Birmingham 2008: Andrew's eyewitness report & photos
I recently became a demi-fan of Sabine, and as such, it's time for me to share with the Sabine Lisicki community the reports I have written on some of her past matches. I start with the first time I ever saw her play: Birmingham 2008.
DFS CLASSIC (Edgbaston, Birmingham, England; grass; WTA Tier III)
1. My photos
2. First-round eyewitness report: Lisicki v Stosur
Master-reports for Birmingham 2008:
Andrew's eyewitness reports & photos (Monday to Sunday)
1. My photos
Permission to copy my Birmingham photos is granted provided that:
(a) no money is exchanged;
(b) they are labelled as "Copyright 2008 Andrew Broad".
Please let me know if you do use them on another website.
I have uploaded all my photos for Tuesday 10th June 2008, in one big zip-file, to:
Nicole Vaidišová (67 photos)
Sabine Lisicki (44)
Marta Domachowska (28)
Michaëlla Krajíček (22)
Séverine Brémond (34)
Marina Eraković (25)
Stéphanie Dubois (10)
Yanina Wickmayer (8)
coach David Felgate (8)
Ekaterina Makarova (6)
Angelique Kerber (6)
Nathalie Dechy (3)
Tatiana Poutchek (3)
Margit Rüütel (2)
Julie Ditty (1)
Marion Bartoli (1)
Samantha Stosur (1)
MC Vicki Stone (1)
There are also two of Sabine in my photos for Monday 9th June 2008:
2. First-round eyewitness report: Lisicki v Stosur (Tuesday 10th June 2008)
- Sabine Lisicki lt. Samantha Stosur [Q], 3-6 4-6
18-year-old Sabine Lisicki has been the revelation in women's tennis this year, going from a player I'd barely even heard of to being described by BBC-commentator Sam Smith as "the future of women's tennis". Nick Bollettieri - whose academy she attends - also speaks highly of her, but says she has a tendency to overhit.
This was my first time to see Lisicki play, and despite the loss, I was impressed. She has a big serve and a big backhand, not to mention a pretty face with striking eyes (if rather stocky legs). I foresee a great future for her.
But Lisicki, who hadn't played on grass at WTA Tour level before, was up against a grass-court expert in Samantha Stosur: one of the few serve-and-volleyers left in women's tennis. Stosur was wearing her trademark sunglasses, which is a shame because she has beautiful eyes.
Lisicki was impressive from the very first point of the match, but it was Stosur who broke first, winning the first set on the strength of that break (despite Lisicki holding her last two service-games to love with very impressive serving).
By the end of the first set, Lisicki was having some success with low, dipping passes to Stosur's feet, but at the start of the second set, Lisicki was erratic and ineffective (no more dipping passes), and Stosur played very well as she raced to a 4-0 lead.
But then Stosur went off the boil, and Lisicki staged a terrific fightback, showing more of the brilliance of which I saw glimpses in the first set. Stosur was lucky that she managed to serve it out at 5-4, because Lisicki had the momentum (she won a very quick service-game at 3-5), and the tide was definitely threatening to turn in her favour.
LISICK _*___* *_ 3
STOSUR * *@* * * 6
The match was third on Court 1, and started at 14:35 BST.
Stosur serving 0-0: Lisicki made a thunderous start with a backhand return-winner down the line! 0/15. Stosur netted a backhand. 0/30. Ace out wide. 15/30. Lisicki struck again with a forehand return-winner down the line. 15/40 (BP). Service-winner. 30/40 (BP #2). Backhand return very long. 40/40. Double fault (second serve long). Ad Lisicki (BP #3). Backhand return long. Deuce #2. Sliced backhand lob-return just wide. Ad Stosur. Service-winner.
Lisicki serving 0-1: Big serve + crosscourt forehand winner. 15/0. Another big serve, and Stosur netted a backhand on the fourth stroke. 30/0. Ace out wide. 40/0. Serve + backhand dropshot-winner.
Stosur serving 1-1: Service-winner (Lisicki mishit a forehand return that flew off her racket backwards). 15/0. Stosur forehand just long. 15/15. Lisicki forehand wide. 30/15. Stosur forehand volley-winner. 40/15. Stosur long. 40/30. Lisicki forehand pass-winner down the line. 40/40. Backhand return long. Ad Stosur. Lisicki forehand long.
Lisicki serving 1-2: Double fault (second serve long). 0/15. Lisicki netted a forehand. 0/30. Service-winner. 15/30. Virtual ace down the middle. 30/30. Stosur hit a sliced backhand very low over the net, forcing Lisicki into error. 30/40. Double fault (second serve just long).
Lisicki looked the more impressive player early on, but it's first blood to Stosur.
Stosur serving 3-1: Lisicki found tremendous depth, hit an error-forcing forehand down the line, and said "c'mon". 0/15. Service-winner. 15/15. Serve + deep error-forcing forehand volley. 30/15. Serve forced a short lob, which Stosur dispatched with a forehand smash-winner. 40/15. Stosur worked her way to the net, and hit a backhand volley-winner.
