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Lisicki outlasts Radwanska to reach final

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Originally published on: 04/07/13 00:00

The German, who upset top seed Serena Williams in the fourth round, produced a near-identical performance as she reached her first Grand Slam final with a 6-4 2-6 9-7 victory.

As in her win over Williams, Lisicki won the opening set before her opponent hit back to level and grab an early lead in the decider. But once again, Lisicki refused to accept defeat, and held her nerve to battle back to claim a seventh career win against a top ten player at the All England Club.

In a match of opposing styles, the big-hitting Lisicki fired 19 winners as she took the opening set, but the crafty Radwanska was able to neutralise her opponent’s power, making just three unforced errors as she broke Lisicki four times to level the match.

The Polish world No.4 looked to be heading to victory as she led 3-0 decider, but just as she did against Williams, Lisicki clawed her way back into the match. Another break saw her serve for the match, but some superb defence from Radwanska kept the contest alive, much to the delight of the Centre Court crowd.

However, after some thrilling rallies with both players going for broke, Lisicki was rewarded for her courage, and when Radwanska missed a low volley, she had a second chance to wrap up victory, making no mistake as she became the first German to reach the final at the All England Club since Steffi Graf in 1999.

"I don't remember it, unfortunately," Lisicki said of Graf's defeat to Lindsay Davenport 14 years ago. "But it's just an amazing feeling.  She wished me luck before the match.  She told me to go for it, and I'm just so happy.  I was just fighting for every single point out there.  I fought my heart out there."

Radwanska, who made just 10 unforced errors to her opponent's 46, said it was no consolation that she had played well. "I'd rather play bad and win the match than lose after that one," she said. "[It was] definitely a good match, but I had a lot of chances [but] a couple of easy mistakes cost me the whole match."

Lisicki will meet Bartoli in the final after the No.15 seed thrashed Kirsten Flipkens 6-1 6-2 to reach her second Wimbledon final. Flipkens, who upset Petra Kvitova in the quarter-finals, only made six unforced errors in the match, but she was powerless to stop an inspired Bartoli, who swept to victory in a little over an hour.

“I had to play, I don't know, 500% I think to beat Marion today,” Flipkens admitted.  “She was just too good.”

It is six years since Bartoli stunned top seed Justine Henin to reach the final at the All England Club before falling in the final to Venus Williams.

“I think I'm doing everything just better [than in 2007],” Bartoli said. “I think I'm able to hit the ball harder.  I'm moving faster.

“I think if I would play myself now with my game six years ago compared with my game today I would probably be beating myself quite easily because I'm just doing everything better, if you compare the speed of my shots, the way I'm moving.”

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