Wimbledon 2011: Andrew's TV-reports (2r + 4r + QF + SF + WD (3r + QF + SF + Final)) - TennisForum.com
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Old Jun 24th, 2011, 07:35 AM   #1
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Wimbledon 2011: Andrew's TV-reports (2r + 4r + QF + SF + WD (3r + QF + SF + Final))

=================
THE CHAMPIONSHIPS (Wimbledon, London, England; grass; Major)
=================-------------------
Second-round TV-report: Lisicki v Lǐ (Thursday 23rd June 2011)
------------------------------------

+ Sabine Lisicki [WC,EF] d. LǏ,NŔ [3], 3-6 6-4 8-6

This was, quite simply, the greatest tennis-match of all time. The calibre of play was stunning, and the drama theatrical, as Sabine fought back from match-points down at 1:1 *3-5 15/40 to see off the French Open champion, who surely played as well as any top-four player has ever played in a second-round loss at a Major.

It was also the most emotionally absorbing tennis-match I have ever experienced, as I decided that I would induct Sabine into my Eternal Fanship if she won, and then desperately wanted her to do so. She was in big, big trouble, but it just felt like she was destined to win this match.

Sabine is making an amazing comeback from the terrible ankle-injury that derailed her career at Indian Wells 2010. She was in tears of joy after winning this match, just as she was when she was crowned Birmingham champion ten days before.

Sabine served probably better than any woman has ever served (with the possible exceptions of the Williams sisters in their prime). She served 17 aces, up to 124 mph and often just below that.

Sabine didn’t hit nearly as many dropshots today as she did at Birmingham, but hit plenty of sweet, hard, deep groundstrokes, as well as some volleys and a couple of excellent lobs. They entertained us with numerous meaty rallies, and Sabine fought like a tigress to win them.

The first set went with serve, apart from one poor service-game by Sabine at *3-4. In the second set, Sabine broke for *3-1, but lost an agonising service-game at *5-3.

At 0:1 5-4* 30/30, Sabine won the best rally of the tournament with an amazing crosscourt backhand pass-winner. In a game of four deuces, she saved three game-points and needed two set-points to take the second set 6-4.

In the third set, Sabine was broken for 2-3*. At *2-4, she played a brilliant service-game with three aces to stay in touch, and from *3-5 (15/40), she amazingly served four consecutive service-winners over 120 mph – the last two being clean aces.

Lǐ served for the match at *5-4, but Sabine broke back with a rally that almost made my heart explode. Lǐ served for the match again at *6-5, but got nervous and was broken to love.

Sabine hit a pinpoint off-backhand winner onto the sideline at 1:1 *6-6 15/15, held to 15, and had match-points at 7-6* 40/15*. Lǐ saved them well – the second with an ace, but two unforced errors later, her dreams of adding Wimbledon to her French Open crown were in tatters, and Sabine was absolutely delighted. As was I.


First set
---------
LǏ *_*_*_*@* 6
LI _*_*_*___ 3

The match was second on Centre Court, and started at 17:23 BST.

Lǐ serving 0-0: Lǐ forced a short ball, and dispatched it with a crosscourt forehand winner. 15/0. Forehand return very long. 30/0. First serve out wide: forehand return long. 40/0 (GP #1). First serve out wide: Sabine hit a thunderous 87mph backhand return-winner down the line! 40/15 (GP #2). Sabine backhand long. Held.

Lisicki serving 0-1: Deep first serve out wide forced Lǐ to net a forehand return. 15/0. Sabine hit an off-backhand just long. 15/15. Sabine forehand long. 15/30. Lǐ crosscourt forehand wide. 30/30. Forehand return very long. 40/30 (GP #1). Sabine hit a crosscourt backhand return + deep backhand down the line, forcing Lǐ to net a forehand. Held.

Lindsay Davenport: “There’s no question Lisicki has the game to get back to the top of women’s tennis. She has the big serve; she has the big groundstrokes. For her, it’s about moving well, trying to time the ball in the right spot, but she has the game to be able to hit certain players off the court.”

Lǐ serving 1-1: Sabine netted a forehand off a deep ball from Lǐ. 15/0. Deep first serve out wide – on the service-line – forced Sabine to bunt a backhand return just long. 30/0. Ace #1: first serve out wide. 40/0 (GP #1). Sabine hit a deep backhand onto the baseline, forcing Lǐ to mishit a forehand long. 40/15 (GP #2). Deep serve: forehand return long. 15/0.

Lisicki serving 1-2: Deep first serve forced Lǐ to net a forehand return. 15/0. Ace down the middle. 30/0. Ace: booming first serve down the middle, on the centre-line. 40/0 (GP #1). Ace: 122mph first serve out wide, right in the corner. Held.

Sabine gave one of her amazing smiles after that game.

Once again, I am wrestling with the dilemma of whether or not to induct Sabine into my Eternal Fanship. It’s not a decision I take at all lightly, but I’m getting very excited watching her. Were she to beat Lǐ today, I’m not sure I’d be able to resist her. Were she to lose, I wouldn’t get another chance to see her play until at least the Australian Open 2012.

Lǐ serving 2-2: Sabine netted a forehand return. 15/0. Lǐ’s depth forced Sabine to net a backhand. 30/0. Double fault (second serve long). 30/15. Lǐ hit a short-angled crosscourt just inside the sideline, forcing Sabine to net a forehand. 40/15 (GP #1). Lǐ went to the net, forcing Sabine to hit a down-the-line backhand just wide. Held.

