Bartoli destroys Flipkens to reach second Wimbledon final

Bartoli destroys Flipkens to reach second Wimbledon final

German 0 held her nerve to beat Polish fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska 6-4, 2-6, 9-7 in a gripping semifinal on Thursday and reach her first Wimbledon final.

The 23rd seed, who knocked out defending champion Serena Williams in the fourth round, proved too strong for her Polish opponent who was runner-up at the All England Club last year.

Lisicki wrapped up the first set in 33 minutes and, brimming with confidence, broke again in the opening game of the second.

Radwanska, however, immediately broke back and she moved 3-1 ahead as Lisicki's concentration faltered. The German kept going for her shots and was rewarded with another break in the next game but Radwanska had the momentum and took the set.

Radwanska led 3-0 in the decider but Lisicki suddenly rediscovered her form, fighting back to level at 3-3 and breaking again to lead 5-4.

She served for the match but got broken but kept her wits about her, ending a dramatic contest with a forehand winner after two hours and 18 minutes.

Lisicki will play 15th seed Marion Bartoli in the final on Saturday.

Earlier, Bartoli barely had enough time to go through her full repertoire of peculiar mannerisms as she thrashed Kirsten Flipkens 6-1, 6-2 to reach her second Wimbledon final. The 15th seed sealed victory in 63 minutes, overwhelming Flipkens with some brutal hitting. Bartoli, one of the most unorthodox players in the women's game, crunched double-fisted forehands and backhands for winners and fired down one second serve ace at nearly 100mph.

"I just cannot believe it, I played so well," Bartoli, beaten by Venus Williams in the 2007 final, said. "I saw the ball like a football. I hit it cleanly from the start. To play so well in the semifinal at Wimbledon is an amazing feeling."

Flipkens knocked out former champion Petra Kvitova in the quarterfinals but looked pensive throughout against Bartoli and needed treatment on her heavily-strapped right knee in the middle of the second set.

"I think she was a bit injured and she deserves a lot of credit. It must be hard to be injured in the semi-final at Wimbledon," Bartoli, who has reached the final without dropping a set, said.

The Centre Court tried desperately to lift Flipkens, although even their enthusiasm for the underdog waned as the match reached an inevitable conclusion.

Value for money it was not, although the match did at least last longer than the 19 minutes it American Alice Marble to beat German Hilde Sperling 6-0, 6-0 in 1939.

Bartoli was her usual bundle of energy from the first point. Twice she wrapped up games with aces and sprinted to her chair and when waiting to return she played practice swings with her back turned, as if standing in front of an imaginary mirror. In between points, she was perpetual motion, jogging on the spot and bouncing around like a prize fighter. At times she stood well inside the baseline to face Flipkens' serve.

The 28-year-old denied, however, that her routines are designed to intimidate.
"When I'm on the court, I'm in my zone, in my bubble. I'm doing what I feel I need to do to be ready the best that I can," she said. "There is nothing into my attitude to make my opponent scared or annoying her or disturbing her or whatever."

"C'mon Flipper" was the cry from the members of the crowd as the first set sped away from 27-year-old Flipkens who became the fourth Belgian woman to reach a grand slam semi-final after close friend Kim Clijsters, Justine Henin and Yanina Wickmayer.

Bopanna exits

India’s Rohan Bopanna and his French partner Edouard Roger-Vasselin gave the formidable US pair of Mike and Bob Bryan a scare before losing a gruelling five-setter in the men’s doubles semifinal.

The Bryan brothers finally prevailed with a scoreline of 6-7 (4-7), 6-4, 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 in a battle that lasted for two hours and 48 minutes.


Results (semifinals): Women’s singles: 23-Sabine Lisicki (Ger) bt 4-Agnieszka Radwanska (Pol) 6-4, 2-6, 9-7; 15-Marion Bartoli (Fra) bt 20-Kirsten Flipkens (Bel) 6-1, 6-2.
Men’s doubles: 1-Bob Bryan/ Mike Bryan (US) bt 14-Rohan Bopanna (Ind)/ Edouard Roger-Vasselin (Fra) 6-7 (7-4), 6-4, 6-3, 5-7, 6-3.
Mixed doubles: 3-Nenad Zimonjic (Srb)/ Katarina Srebotnik (Slv) bt 11-Marcin Matkowski (Pol)/ Kveta Peschke (Cze) 7-6 (12-10), 6-7 (6-8), 6-4.

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