Wimbledon 2013: Sabine Lisicki to face Marion Bartoli in final

By Piers NewberyBBC Sport at Wimbledon
Wimbledon 2013: Lisicki wins three-set semi-final thriller

Germany's Sabine Lisicki came through a dramatic Wimbledon semi-final and will play Marion Bartoli of France for the title on Saturday.

Lisicki, who beat top seed Serena Williams in round four, came back from 3-0 down in the final set to see off Polish fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska 6-4 2-6 9-7.

The 23-year-old becomes the first German to reach the Wimbledon final since seven-time champion Steffi Graf in 1999.

Bartoli, the 15th seed, earlier swept past Belgian Kirsten Flipkens 6-1 6-2 to reach her second Wimbledon final, six years after losing out to Venus Williams.

If that match was a one-sided affair, the second semi-final on Centre Court was a dramatic match of wildly fluctuating fortunes.

Lisicki, the 23rd seed, did not face a single break point in the first set against Radwanska and broke at the start of the second, but the errors then began to flow.

Radwanska remained as solid as ever, vulnerable on her second serve but able to dictate once into the rallies, and Lisicki's serve became less and less reliable as the match wore on.

Two double faults in a desperately nervous eighth game handed over the set and the error count of 17 to 3 showed just how Lisicki's game had crumbled.

Radwanska moved 3-0 clear with her sixth game in succession, but there was another power surge from Lisicki and the German earned her chance to serve for the match at 5-4.

Outgunned in terms of power but seemingly steadier of nerve, Radwanska held on by saving two break points at 6-6 and another at 7-7, but she finally prodded a volley over the baseline.

Given a second chance to serve for the win, Lisicki made no mistake, firing a forehand winner down the line on her second match point and falling back in celebration.

"It was unbelievable, the last few games were so exciting," she told BBC Sport. "Agnieszka played so well, it was a battle and I'm so happy to have won it.

"I didn't know how it would end. I fought with all my heart but I believed I could win no matter what the score was."

Bartoli, 28, had looked similarly thrilled a couple of hours earlier when she completed a far more comprehensive win over Flipkens.

The Belgian 20th seed struggled to find any rhythm and dropped serve immediately, finally getting on the board with a hold after 16 minutes to trail 3-1.

Bartoli was well and truly in command though, and she broke once again with a terrific game that included a winning lob, a pass down the line and a thumping drive volley.

An ace out wide wrapped up the set in just 27 minutes and the Frenchwoman's dream start continued with a stunning lob to break at the start of the second.

When the rampant Bartoli broke once again for 3-0, Flipkens called for the trainer and took a medical timeout for a knee problem.

There was a flicker of hope for the Belgian on the resumption as she got one of the breaks back, but a spectacular return winner and a seventh successful lob put Bartoli 4-1 in front.

With a second Wimbledon final in sight, she held her nerve impressively to put away a smash on match point after just 62 minutes.

"I just cannot believe it, I played so well," Bartoli told BBC Sport.

"I think she was a bit injured. She deserves a lot of credit, but it must be hard to be injured in the semi-final at Wimbledon.

"I saw the ball like a football. I hit it cleanly from the start. To play so well in the semi-final at Wimbledon is an amazing feeling."

Bartoli overpowers Flipkens


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