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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Lisicki continues giant-killing run

Photo Titled Lisicki wins
Lisicki wins
It was 20 years ago that Germany provided the ladies’ and men’s champion at Wimbledon in the form of Steffi Graf and Boris Becker.

Sabine Lisicki, who was born two months later, kept alive hopes of a repeat with her 6-4, 6-4 victory over Caroline Wozniacki on Court 4. With Tommy Haas also winning today, there is a German interest in the quarter-finals of both events.

Lisicki consistently produced big serves on big points in what proved to be a comfortable victory over the ninth seed, who was aiming for a ninth consecutive win on grass having won the warm-up tournament at Eastbourne. Lisicki is getting a taste for giant-killing. In the previous round, she beat French Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova.

The statistics say the 19-year-old German hit eight aces to Wozniacki’s two, but she also served plenty of balls that her opponent could get a racket on but do nothing with. Wozniacki, on the other hand, suffered from her serve, or lack thereof. As five-time champion Venus Williams will tell you, a fast, reliable serve is an awesome weapon on grass.

If Lisicki could rely on her serve to win her important points, Wozniacki was her own worst enemy at crucial times. The Dane was regularly looking towards the players’ guests with an exasperated look on her face. When one of her double-handed backhands went into the net, she threw her racket to the ground. Over two sets, Wozniacki hit just 14 winners compared with Liscki’s 22.

With the score at 2-2 in the first, a combination of two Wozniacki errors and two sumptuous shots from Lisicki provided the first break of the match. In the next game, Wozniacki raced to a 15-40 lead and the chance to break back, but Lisicki produced two aces and another serve that was unreturnable to hold comfortably. To claim the set, Lisicki won three consecutive points from 30-40 down, all thanks to her serve, including an ace to seal the matter.

The German, who is making just her second Wimbledon appearance after losing in the first round on her debut in 2008, opened the second set by breaking Wozniacki’s serve. In a repeat of the first set, Wozniacki again got into a position to break straight back at 15-40 and again Lisicki produced an ace and a serve that was as good as an ace to shut down the challenge. Those were the only two break point opportunities for Wozniacki in the set as Liscki kept the threat at arm’s length to close out the match.

Court 4 - Ladies' Singles - 4th Round
Caroline Wozniacki DEN (9)44
Sabine Lisicki GER Winner66

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