x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Safina struggles past Lisicki into the semi-finals

The Russian No 1 seed comes back from a set down to book her place in the last four at Wimbledon.

LONDON // The top seed Dinara Safina came from a set down to reach her first Wimbledon semi-final with an unconvincing 6-7 6-4 6-1 victory over Germany's unseeded Sabine Lisicki. Safina, whose tortured expressions suggest she is as much battling her own game as her opponent's, remained on course for a first career grand slam title despite a flurry of double faults at crucial moments on Centre Court.

The two shared a break of serve each in the opening set which Lisicki clinched 7-5 in a tiebreaker when the Russian ballooned a second serve long for her seventh double fault of the set. She restored order in the second with a single break enough to help her level the match and Safina raced through the third when a Lisicki miss hit dropped wide. She will play the third seed and defending champion Venus Williams for a place in Saturday's final.