LONDON — Germany’s Sabine Lisicki backed up her stunning win over Serena Williams by beating Kaia Kanepi to reach the semi-finals at Wimbledon today.
The 23-year-old, seeded 23, won 6-3 6-3 on Court One to secure a place in the last four at the All England Club for the second time. There she will face Polish fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska, last year’s runner-up, who beat Chinese sixth seed Li Na, 7-6 (7-5) 4-6 6-2 on Centre Court.
In the other half of the draw, France’s 15th seed Marion Bartoli beat Sloane Stephens 6-4 6-4, and Belgian 20th seed Kirsten Flipkens upset 2011 champion Petra Kvitova 6-4 3-6 6-4. Kvitova’s defeat means there will be a new name on the women’s trophy on Saturday.
Lisicki had caused arguably the shock of a tournament characterised by upsets when she beat defending champion Williams on Monday, and she suffered no comedown 24 hours later. It was the German’s returning, rather than her big serve, that proved the difference in the first set as she broke in a lengthy opening game and again to take the set.
Kanepi, who beat Laura Robson in round four, edged ahead in the second when Lisicki double-faulted twice. The German responded immediately though, reeling off four straight games and closing out the match, rather nervily, on her third match point.
“I am very happy,” Lisicki told BBC Sport. “It was an amazing match yesterday and I had to calm myself down, but I think the experience that I got from three previous quarter-finals here helped me. “There is no pressure for me because it is a game that I love so much and I want to keep it that way.”
Radwanska, 24, demonstrated why she has become a fixture in the world’s top four over the last year, despite lacking the stature and power of her leading rivals.
Battling with a thigh problem and a more powerful opponent, the Pole sealed victory in a dramatic final game on her eighth match point after two hours and 43 minutes. She had fended off four set points with some superb returning and recovered from 5-3 down in the tie-break to win the first. Li hit back with four games in a row to take the second, at which point Radwanska had a medical timeout to get her thigh strapped, and the Pole promptly broke at the start of the decider.
A second burst of rain caused a delay as the Centre Court roof was brought across, but the momentum stayed with Radwanska on the resumption and she clinched victory in a dramatic service game.
“I’m very happy to have got through, and even when I was struggling a little bit in the third set,” she told BBC Sport. “I’m very, very happy to be in the semi-finals.” (BBC)