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

Wimbledon will have a new women's champion on Saturday as Germany's Sabine Lisicki takes on Marion Bartoli of France in a surprise final line-up.

The pair will meet on Centre Court at 14:00 BST, with the prize of a first Grand Slam title on offer for both players.

Lisicki, the 23rd seed, is through to her first major final after upsetting five-time champion Serena Williams in the fourth round, and beating fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska in a dramatic semi-final.

Number 15 seed Bartoli hopes to go one step further than in 2007, when she reached the final only to come up short against Venus Williams.

Lisicki, 23, has won three of their four previous matches, with a victory apiece at Wimbledon, and is the first German to reach the final since seven-time champion Steffi Graf in 1999.

"I don't remember it, unfortunately, but it's just an amazing feeling," said Lisicki. "She wished me luck before the [semi-final]. She told me to go for it, and I'm just so happy."

Playing on grass suits Lisicki's powerful game and Wimbledon has been by far the German's happiest hunting ground among the four Grand Slams, with two quarter-finals and one semi-final before this year.

She described the prospect of winning the title as "a dream coming true", adding: "I've been dreaming about that since I was a little girl.

"That's why I said it's the best place to play my first Grand Slam final. I couldn't imagine any better place. I just can't wait to play on Saturday."

Bartoli has come through the bottom half of the draw in the absence of second and third seeds Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova, who succumbed to injury and defeat, and feels better prepared than in 2007.

"The last time I was so young," the 28-year-old said. "I was always the underdog coming out on the court and this time it was totally the opposite.

"I think I've been able to deal with the pressure really well and keep improving throughout the Championships and keep playing better."

The Frenchwoman's father, Walter, will be on Centre Court for the final, having been absent for the rest of the tournament as he no longer coaches his daughter.

Bartoli's game suffered amid the upheaval away from the court, and she came into Wimbledon with no form to speak of and having struggled with an ankle injury and a virus in recent weeks.

"I've been having some tough moments ‑ more out of the court than on the court, to be honest with you," she said.

And spectators will again see the eccentric routine that Bartoli goes through between points that involves aggressive practice swings, jumps and split steps while facing away from the court.

"I've been doing that forever," she said. "I have some tapes of myself when I was seven years old or six years old, and I was still doing the same. It's just part of me.

"It's not like I want to annoy my opponent. It's really me trying to be ready for the point that is coming up."

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