Lisicki serving 2-3: Sabine went to the net and hit a crosscourt forehand volley-winner onto the baseline. 15/0. Sabine hit a deep backhand down the line, just inside the baseline, forcing Lǐ to hit a forehand long. 30/0. First serve out wide forced Lǐ to hit a forehand return long. 40/0 (GP #1). Lǐ sprayed a crosscourt backhand wide. Held.

Lǐ serving 3-3: First serve: Sabine netted a forehand return. 15/0. Sabine’s deep backhand return forced Lǐ to bunt a forehand long. 15/15. Sabine hit a forehand just long. 30/15. Deep first serve out wide – just inside the service-line – forced Sabine to hit a backhand return halfway up the net. 40/15 (GP #1). Sabine backhand just long. Held.

Lisicki serving 3-4 (new balls): Deep first serve forced Lǐ to hit a forehand return long. 15/0. Double fault #1 (second serve into the net). 15/15. Lǐ hit a deep forehand just inside the baseline, forcing Sabine to net a backhand. 15/30. Deep first serve down the middle forced Lǐ to net a forehand. 30/30. Body-jamming serve + off-forehand winner. 40/30 (GP #1). Lǐ forced a floater, and dispatched it with an off-forehand winner back behind Sabine. Deuce #1. Double fault (second serve just wide). Ad Lǐ (BP #1). Deep body-jamming second serve on the service-line forced Lǐ to hit a backhand return just long. Deuce #2. A long, amazing baseline-rally ended with Lǐ running down a dropshot and pushing a deep forehand pass-winner down the line. Ad Lisicki (BP #2). Second serve... Lǐ’s depth forced Sabine to hit a forehand long. Broken.

Lǐ serving 5-3: Deep first serve forced Sabine to bunt a backhand lob-return long. 15/0. Second serve out wide: Sabine ran around her backhand and hit a huge off-forehand return onto the sideline, forcing Lǐ to net a backhand. 15/15. Lǐ forced a floater, but hit a nervy forehand volley just long. 15/30. Sabine hit a deep backhand return just inside the baseline, forcing Lǐ to hit a forehand long. 15/40 (BP #1). First serve out wide: Sabine blasted a makeable forehand return into the net. 30/40 (BP #2). Lǐ hit a down-the-line backhand virtual winner just inside the sideline. Deuce #1. Sabine netted an off-backhand. Ad Lǐ (SP #1). Lǐ forced a short ball, and dispatched it with an easy crosscourt forehand winner. Lǐ won the first set 6-3 at 17:54 BST (31m).


Second set
----------
LǏ _*___*_*@_ 4
LI *_*@*_*__@ 6

Lisicki serving 0-0: Deep first serve down the middle forced Lǐ to lunge wide and earth a backhand return. 15/0. Ace #4: first serve down the middle, just inside the centre-line. 30/0. Sabine ran down a dropshot and hit a deep forehand pass-winner down the line: just inside the baseline. 40/0 (GP #1). Ace: first serve out wide. Held.

Lǐ serving 0-1: Lǐ forced a short floater, and dispatched it with an easy forehand smash-winner. 15/0. Sabine netted a silly dropshot from behind the baseline. 30/0. Ace #2: first serve out wide, just inside the service-line. 40/0 (GP #1). Double fault (wild second serve very long). 40/15 (GP #2). Lǐ forced a short ball, and hit a pinpoint crosscourt backhand winnerr just inside both the baseline and the sideline. Held.

Lisicki serving 1-1: Ace down the middle: right in the corner. 15/0. Lǐ hit an off-forehand deep into the corner, forcing Sabine to earth a one-handed backhand. 15/15. Sabine forced a short ball, and hit a crosscourt forehand dropshot-winner. 30/15. Deep first serve down the middle forced Lǐ to lunge wide and net a forehand return. 40/15 (GP #1). Ace out wide: on the sideline. Held.

Lǐ serving 1-2: Lǐ hit an off-backhand winner. 15/0. Sabine hit a sweet crosscourt forehand onto the baseline, forcing Lǐ to net a forehand. Lǐ wasted a Hawk-Eye challenge. 15/15. Lǐ ran down a dropshot, but hit an off-forehand just wide. 15/30. Sabine hit a deep forehand return just inside the baseline, forcing Lǐ to bunt a forehand long. 15/40 (BP #1). Sabine hit a forehand long, and rolled her eyes. 30/40 (BP #2). Double fault (second serve just long). Broken.

BBC commentator Lindsay Davenport: “All of a sudden, the power of Lisicki is overtaking Lǐ.”

Lisicki serving 3-1: First serve out wide: Lǐ hit a down-the-line forehand return-winner from outside the alley! 0/15. Sabine tried one of her serve + dropshot combinations so familiar from Birmingham but not previously seen in this match, and Lǐ sprayed a crosscourt forehand wide. 15/15. Lǐ forehand long. 30/15. Sabine hit a down-the-line backhand wide. 30/30. Double fault (second serve into the net). 30/40 (BP #1). Sabine’s off-forehand clipped the netcord, drawing Lǐ to the net; Sabine took her time and hit a forehand lob down the line, forcing Lǐ to earth a very awkward high backhand volley. Deuce #1. Lǐ backhand just long. Ad Lisicki (GP #1). Sabine ran down a dropshot, but hit a backhand would-be winner just long, and wasted a Hawk-Eye challenge. Deuce #2. Lǐ cleaned the sideline with a pinpoint off-forehand winner. Ad Lǐ (BP #2). Second serve: Lǐ hit a makeable backhand return long, and muttered. Deuce #3. Second serve: forehand return just long. Ad Lisicki (GP #2). Sabine hit a perfect forehand lob just inside the baseline, forcing Lǐ to net a forehand. Held.

