Wimbledon 2013: Sabine Lisicki plays down talk of being favourite

Lisicki v Radwanska and Bartoli v Flipkens


All England Club, London
24 June - 7 July
Live on BBC One, BBC Two, BBC HD Channel, Red Button, BBC Radio 5 live, plus 10 live streams available on the BBC Sport website, tablet, mobile and connected TV.

Sabine Lisicki has played down the pressure of being many pundits' pick to win the Wimbledon title as she prepares for Thursday's semi-finals.

The German, seeded 23rd, will play Polish fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska on Centre Court at about 15:00 BST.

They follow the 13:00 BST meeting between French 15th seed Marion Bartoli and Belgian 20th seed Kirsten Flipkens.

The world's top three players - Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka have all suffered shock exits.

Asked whether her stunning win over five-time champion Williams in the fourth round meant she was now the favourite, Lisicki responded: "Not at all, no pressure.

"For me, it's still a game that I love so much, and I want to keep it that way. I'm going out there for every match to win it and we'll see what happens."

Lisicki, 23, made the semi-finals in 2011, losing to Sharapova, and her powerful serve has only been topped by Williams in terms of pace over the last two weeks.

Radwanska is a very different kind of player, using court craft to compensate for her lack of power, and she knows that another strong returning performance will be required.

"I saw her matches, and her results on the grass are always good," she said. "She's, for sure, a big server, so I will have to be careful on that."

The 24-year-old said it "definitely" helps to have the experience of reaching the final last year - in which she was beaten in three sets by Serena Williams - and insisted the leg issues that affected her during her quarter-final win over Li Na would not be a problem.

"My legs are a bit overused," she explained. "[But after] a lot of treatment and massage I will be ready for the semi-final."

Flipkens has the most remarkable story of the final four, having reached her first Grand Slam semi-final one year after being ranked so low that she could not even enter the Wimbledon qualifying tournament.

The 27-year-old slipped to 262 in the world after suffering blood clots in her calf, and described Tuesday's win over former champion Petra Kvitova as "more than a dream coming true".

Flipkens is great friends with compatriot Kim Clijsters, and the former world number one has been following Flipkens' fortunes on Twitter, saying after Tuesday's match: "Still drying my eyes. So proud of how [she] handled the big occasion for the first time!"

"She's in America," said Flipkens, "but she's been there for me through the good and through the bad times. I have to thank her for still believing in me."

Bartoli, 28, has her sights set on a return to the final six years after she lost to Venus Williams. Her Wimbledon run is a sharp upturn in fortunes for her - she pulled out of the French Open with an ankle injury and then withdrew from Eastbourne because of a virus.

"Every time for some reason I'm back here, I have a smile on my face," she said. "I felt great right away.

"Tennis is kind of a crazy game, and now I am playing Kirsten Flipkens to be in the final of Wimbledon. So it's also very unexpected, but that's also the magic of it."

Top Stories