Lisicki lives up to billing as new favourite
German beats Kanepi in just 65 minutes to set up meeting with Radwanska
Germany’s Sabine Lisicki serves during her quarter-final victory against Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi at Wimbledon. Photograph: Adam Davy/PA Wire
The world number 24 yesterday produced arguably the greatest shock of a remarkable fortnight in London, ending defending champion Williams’s 34-match winning streak.
Lisicki had been priced by several bookmakers as a 10 to 1 long shot to beat the American, but that win saw her become favourite for the title.
The grass-court specialist lived up to that billing today, showing no signs of fatigue as she won her quarter-final clash with Laura Robson’s conqueror Kanepi 6-3 6-3 on Court One.
Lisicki needed just over an hour to secure a place in her second Wimbledon semi-final, where she will play Agnieszka Radwanska after she beat Li Na.
“I had to make sure I came down quick enough to be ready for today,” Lisicki said. “With the experience that I have from the last three times I played here in the quarters, I think it helped me a lot.
“It is so nice [to be back in the semi-finals]. I did it two years ago, played very well, and now I felt even more ready for this match and yesterday I had a great challenge on the way to the semis. I think it made me ready for the semis.
“There is no pressure because for me it is still a game that I love so much. I want to keep it that way.
“I am going out there for every single match trying to win and we will see what happens.”
Last year’s runner-up Radwanska, the highest ranked player left in the women’s draw, moved closer to reaching successive Wimbledon finals after outlasting Li Na 7-6 (5) 4-6 6-2 in an epic last-eight duel .
The Polish fourth seed, seeking her first Grand Slam title after losing in three sets to Serena Williams 12 months ago, staved off a Li fightback, the distraction of two rain interruptions and then squandering seven match points to win through.
“She was playing unbelievable tennis I had two tough matches before so I was happy to go through to the semi-finals,” a relieved Radwanska told the BBC.
“It was just too much tennis in the last few days that’s why I was struggling with my legs.”
Marion Bartoli moved one win away from a second Wimbledon final after a straight-sets victory over Sloane Stephens in a rain-affected match on Court One.
A long wet-weather break worked in Bartoli’s favour and allowed her to take control, before a dramatic second set saw eight successive breaks of serve.
The pair were forced off with Stephens serving at 5-4 behind and at deuce in the opener, and when they resumed two and a half hours later Bartoli was able to grab the two points she required.