How frustrating for Lǐ that she wasted two break-points and missed two second-serve returns against such a big server!

Lǐ serving 1-4: Lǐ hit a crosscourt backhand deep into the corner, forcing Sabine outside the alley to hit a down-the-line backhand wide. 15/0. Deep first serve: backhand return very long. 30/0. First serve out wide: Sabine caught it early and blasted a laser-like forehand return long. Even her errors can be spectacular! 40/0 (GP #1). Sabine went to the net but netted a backhand volley. Held.

Nick Mullins: “Fabulous contrast between the power of those groundshots, and then icing the most delicate cakes right at the end.”
Lindsay Davenport: “She does possess both of those talents: obviously the pace from Sabine, but also the feel. She frequently pushes her opponents back, and that opens up the front part of the court.”

Lisicki serving 4-2: Ace #8: first serve down the middle, on the centre-line. 15/0. First serve forced a floater, but Sabine from no-man’s-land hit an off-forehand wide. 15/15. Ace: 115mph down the middle. 30/15. Deep first serve down the middle forced Lǐ to hit a forehand return long. 40/15 (GP #1). Second serve... Lǐ hit a crosscourt forehand winner onto the sideline. 40/30 (GP #2). Ace down the middle. Held.

Lǐ serving 2-5 (new balls): Sabine forehand long. 15/0. Lǐ hit a short-angled crosscourt backhand just inside the sideline, forcing Sabine to hit a backhand long. 30/0. First serve out wide forced Sabine to bunt a forehand return long. 40/0 (GP #1). Lǐ forced a floater, and hit an off-forehand drive-volley winner. Held.

Lisicki serving 5-3: A let robbed Sabine of a huge first serve. Second serve: Lǐ’s deep forehand return forced Sabine to net a forehand. 0/15. Sabine forced a short ball, hit a crosscourt forehand winner, pumped her fist and said “c’mon”. 15/15. Double fault (second serve into the net). 30/15. Ace down the middle: 112mph first serve just inside the centre-line. Sabine said “c’mon” again. 30/30. Lǐ’s deep forehand return forced Sabine to net a backhand return. She’s getting nervous. 30/40 (BP #1). Sabine hit a crosscourt forehand deep into the corner, forcing Lǐ to net a forehand, and said “c’mon” again. Deuce #1. First serve out wide: Lǐ hit a down-the-line forehand return-winner onto the baseline. Ad Lǐ (BP #2). Sabine went for an off-forehand back behind Lǐ, but it was just wide. Broken.

Agonising. Just agonising. I’m so excited that I’m just trembling.

Lǐ serving 4-5: Lǐ hit an off-forehand wide. 0/15. A meaty baseline-rally ended with Lǐ dumping a backhand into the net. Good spreading by Sabine. 0/30. Deep first serve down the middle forced Sabine to hit a forehand return long. 15/30. Lǐ went to the net, forcing Sabine to hit a crosscourt backhand lob just wide. 30/30. Lǐ dominated the rally and went to the net behind a deep forehand just inside the baseline, but Sabine hit an amazing crosscourt backhand pass-winner onto the sideline! Lindsay Davenport described it as “the best rally of the tournament”. 30/40 (SP #1 for Lisicki). Lǐ hit a deep down-the-line forehand just inside the baseline, forcing Sabine to hit a backhand long. Deuce #1. First serve out wide forced Sabine to hit a down-the-line forehand long and wide. Ad Lǐ (GP #1). Lǐ hit a crosscourt forehand return just wide. Deuce #2. Sabine tried to break up a hard-hitting baseline-rally with a dropshot, but Lǐ ran it down and hit a deep crosscourt forehand winner onto the baseline. Ad Lǐ (GP #2). Sabine hit a huge crosscourt forehand just inside the sideline, forcing Lǐ to bunt a crosscourt forehand wide. Deuce #3. Ace out wide. Ad Lǐ (GP #3). Lǐ hit a backhand just long. Deuce #4. Lǐ forced a short ball, but hit a crosscourt backhand just wide. But her Hawk-Eye challenge showed that it caught about 50% of the width of the sideline, so they had to replay the point. Second serve... Lǐ sprayed a forehand long, and Sabine said: “Komm jetzt!” Ad Lisicki (SP #2). A fantastic baseline-rally ended with Lǐ hitting a forehand just long. Lisicki won the second set 6-4 at 18:40 BST (second set 45m, match so far 1h17m).


Third set
---------
LǏ _*_*@*_*__@___ 6
LI *_*___*_*@_@*@ 8

Lisicki serving 0-0: First serve + off-backhand winner just inside the sideline. 15/0. Lǐ hit a forehand long. 30/0. First serve out wide: forehand return long. 40/0 (GP #1). Deep second serve out wide, right in the corner, forced Lǐ to mishit a backhand return into the net. Held.

