It's Lisicki vs Bartoli
London (AFP): Sabine Lisicki, the smiling darling of Centre Court, and eccentric Marion Bartoli, who happily slept away the minutes leading up to her...
London (AFP): Sabine Lisicki, the smiling darling of Centre Court, and eccentric Marion Bartoli, who happily slept away the minutes leading up to her semi-final, set up an unlikely Wimbledon final on Thursday. Lisicki, the 23rd seed, became the first German woman since 1999 to reach a Grand Slam final when she defeated Polish fourth seed, Agnieszka Radwanska, 6-4 2-6 9-7. French 15th seed Bartoli, meanwhile, eased into her second Wimbledon final with a 6-1 6-2 demolition of Belgium's Kirsten Flipkens. Lisicki, dubbed 'Doris Becker' for her howitzer serving by a tabloid British press in honour of her compatriot Boris Becker, will on Saturday bid to become Germany's first champion at a major since Steffi Graf beat Martina Hingis to claim the 1999 French Open. Graf, who sent Lisicki a good-luck text ahead of the semi-final, was also the last German to reach a final at a major when she was runner-up to Lindsay Davenport at Wimbledon that same year. Saturday's final will be only the 15th time in the Open Era to feature two players seeking their first Grand Slam title. But Lisicki reached the championship match the hard way against last year's runner-up Radwanska. She was a set and a break ahead before an astonishing collapse put her 0-3 down in the decider with errors flying off both sides. That sequence saw her lose nine of 10 games from the midway point of the second set to halfway through the decider, dropping serve on five successive occasions. But 23-year-old Lisicki, who put out five-time champion Serena Williams in the fourth round, mounted a memorable fightback against a player who made the semi-final having spent three hours more on court. She finished with nine aces and 60 winners which compensated for the 46 unforced errors she sent down, a worthwhile price for her all-out assault in the two hour 18-minute clash.