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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

One to watch: Sabine Lisicki

Photo Titled Lisicki wins
Lisicki wins

After Sabine Lisicki had become the lowest-ranked player to defeat Venus Williams in more than 12 months - at the Charleston WTA event in April - the five-time Wimbledon champion said: "I wasn't expecting that."
As Lisicki has worked her way through the ladies’ draw to become the first German to reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals since Steffi Graf, the phrase, "I wasn’t expecting that" has been used less and less frequently about the 19-year-old.

Certainly the manner in which she beat eighth seed Caroline Wozniacki on Monday was less of a surprise given how she defeated French Open champion Svetlana Kuznestova in the previous round.

Of the players left in the ladies’ draw, only Serena Williams has served more aces than Lisicki’s 29 while her forehand and double-handed backhand were devastating and exquisite in equal measure against Wozniacki.
"Getting into the second week, I just thought, you know, I have nothing to lose now," Lisicki says. "I'm playing my best tennis so far and I'm very happy, and I think I can still get much better.

"I think I have a pretty good forehand. I think my groundstrokes, are getting more and more consistent.
"And the last year, you know, I had those good shots, but I couldn't play consistently. And I think the first time I did that well, it was in Charleston. And I proved to myself that I can actually beat the big players and keep on playing consistent in a tournament."

Lisicki’s quarter-final opponent is world No.1 Dinara Safina, who she beat in their only previous meeting at the Australian Open, in 2008. If she can continue her recent form and hold her nerve, other people, those who have not read this article, may be say to you tomorrow, "I wasn’t expecting that". But you will know better.

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