Lǐ serving 0-1: Double fault #4. (second serve just wide of the centre-line). 0/15. Deep first serve forced Sabine to net a forehand return. 15/15. Sabine netted a backhand off a deep backhand from Lǐ. 30/15. Sabine hit a stunning crosscourt backhand winner just inside the sideline. 30/30. Short-angled first serve out wide forced Sabine to net a forehand return. 40/30 (GP #1). First serve out wide: Sabine hit a fantastic short-angled crosscourt backhand to the sideline, forcing Lǐ to stretch wide and bunt a crosscourt backhand wide. Deuce #1. Deep first serve just inside the service-line forced Sabine to net a forehand. Ad Lǐ (GP #2). Deep first serve out wide forced Sabine to net a backhand. Broken.

What a shame. I really felt that Sabine had the breaking of Lǐ there, but Lǐ was just too solid.

Lisicki serving 1-1: Sabine sprayed a crosscourt forehand wide. 0/15. Sabine hit an off-forehand winner back behind Lǐ, and said “komm jetzt”. 15/15. Sabine’s depth forced Lǐ to hit a backhand long. 30/15. Lǐ went to the net, opened up the court and hit an off-backhand volley-winner. 30/30. Sabine’s deep crosscourt forehand induced Lǐ to net a forehand. 40/30 (GP #1). Deep first serve forced Lǐ to hit a down-the-line backhand wide. Held.

Lǐ serving 1-2: First serve out wide + pinpoint crosscourt backhand winner just inside both the baseline and the sideline. 15/0. Lǐ forced Sabine to net a running forehand. 30/0. Sabine’s deep forehand return down the line forced Lǐ to earth a backhand. 30/15. Lǐ walloped a deep crosscourt forehand just inside the baseline, forcing Sabine to hit a forehand long. 40/15 (GP #1). Lǐ forced a short ball, but sprayed a WILD down-the-line backhand wide and very long. 40/30 (GP #2). Deep first serve down the middle forced Sabine to earth a forehand return. Held.

Lisicki serving 2-2: Ace #12: first serve down the middle, on the centre-line. 15/0. Lǐ’s deep crosscourt backhand return forced Sabine outside the alley to hit a backhand wide. 15/15. Second serve... Sabine netted a backhand off a deep ball. 15/30. Lǐ played a great spreading rally, finishing with a crosscourt forehand deep into the corner, forcing Sabine to net a running forehand. 15/40 (BP #1). Lǐ forehand just long. 30/40 (BP #2). Second serve on the service-line: Lǐ hit a crosscourt backhand onto the sideline, forcing Sabine outside the alley to hit a down-the-line backhand wide. Broken.

Lucie Šafářová went a break down in the third set (1-2*) just a few moments before Sabine did. It speaks volumes about the way I now feel about Sabine that I’m more upset about /her/ being a break down.

Lǐ serving 3-2: Deep first serve out wide, on the sideline, forced Sabine to hit a forehand return just long. 15/0. Lǐ on the third stroke hit an off-backhand winner. 30/0. Deep first serve: Sabine netted a tough but makeable backhand return. 40/0 (GP #1). Deep first serve out wide: backhand return long. Held.

Lisicki serving 2-4 (new balls): Ace #13: first serve out wide. 15/0. Sabine forced a short ball, and dispatched it with an off-forehand winner. 30/0. Ace #14: deep first serve out wide. 40/0 (GP #1). Ace #15: another deep first serve out wide. Held.

A brilliant game by Sabine after her recent disappointments, but she still has the major problem of being a break down to solve...

Lǐ serving 4-3: Sabine off-backhand wide. 15/0. Sabine hit a deep forehand onto the baseline that was called long, but the umpire overruled it as good, and Lǐ’s Hawk-Eye challenge confirmed it, so they had to replay the point. Lǐ on the third stroke hit a forehand return long, but she challenged it: Hawk-Eye showed that it caught about 1% of the breadth of the baseline!! So again they had to replay the point. Lǐ’s crosscourt forehand forced Sabine to net a forehand. 30/0. Sabine hit a pinpoint off-backhand winner onto the sideline, and said “c’mon!”. 30/15. Sabine’s deep forehand down the middle induced Lǐ to hit a crosscourt forehand just wide. 30/30. First serve out wide: forehand return long. 40/30 (GP #1). Sabine backhand long. Held.

Lindsay Davenport: “Lǐ so far has been able to weather the storm of Lisicki, and the errors are back in the German’s game.”

Lisicki serving 3-5: Sabine went to the net, but didn’t close in properly, netted a forehand drop-volley, and yelled in frustration. 15/0. Lǐ backhand long. 15/15. First serve out wide: Lǐ hit an amazing forehand winner down the line. 15/30. Sabine forced a short ball, but dumped a forehand into the net. 15/40 (MP #1 for Lǐ). Deep 122mph first serve forced Lǐ to net a forehand return. 30/40 (MP #2 for Lǐ). Deep 123mph first serve down the middle forced Lǐ to net a forehand. Deuce #1. Ace: 124mph first serve down the middle. Ad Lisicki (GP #1). Ace down the middle. Held.

Amazing serves from match-point down: 121 mph, 122 mph, 123 mph, 124 mph!

Lǐ serving 5-4: Lǐ forehand long. 0/15. Lǐ hit a nervy off-backhand wide. 0/30. Lǐ, driven wide, hit a running forehand winner down the line. 15/30. Deep first serve down the middle forced Sabine to mishit a crosscourt forehand return wide. 30/30. Lǐ backhand just long. 30/40 (BP #1). First serve out wide just wide. Second serve... with my heart feeling like it was about to explode, Sabine’s deep forehand forced Lǐ to net a forehand. Broken.

