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