x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Wimbledon: Lisicki beats Radwanska to reach first slam final

Self-belief does it for the German after her win over Williams as she rallies past her higher-ranked opponent in the semi-finals.

Sabine Lisicki became the first German after Steffi Graf, 14 years ago, to enter a major final.Clive Brunskill / Getty Images
Sabine Lisicki became the first German after Steffi Graf, 14 years ago, to enter a major final.Clive Brunskill / Getty Images

LONDON // A giddy Sabine Lisicki could barely contain her excitement after becoming the first German to reach the women's singles final at Wimbledon for 14 years.

Lisicki overpowered Agnieszka Radwanska to take the first set of today's semi-final on Centre Court, but the Polish fourth seed hit back to take the second and then went ahead in the third.

The German somehow summoned the strength to survive, breaking back before going on to record a 6-4, 4-6, 9-7 win after two hours and 18 minutes on court.

"It's unbelievable. The last few games were so exciting," said a smiling Lisicki, who beat Serena Williams earlier in the tournament.

"We were fighting, Agnieszka played so well throughout the match. It was a battle. I'm so happy to have won that.

"I fought with all my heart and believed I could still win no matter what the score was."

Lisicki was in a similar situation in her fourth-round match against Williams, winning in three after squandering a one-set lead.

"It was a little bit like that in the third set when I was down 3-0," Lisicki added on the BBC.

"I thought, 'Okay, you did it against Serena so you can do it today as well'. "It gave me so much confidence. I'm so, so happy I was able to finish it.

"Wimbledon is my favourite tournament, I love it so much and I love being in England. I cannot believe I'm in the final."

Tomorrow's match against Marion Bartoli will be Lisicki's first appearance in a grand slam final.

It will also be the first time that a German has reached a grand slam singles final since 1999 when Steffi Graf lost to Lindsay Davenport.

"Steffi wished me luck before the match," Lisicki said. "I haven't thought about the final. I'll be happy for today and I can re-focus tomorrow."

Radwanska, last year's runner-up, defended her abrupt, cool handshake with Lisicki at the net.

"What should I do? Dance?," she said, aware that with Williams, Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka out of the tournament, a golden opportunity for a maiden Grand Slam title had passed her by.

"I wasn't quick enough. I had played a lot of tennis and if the semi-final was played in two days' time it would be a different match."

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