Lisicki serving 5-5: Sabine forehand long. 0/15. Lǐ’s depth forced Sabine to hit a forehand halfway up the net. 0/30. Sabine ran down a dropshot and hit a forehand winner down the line. She got a huge cheer from the crowd, and a description of “magical stuff” from BBC commentator Nick Mullins. 15/30. Sabine hit a deep, hard backhand onto the baseline, forcing Lǐ to hit a backhand long. 30/30. Lǐ forced a short ball and hit a crosscourt forehand winner. 30/40 (BP #1). First serve forced a floater, but sadly, Sabine hit a crosscourt forehand drive-volley just wide. Broken.

Nick Mullins: “A critical mistake, and a little skip of fury from Sabine Lisicki – she knew what she’d done. All the work that’d she put into breaking Lǐ,Nŕ in the previous game has evaporated in this Wimbledon greenhouse.”

Lǐ serving 6-5: A meaty rally ended with Lǐ netting a forehand. 0/15. Sabine hit a deep backhand return down the line, forcing Lǐ to hit a forehand long. Lǐ looked anxious and muttered. 0/30. Second serve... Lǐ hit an off-forehand wide. 0/40 (BP #1). Sabine hit a deep forehand down the middle, forcing Lǐ to hit a crosscourt forehand wide. Broken.

Lisicki serving 6-6: First serve out wide: Lǐ hit a stunning forehand return-winner down the line. 0/15. Sabine’s depth forced Lǐ to spray a forehand long. 15/15. Sabine hit a pinpoint off-backhand winner onto the sideline, stood frozen as she waited to see if it was in, and celebrated with a fist-pump and a smile. 30/15. Deep first serve down the middle forced Lǐ to net a forehand. 40/15 (GP #1). Lǐ hit a forehand long, and Sabine reacted with a joyful shriek of “komm jetzt!” Held.

That game may well have been the most important. She’s broken Lǐ the last two times, so there’s no doubt who has the psychological edge going into the next game...

Lǐ serving 6-7: Lǐ netted a forehand off a ball that sat up nicely for her. 0/15. Sabine forehand long. 15/15. Lǐ on the third stroke sprayed a crosscourt forehand wide. 15/30. Lǐ hit a huge short-angled crosscourt backhand onto the sideline, but Sabine stretched wide and squeezed a backhand onto the baseline, forcing Lǐ to hit a crosscourt forehand wide. 15/40 (MP #1 for Lisicki). Lǐ forced a short ball, and hit a deep crosscourt forehand that forced Sabine to hit a forehand lob long. 30/40 (MP #2 for Lisicki). Ace down the middle. Deuce #1. Lǐ hit a crosscourt backhand long. Ad Lisicki (MP #3). Lǐ hit a down-the-line forehand wide. Lisicki won 3-6 6-4 8-6 at 19:35 (third set 54m, match 2h11m).

Sabine emitted a shriek of joy, and dropped to her knees. She looked absolutely delighted – more than I can describe in words, but she has the most amazing smile. As she sat in her chair after the match, she was crying with joy, just as she was in the Birmingham presentation-ceremony.


Sabine’s BBC interview
----------------------

Phil Jones: “Sabine, congratulations. What a performance, what a finish! We saw the emotion there on the court. Can you put it into words for us?”

Sabine: “No! <laughing> My emotions are... over the moon. It’s just amazing.”

Phil Jones: “I know so many people watching around the world will know your story: how badly injured you were, falling out of the top 200 in the world. Now you’re on the way back, quite obviously, but how dark were those days?”

Sabine: “It was very, very hard. I really had to start from zero, after being on crutches for seven weeks. So it just means so much to me, also winning the title in Birmingham, and getting the wild card here – I appreciate it so, so much. To be back in Wimbledon; it’s just a place that I love so much, so I just enjoy it so much.”

Phil Jones: “And now to have this moment, beating the French Open champion in front of this amazing crowd that were loving the tennis.”

Sabine: “They really helped me, also when I was two match-points down, the crowd was cheering. I didn’t know it could get so loud in there! So it was just amazing, and I just loved it out there. The support was just amazing.”

Phil Jones: “Well, your incredible story, you must now think anything is possible, surely.”

Sabine: “Oh, definitely. I just wanted to enjoy myself here, and that’s what I’m doing, and that’s what I told myself in the third set when I was down a break, and she was serving for the match. I was just fighting, and I wanted to stay longer out there! <laughing>”

Phil Jones: “You stayed longer. You won. Congratulations. Brilliant performance.”

Sabine: “Thank you so much.”

