jie won their match 6-3 6-3. Zheng will play Italy’s Sara Errani who followed up her victory over 29th seed Nadia Petrova last time out with a 6-7 (6-8) 6-0 6-2 win over Romania’s Sorana Cirstea to make a Grand Slam fourth round for the first time. Ivanovic saw off American Vania King 6-3 6-4 to book her place in the same stage.

 

31
Aug
11

Christina McHale defeats Bartoli, and Venus pulls out.

Venus Williams has pulled out of the US Open with an unspecified illness, the referee’s office announced. Williams was scheduled to play German Sabine Lisicki in the third match on Arthur Ashe Stadium on Wednesday, but pulled out while the second match between Andy Murray and Somdev Devvarman was going on.

She has been diagnosed with Sjogren’s Syndrome, an autoimmune disease that causes fatigue and joint pain. According to the Sjogren’s Syndrome Foundation website, the disease is a chronic autoimmune illness in which people’s white blood cells attack their moisture-producing glands. Common symptoms include dry eyes and dry mouth. As many as 4 million Americans have the disease.

Christina McHale, 19, upset No. 8 Marion Bartoli 7-6 (2), 6-2 to advance to the third round of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time in her soaring career, at her favorite tournament, the US Open. McHale is from nearby Englewood Cliffs, N.J. and trains year-round at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, the home of the US Open. The crowd was considerably in McHale’s favor in her first two matches, including a bunch of family members who still find it extremely exciting to see the 19-year-old on the big stage. They will become more and more used to it, however, as McHale has taken her game to another level this year and surged up the WTA rankings to a career-high No. 55, and hopes to keep her US Open run going. “It is still weird and exciting for them and for me,” McHale said of her family watching her play in the US Open. “It is still super exciting to be here. It is so nice, after a long day, I can go to my own bed, wake up and have breakfast at my house. I am enjoying it so far and hopefully I can keep it going.” McHale earned her first career Grand Slam main draw victory at the 2009 US Open, defeating Polona Hercog in the opening round, earning her a night match in Arthur Ashe Stadium against Maria Sharapova. But now has played in the main draw of all four Grand Slams in the same year for the first time in her career and this is surely just the first year of many. As she moved up the WTA rankings, she was able to enter more tournaments and credits the increased match experience, as well as increased strength, as reasons for the improvement in her game. “I feel like I am playing well, I have played a lot of matches, I am feeling match ready and excited to be in the next round,” she said. “I have more experience now. I think that is the biggest thing. The nerves are still there but I am getting better at handling it.”

 

 

 

30
Aug
11

Venus’s preparation will be the deciding factor in her second round match against Sabine Lisicki.

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Coming into the US Open, Sabine Lisicki, who’s never been ranked higher than No. 18 in the world, is one of the dark horses to win the women’s singles crown. Fresh off her second title of the season this past weekend at the inaugural Texas Tennis Open in Dallas, the No. 22 seed continued her recent run of form Tuesday on the new Court 17, defeating Alona Bondarenko, 6-3, 6-3.  She’ll square off against two-time US Open champion Venus Williams in a highly anticipated second-round clash. They’ve split their two previous meetings, with Williams winning their most recent encounter in Dubai last year. “The Williams sisters always play well at the Grand Slams, and you can never underestimate them,” Lisicki stated. “It’s for sure going to be a tough match. A very good challenge. But if you want to succeed, you have to beat the best.”

30
Jul
11

Serena Williams put on a clinic to get the better of second-seeded Maria Sharapova, 6-1, 6-3, in the quarterfinals of the Bank of the West Classic.

“I had a good start,” Williams said. “You can’t go in against the fifth-ranked player with your mind everywhere. You have to be serious. It’s a great win for the hardcourt season.” Playing in just her third tournament since winning Wimbledon last year, and her first on American soil since the 2009 U.S. Open, Williams looked as good as she did when she topped the rankings. “I’m a better player this month than I was last month,” Williams said. “I’ve put in a lot of work and I hope it continues to pay off.”

