x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Wimbledon: Sabine Lisicki is serving up a delight at All England club

A clash of styles featuring an unorthodox Frenchwoman and a powerful German will play out when Bartoli and Lisicki bid to etch their names on to the Wimbledon honours board.

Sabine Lisicki is all smiles during a practice session at Wimbledon  on Friday. Lisicki will bring her power game against Marion Bartoli's energetic and unorthodox style in the women's final on Saturday.
Sabine Lisicki is all smiles during a practice session at Wimbledon on Friday. Lisicki will bring her power game against Marion Bartoli's energetic and unorthodox style in the women's final on Saturday.

LONDON // A clash of styles featuring an unorthodox Frenchwoman and a smooth, powerful German will play out when Marion Bartoli and Sabine Lisicki bid to etch their names on to the Wimbledon honours board.

The unpredictability of either reaching the final at the outset is where any similarity between the two ends.

Lisicki, who has a near-permanent smile stretched across her face, has a game plan that has become conventional on the nippy lawns of the All England Club – a hammerhead serve, backed up by walloping forehands.

Bartoli, however, is more unorthodox.

A whirl of perpetual motion, she leaps from foot to foot practising air shots and has an odd repertoire of mannerisms.

She is a bundle of nervous energy that frequently explodes through her double-fisted forehands and backhands.

While 23rd-seed Lisicki has captured the hearts of the home fans, Bartoli is almost surly on court, in contrast to the cheery personality she displays off it.

Lisicki has the tools to become a regular feature at the business end of Wimbledon and, at 23, has many years left in her.

For someone with an allergy to grass, she has a game that is perfectly suited to the surface.

She has a 19-4 win-loss record at the All England Club compared with 16-15 at the other slams.

Nicknamed "Boom Boom Bina", the girl who overcame a career-threatening ankle injury in 2010 is the first German woman to reach a grand slam final since the great Steffi Graf at Wimbledon in 1999.

"It's been a great journey and it hasn't finished yet," she said.

"From the start of the tournament I had great matches and good challenges which prepared me for [Saturday]. I think I'm really ready."

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