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
__________________
My Eternal Fanship: 1. Monica Seles; 2. Мария Шарапова (‘Maria Sharapova’); 3. Daniela Hantuchová; 4. Jelena Dokić; 5. Iva Majoli; 6. Karina Habšudová; 7. Вера Звонарёва (‘Vera Zvonarëva’); 8. Nicole Vaidišová; 9. Анна Чакветадзе (‘Anna Chakvetadze’); 10. Lucie Šafářová; 11. Ирода Туляганова (‘Iroda Tulyaganova’); 12. Magdaléna Rybáriková; 13. Sabine Lisicki

Last edited by andrewbroad : Jul 7th, 2011 at 02:31 AM. Reason: edit Title
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Old Jun 29th, 2011, 04:14 PM   #2
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Andrew's fourth-round TV-report

=================
THE CHAMPIONSHIPS (Wimbledon, London, England; grass; Major)
=================
Contents
--------

1. Third-round mini-report: Lisicki v Doi
2. Fourth-round TV-report: Lisicki v Cetkovská
3. Women's Doubles: Second-round mini-report

-----------------------------------------
1. Third-round mini-report: Lisicki v Doi (Saturday 25th June 2011)
-----------------------------------------

+ Sabine Lisicki [WC,EF] d. Misaki Doi [Q], 6-4 6-2

All that the BBC televised of Sabine this time was:
• her set-point at 0:0 *5-4 Ad: a deep, body-jamming serve that forced the left-handed Doi to hit an off-backhand return long and wide;
• her match-point at 1:0 *5-2 40/15: serve out wide – on the sideline – forced a short crosscourt forehand return; Sabine hit a short down-the-line forehand that forced Doi to run way behind the baseline and hit a forehand into the bottom of the net.

Archive of point-by-point scores for Saturday:
http://www.tennisforum.com/showpost.php?p=19799477

----------------------------------------------
2. Fourth-round TV-report: Lisicki v Cetkovská (Monday 27th June 2011)
----------------------------------------------

+ Sabine Lisicki [WC,EF] d. Petra Cetkovská, 7-6 (7/3) 6-1

Sabine struggled with her footing on a slippery Court 12. She went *2-4 down in the first set but broke back for *4-4, although I missed that part of the match due to a serious malfunction in the BBC's Red Button service.

Sabine was *2/3 down in the tiebreak, but took control with a crosscourt forehand pass-winner, a pinpoint forehand winner down Cetkovská's forehand sideline, two deep service-winners and an error-forcing backhand return to extend her record in tiebreaks this year to a remarkable 12:1 (going into the quarter-finals, the last tiebreak that Sabine lost was at Auckland in January 2011).

In the second set, Sabine moved much better, had better depth and control on her groundstrokes, and was thinking more clearly, while Cetkovská started limping and couldn't move properly.

Sabine played an excellent service-game at 1:0 *1-0, holding to love with an ace, a backhand dropshot-winner and a serve-and-forehand-volley winner. She broke again for *3-0 with an off-backhand winner, held for 4-0* with a forehand smash-winner and an ace.

Cetkovská played one last good game to hold for 0:1 1-4*, but Sabine held to love with the help of a forehand pass-winner down the line, reached match-point with a forehand dropshot-winner, and converted it with an error-forcing backhand down the middle.


First set
---------
LISICKI *_*___*@*_*_T 7(7)
CETKOVS _*_*@*___*_*_ 6(3)

The match was first on Court 12. Cetkovská won the toss and elected to receive, and the match started at 12:11 BST. It was a very hot day - 40°C in the sun, apparently.

BBC commentator Louise Pleming: "The motivation-level for both of these young ladies is incredibly high, because they've come from a bit of a distance away on the WTA - both around the #200 mark. I saw Sabine just recently at ITF Reggio Emilia, and she actually got cramps. She'd won a few matches; she was very disappointed; she should have won the [semi-final] match, but she got cramps, and just not quite the physical level she was needing at the time. And she just said, ‘I'm done with these tournaments. I'm not going to be here much longer anyway - I'm ready to go.’ And she really said that with a sense of certainty."

I've actually been ploughing through ITF entry-lists looking for Sabine in recent months, but I'm glad I won't have to do that for her any more, because it was becoming very tedious due to the large number of pages that my finely-tuned Google searches for her were returning.

Lisicki serving 0-0: Second serve out wide: Cetkovská mishit a crosscourt forehand wide. 15/0. Cetkovská hit a deep backhand onto the baseline, forcing Sabine to hit a backhand long. 15/15. Sabine hit a pinpoint backhand winner down the line. 30/15. Deep first serve forced Cetkovská to hit a forehand return long. 40/15 (GP #1). First serve out wide - on the sideline - forced Cetkovská to hit a forehand return long. Held.

Louise Pleming: "Terrific variation on that serve. It's not just big and flat; she has great slice on it. She really can shorten up the power and find the angles in the service-box there. She's got a lot of things that she can pull out with that serve."

Cetkovská serving 0-1: First serve out wide forced a short return, but Cetkovská sprayed a backhand long. 0/15. Cetkovská netted a forehand off a deep return. 0/30. Body-jamming first serve: Sabine netted an off-backhand return. 15/30. Deep first serve down the middle forced Sabine to mishit a forehand lob-return over the back fence. 30/30. Deep first serve out wide forced Sabine to hit a forehand return long. 40/30 (GP #1). First serve out wide forced a short return, which Cetkovská dispatched with a crosscourt forehand winner. Held.

Two general observations from that game:
• Rather than going for broke on return at this stage, Sabine is testing her opponent's capabilities by getting the ball in to a depth.
• Sabine is struggling to handle Cetkovská's well-placed serves, just as Ana Ivanović did in the previous round.

Lisicki serving 1-1: Sabine opened up the court for an off-forehand winner down the line. 15/0. Cetkovská went to the net, but Sabine hit a well-controlled short-angled crosscourt backhand pass-winner. 30/0. First serve: forehand return just long. 40/0 (GP #1). Second serve out wide: Cetkovská netted a makeable forehand return. Held.

