- Wimbledon, Day 10
Lisicki survives wobble to beat Radwanska
Sabine Lisicki set up a Wimbledon final with Marion Bartoli after getting the better of a see-saw encounter with last year's runner-up Agnieszka Radwanska.
Lisicki took out five-time winner Serena Williams earlier in the week and the power that she displayed against Williams was on show. Also on show were patches of passive and poor play but when staring defeat in the face, Lisicki found her stride to claim a 6-4 2-6 9-7 win.
A strong opening service hold from Radwanska settled her nerves, while it was a similar story for Lisicki who showed she has touch to complement her power with a deft drop volley.
Lisicki made her move in the seventh game, with a couple of brilliant forehands earning her break points. Radwanska staved off all three, but a couple of pieces of luck enabled Lisicki to grab the break. A backhand skipped off the baseline to work a fourth break point and she converted it when a net cord left Radwanska with no play.
Lisicki faced break point when serving for the set, but had the belief to crank up the power. A roar of delight was let out when she saved break point and she repeated the dose two point later as a Radwanska backhand drifted wide to secure the opening set.
Lisicki looked in complete control when breaking at the start of the second set but her level dipped alarmingly as Radwanska ran through three games on the spin. From being so passive for three games, Lisicki flicked the switch once again and a string of big returns enabled her to break back.
Radwanska, though, took belief from being able to make inroads on the Lisicki serve and she broke twice more to force a deciding set.
Lisicki failed to stem the tide at the start of the final set. She kept going for her shots, but balls that were landing in in the first set and a half were now missing and Radwanska broke for a 2-0 lead.
The unpredictable nature of the match continued as Lisicki suddenly found the sweet spot. Winners flew from both wings and a huge roar greeted a brilliant running crosscourt forehand that enabled the German to get the match back on serve at 2-3.
At 4-4 in the final set, the Lisicki power came to the fore and it was enough to earn her the break of serve to take her within one game of the final. What Radwanska lacks in power, she makes up for in guile and determination and despite some massive serving from Lisicki, the Pole broke back.
Holds were traded until the 15th game when Radwanska's first serve let her down. She gave Lisicki enough looks at second serves to work the opening and the Pole paid the price when she sent a volley over the baseline.
Lisicki faltered when serving for the match earlier in the set, but there was no repeat as her first serve stood up to the pressure and a forehand down the line enabled her to sink to her knees in celebration.
Up next for Lisicki is Marion Bartoli who cantered into her second Wimbledon final with a one-sided romp over Kirsten Flipkens.
Flipkens had a dream run through to her first grand-slam semi-final, but the puzzle posed by Bartoli proved too tough for her to solve as the French lady powered to a 6-1-6-2 win.
The backhand slice of Flipkens was believed to be key to the outcome, but from the opening game Bartoli jumped all over her opponent's shots and the No. 15 seed worked an early break of serve thanks to some powerful hitting.
Flipkens was completely overwhelmed and only a service hold in the fourth game prevented a bagel. And it was somewhat appropriate that, given Bartoli's total dominance, she wrapped up the opening set with an ace.
In a bid to turn the tide, Flipkens serve-volleyed at start of second set. It only served to offer up a target for Bartoli who passed her to work two break points. She needed only one, wrapping up the break with a brilliant topspin lob on the run.
Flipkens took a medical timeout at 3-0 down and broke one game later, but it proved to be the briefest of revivals as Bartoli broke back immediately to take a 4-1 lead. And three games later she wrapped up victory to book her second final - six years after losing to Venus Williams.