Smil­ing Kraut Sabine wins hearts of Bri­tish fans


SABINE LISICKI proved her de­mo­li­tion of Ser­ena Wil­liams was no fluke as she marched into the semi-fi­nals at Wim­ble­don.

The Ger­man 23rd seed never looked trou­bled as she blitzed Kaia Kanepi 6-3 6-3 on Court One to reach her sec­ond SW19 semi.

Wait­ing for her in the last four is Pol­ish fourth seed Ag­nieszka Rad­wan­ska af­ter her 7-6 4-6 6-2 win over for­mer French Open cham­pion Li Na.

“I am very happy,” said Lisicki, who once again lived up to her billing as a grass-court spe­cial­ist. “It was an amaz­ing match against Ser­ena and I had to calm my­self down, but I think the ex­pe­ri­ence that I got from three pre­vi­ous quar­ter-fi­nals here helped me.

“There is no pres­sure for me be­cause it is a game that I love so much and I want to keep it that way.”

Rarely has a Ger­man cap­tured the hearts of the Bri­tish pub­lic – but smil­ing Lisicki has done just that.


The bub­bly blonde has been wel­comed as a breath of fresh air by the Pimms and straw­ber­ries and cream bri­gade in a women’s game short on char­ac­ters and star qual­ity.

While the men’s game is in a golden era as four of the game’s all-time greats have bat­tled it out for glory, Wil­liams’ dom­i­nance has made things all too pre­dictable and dull on the fe­male cir­cuit.

Yet all that changed when Lisicki dumped the world No.1 out of the com­pe­ti­tion.

The 23-year-old had to fight tooth and nail to sink top seed Wil­liams, but yes­ter­day proved a stroll in the park.

Lisicki is famed for her

BLITZED: Kanepi boom­ing serve but it was her crisp re­turns which were too hot to han­dle for Kanepi, who had ended Laura Rob­son’s fairy­tale run in the pre­vi­ous round.

The Ger­man broke im­me­di­ately fol­low­ing a marathon open­ing game be­fore re­peat­ing the feat to clinch the set.

A pair of dou­ble faults from Lisicki gave Kanepi a break early in the sec­ond set.

But that only stung Lisicki into ac­tion as she claimed four games on the spin be­fore seal­ing vic­tory on her third match point.

Nine-times Wim­ble­don sin­gles cham­pion Martina Navratilova reck­ons she is now red­hot favourite for the ti­tle.

“Lisicki is look­ing the player to beat,” she said.

YELL OF A WIN: Lisicki cel­e­brates

her Kanepi KO

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