BBC commentator Matt Chilton: "Some of the power looks effortless from Lisicki. She's such a strong woman. The effect is fantastic."

That's an intriguing paradox, as most strong women generate their power with a huge physical effort. But Sabine's power comes more from timing than muscle. She has thick strong legs, but doesn't have bulging muscles in her arms like Serena Williams, Amélie Mauresmo or her doubles-partner Samantha Stosur.

Actually, I think the thickness of Sabine's legs is an optical illusion caused by the ugly great braces that she has to wear on both ankles, as her legs look perfectly normal and beautiful in off-court photos.

The bottom line is that Sabine is very strong but very attractive - as a player, as a person, and as a woman.

Cetkovská serving 1-2: Cetkovská crosscourt forehand wide. 0/15. Cetkovská's depth forced Sabine to hit a backhand wide. 15/15. Ace #1: first serve down the middle. 30/15. First serve down the middle: Sabine's fast, low-bouncing off-forehand return forced Cetkovská to net a backhand. Sabine said "komm jetzt". 30/30. Deep first serve out wide forced Sabine to hit a forehand long. Sabine thought the serve was long, but there's no Hawk-Eye on Court 12. 40/30 (GP #1). Sabine forced a sitter, and dispatched it with an off-forehand winner. Matt Chilton: "That forehand is one of the biggest in the women's game." Deuce #1. Cetkovská hit a crosscourt forehand deep into the corner, forcing Sabine to hit a forehand long. Ad Cetkovská (GP #2). Cetkovská netted a silly forehand dropshot off a deep return. Deuce #2. Ad Cetkovská (GP #3). Held.

At 2-1* Deuce #2 (12:23 BST), my Humax automatically returned to the BBC's Sport Multiscreen, and I couldn't return to the match despite spending the next 20 minutes frantically going back and forth between the Multiscreen and every digit on my remote control, none of which mapped to this match despite it still appearing on the menu.

Cetkovská serving 1-2: 0/15. 15/15. 30/15. 30/30. 40/30 (GP #1). Deuce #1. Ad Cetkovská (GP #2). Deuce #2. Ad Cetkovská (GP #3). Held.

Lisicki serving 2-2: 15/15. 15/30. 30/30. 30/40 (BP #1). Broken.

Cetkovská serving 3-2: 15/0. 30/0. 40/0 (GP #1). Held.

Lisicki serving 2-4: 15/0. 30/0. 40/0 (GP #1). Held.

Cetkovská serving 4-3 (new balls): 0/15. 0/30. 0/40 (BP #1). Broken.

Lisicki serving 4-4: 0/15. 15/15. 15/30. 30/30. Held.

Cetkovská serving 4-5: 0/15. 15/15. 30/15. 30/30. 40/30 (GP #1). Held.

Finally, I managed to access the match in Other Satellite mode on my backup TV. Thanks a lot, BBC.

Lisicki serving 5-5: Deep second serve: Cetkovská hit a backhand return long. 15/0. Sabine hit a down-the-line sliced backhand long and wide. 15/15. First serve + off-backhand winner. Simon Reed: "The forehand not working as well as normal, but the backhand is starting to motor." 30/15. Ace #5: first down the middle. Sabine said "komm jetzt". 40/15 (GP #1). Ace #6: 123mph first serve down the middle. Held.

BBC commentator Louise Pleming said that when Sabine's serve starts clicking, the rest of her game goes up too.

Cetkovská serving 5-6: Sabine hit an "ugly" off-forehand dropshot wide. 15/0. Sabine hit a crosscourt backhand return deep into the corner + crosscourt forehand just inside the sideline, forcing Cetkovská to net a forehand. 15/15. First serve out wide + off-backhand winner back behind Sabine, who slipped. 30/15. Cetkovská drew Sabine to the net with a dropshot, and hit a forehand pass-winner down the line. 40/15 (GP #1). Second serve: Sabine hit a backhand return-winner down Cetkovská's backhand sideline. 40/30 (GP #2). Second serve out wide: Sabine netted a makeable backhand return. Held.

Sabine is really struggling with her footing on this slippery court.

6-6 tiebreak (all scores Lisicki/Cetkovská):
{*0/0} Cetkovská forehand long.
{1/0*} Sabine's deep off-forehand forced Cetkovská to net a sliced backhand. Sabine yelled "c'mon".
{2/0*} Ace #2: first serve out wide, deep in the corner.
{*2/1} Cetkovská's deep crosscourt forehand forced Sabine to net a forehand. Simon Reed: "Still not really flowing."
{*2/2} Second serve... a long baseline-rally ended with Cetkovská forcing a short ball and dispatching it with an off-forehand winner onto the sideline.
{2/3*} Sabine ran down a dropshot, hit a crosscourt backhand dropshot, and ran down Cetkovská's short ball down the line to hit a crosscourt forehand pass-winner.
{3/3*} In a weird and wonderful rally, Sabine ran down a dropshot and hit a deep forehand down the line; Cetkovská hit a short lob; Sabine backstepped and hit a high off-backhand volley; Cetkovská ran it down and hit a defensive forehand lob that miraculously landed just inside the sideline, but Sabine hit a pinpoint forehand winner down Cetkovská's forehand sideline as Cetkovská ran the wrong way and slipped.
{*4/3} Deep first serve down the middle forced Cetkovská to net a forehand return.
{*5/3} Deep first serve down the middle forced Cetkovská to bunt a backhand lob long.
{6/3*: SP #1 for Lisicki} Second-serve let... Sabine's deep, body-jamming backhand return induced Cetkovská to dump a forehand into the net. Lisicki won the first set 7-6 at 12:57 BST (45m).