The fifth-ranked Sharapova had eight unforced errors before she hit her first winner and the slow start cost her in the battle of former No. 1s. “It certainly wasn’t my night,” Sharapova said. “She was serving and hitting so well and I was extremely late in my reactions. I felt sluggish. It was a bad day but it’s also a reminder that I need to step up.” Williams, ranked No. 169, beat Sharapova for the sixth straight time and improved to 7-2 overall against her. “I consider anybody I play to be an intense rivalry but we do have a good thing going,” Williams said. “It’s exciting and it’s good for tennis.”

Sharapova last defeated Williams in the finals of the 2004 WTA championships. “When I had chances to change things around I couldn’t do it,” Sharapova said. “Her biggest strength is her power and you don’t see so much of that in the top 10. It really makes her dangerous.”

Germany’s Sabine Lisicki knocked off her second straight seeded opponent, beating fifth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland 7-6(4), 2-6, 6-2. She will meet Williams in the semifinals. Lisicki was a semifinalist at Wimbledon and has improved her ranking to 26th after being No. 218 in March. “I’m looking forward to the match,” Lisicki said. “I love competing in the big matches. I have nothing to lose.” Sharapova beat Lisicki in the semis at Wimbledon. “Coming from grass to hardcourt is always a challenge,” Lisicki said. “It comes down to who plays the best that given day.” Last year, Lisicki missed five months with a left ankle injury. She says she has more endurance now than before her injury. “I’m much better than I was before the injury,” she said. “I’ve had to focus on so many aspects of my game. Last year I couldn’t even walk. Now I feel I can rely on my serve when I need it at crucial moments.” Lisicki recorded 14 aces to Radwanska’s seven. The 14th-ranked Radwanska was a semifinalist at Stanford last year. She’s still looking for her first tour title since 2008.

Third-seeded Marion Bartoli of France advanced when Japan’s Ayumi Morita retired after dropping the first set 6-1. Bartoli will meet eighth-seeded Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia, who beat qualifier Marina Erakovic 6-1, 6-1. The 20th-ranked Cibulkova, looking for her first tour title, reached her second semifinal of the year. “I was pretty solid the whole match,” Cibulkova said. “I hope to keep playing at this level.”

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.

 

 

 

23
Jun
11

French Open champion Li Na wasted two match points and lost to Sabine Lisicki of Germany 3-6, 6-4, 8-6 in the second round of Wimbledon.

Li Na served for the match twice in the final set Thursday but was broken each time. She had won 14 of her previous 15 Grand Slam matches in 2011, reaching the final at the Australian Open, then becoming China’s first major singles champion at Roland Garros. But Lisicki has now won 12 of her last 13 matches on grass courts, including reaching the Wimbledon quarterfinals in 2009 and winning a tuneup tournament in Birmingham this month. She missed five months last season with a left ankle injury, and she fell out of the top 200 in the rankings. Lisicki is now back up to 62nd.

 

13
Jun
11

Lisicki upsets Hantuchova to win her 2nd. WTA title.

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Unseeded German Sabine Lisicki upset the odds again as she lifted the AEGON Classic title in Birmingham. Lisicki had already toppled the third seed Shuai Peng of China to reach the final in the midlands. And she continued her good run by overpowering Daniela Hantuchova, seeded fourth, 6-3 6-2 in the rain-delayed final. The 21-year-old, currently ranked 100th in the world, broke Hantuchova once in the opening set and then twice again to seal her second WTA Tour title.

 

12
Jun
11

A typical British summer’s day!

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The AEGON Championships final between Andy Murray and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has been delayed. Organisers had brought the final forward two hours to 1200 BST in a bid to beat forecast rain but the wet weather arrived early this morning to ensure the covers were kept firmly on the west London court. Tournament director Chris Kermode said organisers would “wait as long as we can” in a bid to get the final played on Sunday, although the forecast is not good. That brings the prospect of a Monday final into play. “We’re talking to Andy and Jo on a half-hour basis,” he told BBC Sport. “If we don’t get any play today at all we will play the final tomorrow (Monday) at 1230.”

The same situation prevails in Birmingham at the Aegon Classic where the final has been postponed.

 




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