• Wimbledon, Day Nine

Kerber fends off Lisicki fightback to reach semis

ESPN staff
July 3, 2012

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Angelique Kerber held her nerve to reach her first semi-final at Wimbledon with a thrilling 6-3 6-7(7) 7-5 win over compatriot Sabine Lisicki.

Kerber looked to be well beaten as Lisicki saved three match points to force the match to a decider, but triumphed in a dramatic third set to progress.

Lisicki had never beaten her fellow German and struggled to recover from dropping her opening service game as Kerber eased through the first set. But Lisicki, who reached the semi-finals last year, recovered from a break down in the second, fending off two match points with some gutsy tennis.

The No. 15 seed, who ousted Maria Sharapova in straight sets on Monday, showed impressive grit to keep herself in the match winning a second-set tiebreak, although she had Kerber to thank after the eighth seed left a ball that landed on the baseline.

For the third successive set, Lisicki found herself a break down, but she battled back to level, and in a topsy-turvy final set that saw momentum swing back and forth with three exchanges of serve, it was Kerber who held on to secure a meeting with Agnieszka Radwanska, who beat Maria Kirilenko later on Tuesday.

While Kerber and Lisicki had the luxury of playing under the Centre Court roof, Radwanska and Kirilenko were forced off three times during their fourth-round encounter. No. 3 seed Radwanska had taken the opening set before Kirilenko roared back to level.

The pair were locked at 4-4 in the final set when they were forced off for a third time, and they did not return until close to 9.30pm. Kirilenko came out strong, but Radwanska stayed composed to win 7-5 4-6 7-5.

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