Tuesday 28 June 2011

Wimblemund 2011, day 8

Today, an almost-certainly-premature-but-what-the-hell-are-you-doing-getting-your-news-from-me-anyway LACK OF SURPRISES ladies quarter-final special.

Sabine Lisicki bt. Marion Bartoli 6-4, 6-7(4), 6-1
It was faintly surreal experience, watching a match at Wimbledon as a great big thunderstorm raged around West London, but this is the brave new world of the Centre Court roof. At times the rain was drumming on the roof so hard it was louder than the play and at least one thunderclap made Sabine Lisicki jump out of her skin, but British engineering held firm and we even got a decent match out of it.

Lisicki has a thunderbolt of her own up her arm, and now she seems to be grafting a growing confidence to her monumental serve. Bartoli, who had clearly run herself ragged beating Serena Williams yesterday afternoon, was lucky to take it all the way as her opponent had 3 match points in the 2nd set. However, Lisicki's mental strength has been rather suspect - she had to be carried off after succumbing to cramps with the stress of her encounter with Vera Zvonereva at last month's French Open - so she had to wait until a fairly comfortable decider.

Next up, she will play Maria "The Grunt" Sharapova, who made very light work indeed of Dominika Cibulkova 6-1, 6-1 under the roof. Sharapova is now a nailed on favourite for the title - no-one else left in the women's draw has ever even reached a Grand Slam final before - but Sabine Lisicki, a wildcard entry in the Championships, has a whiff of Goran Ivanisevic's similar run to the title in 2001. Although she doesn't have a beard.

If she wins Wimbledon, she would be able to afford one.

Petra Kvitova bt. Zsvetana Pironkova 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-2

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