Lisicki serving 1-4: Lisicki came to the net on a dropshot from Stosur, and hit a forehand volley-winner. 15/0. Stosur netted a forehand. 30/0. Low-bouncing service-winner out wide. 40/0. Ace down the middle.
Stosur serving 4-2: Serve + forehand smash-winner. 15/0. Stosur served & volleyed, but Lisicki hit a lob-winner. 15/15. Stosur forehand smash-winner. 30/15. Backhand return wide. 40/15. Service-winner.
Lisicki serving 2-5: Ace out wide. 15/0. Serve + crosscourt forehand winner just inside the sideline. 30/0. Serve + crosscourt forehand dropshot-winner. 40/0. Service-winner out wide.
Stosur serving 5-3: Lisicki forehand lob long. 15/0. Service-winner out wide. 30/0. Lisicki hit an error-forcing forehand return low over the net at Stosur's feet. 30/15. Service-winner. 40/15 (SP). Another hard return at Stosur's feet forced her to hit a forehand long. 40/30 (SP #2). Stosur hit a forehand smash-winner to win the first set 6-3 at 15:04 (29m).
LISICK ____*@* *_ 4
STOSUR @*@*___* * 6
Lisicki serving 0-0: Double fault (second serve into the net). 15/0. Serve + crosscourt backhand winner. 15/15. Stosur hit a deep, error-forcing return. 15/30. Lisicki worked her way to the net and hit a forehand volley-winner. 30/30. Lisicki on the third stroke netted a forehand. 30/40 (BP). Service-winner out wide. 40/40. Lisicki on the third stroke netted a backhand. Ad Stosur. Lisicki forehand wide.
Stosur serving 1-0: Lisicki held her hand up for a long time, then her forehand return forced Stosur to net a backhand. 0/15. Service-winner. 30/15. Lisicki backhand return wide. 30/30. Stosur forced Lisicki to hit a lob long. 40/30. Service-winner.
Lisicki serving 0-2: Lisicki crosscourt backhand wide. 0/15. Double fault (second serve long). 0/30. Lisicki forehand long. 0/40. Stosur netted a sliced backhand. 15/40. Service-winner out wide. 30/40. Lisicki's backhand clipped the netcord and fell back on her side.
Stosur serving 3-0: Stosur forehand volley-winner. 15/0. Lisicki hit a forehand thirdway up the net. 30/0. Lisicki, driven wide, netted a backhand. 40/0. Double fault (second serve into the net). 40/15. A netcord from Lisicki helped Stosur to hit a forehand volley-winner.
Lisicki serving 0-4: Double fault (second serve into the net). 0/15. Service-winner. 15/15. Serve & volley: Lisicki hit a deep forehand onto the baseline, forcing Stosur into error. 30/15. Service-winner out wide. 40/15. Lisicki hit an off-backhand pass-winner.
Stosur serving 4-1: Double fault (second serve long). 0/15. Stosur forehand drop-volley winner. 15/15. Serve + forehand volley just long. 15/30. Lisicki crosscourt backhand pass-winner. 15/40. Lisicki hit a dipping backhand return at Stosur's feet, forcing her into error.
Lisicki serving 2-4: Lisicki forced Stosur to hit a lob, and dispatched it with a forehand smash-winner. 15/0. Double fault (second serve wide). 15/15. Stosur hit an error-forcing down-the-line forehand return. 15/30. Stosur netted a forehand. 30/30. Serve out wide + crosscourt forehand winner back behind Stosur. 40/30. Stosur forehand return-winner down the line. 40/40. Service-winner. Ad Lisicki. Stosur forced a short ball from Lisicki, and had the court open in front of her... but hit a forehand long.
Stosur serving 4-3: Lisicki forehand return just wide. 15/0. Lisicki's dipping pass forced a weak volley from Stosur, giving Lisicki a forehand pass-winner down the line. 15/15. Service-winner. 30/15. Lisicki dumped a backhand return into the net. 40/15. Lisicki went for a big forehand return, but it was long.
Lisicki seemed to be standing further back to receive serve than usual in that game.
Lisicki serving 3-5: Lisicki hit two quick aces that I literally didn't see. 30/0. Serve + crosscourt forehand winner. 40/0. Service-winner out wide.
Now Stosur is back serving almost immediately - this time for the match! I actually think this could be Stosur's last chance to win the match, given the form Lisicki has found since 0-4.
Stosur serving 5-4: Service-winner (the incoming Stosur did well to leave Lisicki's return). 15/0. Two-tone grunting from Lisicki now, and she hit a forehand long. 30/0. Service-winner. 40/0 (MP #1). A good backhand return forced Stosur to hit a forehand volley wide. 40/15 (MP #2). Stosur on the third stroke hit a forehand long. 40/30 (MP #3). Whoever wins this point will win the match... Stosur served & volleyed, forcing Lisicki to net a forehand pass. Stosur won 6-3 6-4 at 15:37 (second set 33m, match 1h02m).
Lisicki didn't look at all happy as she stalked off court and walked right past me.
Dr. Andrew Broad