Lisicki sets up Wimbledon clash with Bartoli

A giddy Sabine Lisicki could barely contain her excitement after becoming the first German to reach the women’s singles final at Wimbledon for 14 years yesterday.

Lisicki sets up Wimbledon clash with Bartoli

Lisicki overpowered Agnieszka Radwanska to take the first set of yesterday’s semi-final on Centre Court, but the Polish fourth seed hit back to take the second and then went ahead in the third.

The German somehow summoned the strength to survive, breaking back before going on to record a 6-4 2-6 9-7 win after two hours and 18 minutes on court.

“It’s unbelievable. The last few games were so exciting,” said a smiling Lisicki, who beat Serena Williams earlier in the tournament.

“We were fighting, Agnieszka played so well throughout the match. It was a battle. I’m so happy to have won that.

“I fought with all my heart and believed I could still win, no matter what the score was.”

Lisicki was in a similar situation in her fourth-round match against Williams, winning in three after squandering a one-set lead.

“It was a little bit like that in the third set when I was down 3-0,” Lisicki added.

“I thought, ‘Okay, you did it against Serena so you can do it today as well’. It gave me so much confidence. I’m so, so happy I was able to finish it.

“Wimbledon is my favourite tournament, I love it so much. I cannot believe I’m in the final.”

Tomorrow’s match against Marion Bartoli will be Lisicki’s first appearance in a grand slam final.

It will also be the first time that a German has reached a grand slam singles final since 1999 when Steffi Graf lost to Lindsay Davenport.

“Steffi wished me luck before the match,” Lisicki said. “I haven’t thought about the final.

“I’ll be happy for today and I can refocus tomorrow.”

In the final, she’ll face Marion Bartoli who clinically halted the fairytale run of Kirsten Flipkens to reach her second final.

The Frenchwoman condemned Flipkens to a crushing 6-1 6-2 28-year-old and will now attempt to make up for the disappointment of her 2007 final defeat to Venus Williams.

Bartoli is best known for her peculiar, theatrical serving style, and there can be a hint of Zorro about her between-point swishes of the racket.

She wants to be known as a grand slam champion first and foremost, and while she suggests her private life has been troubled in recent years, she has been convinced this run in London was coming.

“I felt I deserved it,” Bartoli said. “I believe as a sports person you cannot always have highs, and you have to go through some low moments to enjoy the highs even more.

“Even if I was having some hard times outside of the court, I was still able to go on the practice court every day and practise hard. I felt because I put that in, I should have a reward from it. Obviously I have had that this year.”

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