x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Lisicki and Oudin make huge waves

German teenager Sabine Lisicki pulled off the biggest shock in what had been a largely unsurprising first week of the women's tournament.

LONDON // German teenager Sabine Lisicki pulled off the biggest shock in what had been a largely unsurprising first week of the women's tournament when she upset the newly-crowned French Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova in front of a stunned Court One crowd on Saturday evening. Lisicki's excellent 6-2, 7-5 victory over the world No 5 eclipsed the performance earlier in the day of another teenage sensation - American qualifier Melanie Oudin who ousted an out-of-sorts Jelena Jankovic in a Court Three marathon.

Lisicki, 19, who this afternoon faces her close friend the ninth-seeded Dane Caroline Wozniacki (they both have Polish origins) in a repeat of their final in Charleston two months ago, admitted to almost squandering her biggest grand-slam moment through anxiety to finish the job. "You are bound to be nervous when you are about to go into the second week for the first time," she said. "I tried to convince myself that I had to keep going for my shots which was difficult but I just about managed it in the end."

The 41st-ranked Lisicki expects Wozniacki, who won the recent Eastbourne warm-up tournament to be a tougher grass-court opponent than Kuznetsova, who has a poor Wimbledon record for a top-five player, and concluded: "I'm happy with the way I'm playing so I have to give myself a chance." Equally buoyant is the even younger Oudin, 17, who is providing unexpected company in the last 16 for the Williams sisters, her fellow Americans.

She is keen to capitalise on the best win of her life when she takes on the 11th-seeded Pole Agnieszka Radwanska, who defeated Li Na, the No 19 seed, in the last round. Not many players win their first match against a top-10 opponent and Oudin was thrilled to do so on such a big stage as Court Three. "This is my first year in the pros and I'm actually in the fourth round at Wimbledon, so it's unbelievable," she said. wjohnson@thenational.ae