Simon Reed: "By Lisicki's standards, what she's shown in the last few weeks, that wasn't pretty."


Second set
----------
LISICKI @*@*_*@ 6
CETKOVS ____*__ 1

Cetkovská took a bathroom-break, and so they didn't start playing the second set until 13:01 BST. Sabine sat with an ice-pack draped around her neck during that four-minute delay.

Cetkovská serving 0-0: Deep first serve induced Sabine to hit a backhand return long. 15/0. First serve: forehand return long. 30/0. Cetkovská netted a forehand. 30/15. Sabine's deep crosscourt forehand forced Cetkovská to hit a forehand long. 30/30. Sabine hit a forehand return on the baseline, but the umpire overruled it as good (Cetkovská reacted with a cute high-piched yelp), so they had to replay the point. Sabine went to the net behind a sliced backhand down the line, forcing Cetkovská to net a forehand. 30/40 (BP #1). Second serve... Sabine on the fourth stroke hit a big crosscourt forehand winner deep into the corner. Broken.

Louise Pleming said that Sabine's movement, depth and control had improved since the first set, and that she was now thinking more clearly.

Lisicki serving 1-0: Ace #7: first serve down the middle. 15/0. Sabine hit a backhand dropshot-winner. 30/0. Cetkovská netted a backhand. 40/0 (GP #1). First serve out wide + crosscourt forehand volley-winner. Held.

Cetkovská serving 0-2: First serve: forehand return long. 15/0. Cetkovská hit a crosscourt forehand wide. 15/15. Double fault #4 (second serve into the net). 15/30. Cetkovská netted a wrong-footing forehand that made Sabine slip. 15/40 (BP #1). First serve out wide: Sabine hit an off-backhand winner. Broken.

Simon Reed observed Cetkovská limping a bit as she walked to the changeover.

Lisicki serving 3-0 (new balls): Cetkovská hit a forehand that died away on Sabine, forcing her to hit a backhand half-volley wide. 0/15. Sabine forced a floater and hit a forehand smash-winner, which was especially impressive as she had to backstep. 15/15. Sabine got away with a very short second serve as Cetkovská hit a backhand return long. 30/15. Cetkovská hit a crosscourt forehand to the sideline, forcing Cetkovská to hit a forehand long. 40/15 (GP #1). Ace #8: 117mph first serve down the middle. Held.

Cetkovská serving 0-4: First serve out wide: Sabine hit an off-backhand return-winner, but Cetkovská's movement did seem impeded. 0/15. Cetkovská on the third stroke dumped a forehand into the net. 0/30. Cetkovská forced a short floater, and dispatched it with an easy forehand smash-winner. 15/30. Sabine netted an off-forehand, which made Cetkovská slip. 30/30. Cetkovská forced a short ball and hit a pinpoint crosscourt forehand winner just inside the sideline. 40/30 (GP #1). Sabine backhand just long. Held.

Lisicki serving 4-1: First serve out wide forced Cetkovská to hit a forehand long. 15/0. Sabine hit a forehand pass-winner down the line - her 25th winner - and said "c'mon". 30/0. First serve out wide induced Cetkovská to blast a crosscourt forehand return very wide. 40/0 (GP #1). Cetkovská sprayed a crosscourt forehand wide off a poor dropshot from Sabine. Held.

Cetkovská serving 1-5: Double fault (second serve into the net). 0/15. Cetkovská dumped an off-forehand into the bottom of the net. 0/30. Cetkovská hit a forehand dropshot from the baseline, but Sabine replied with a forehand dropshot-winner. 0/40 (MP #1 for Lisicki). Sabine's body-jamming backhand down the middle induced Cetkovská to net a forehand. Lisicki won 7-6 6-1 at 13:20 BST (second set 23m, match 1h08m).

Sabine looked happy when she won, but only in a routine-win kind of way, in contrast to her emotional reaction to beating Lǐ,Nŕ in the second round.

Virginia Wade, while commentating for the BBC on Sharapova v Péng, said: "Lisicki is really, in my mind, the excitement of the tournament: what a nice girl, and what a great game she has! When you're serving at over 120 mph, it brings gasps to the audience."

--------------------------------------------
3. Women's Doubles: Second-round mini-report (Monday 27th June 2011)
--------------------------------------------

+ Sabine Lisicki [EF]/Samantha Stosur d. VANIA KING/YAROSLAVA SHVEDOVA [1], 6-4 6-3

I saw the match-point on BBC One: Sabine hit a deep first serve down the middle, on the service-line, forcing Shvedova to hit a forehand return very long.

Archive of point-by-point scores for Monday:
http://www.tennisforum.com/showpost.php?p=19813732

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
__________________
My Eternal Fanship: 1. Monica Seles; 2. Мария Шарапова (‘Maria Sharapova’); 3. Daniela Hantuchová; 4. Jelena Dokić; 5. Iva Majoli; 6. Karina Habšudová; 7. Вера Звонарёва (‘Vera Zvonarëva’); 8. Nicole Vaidišová; 9. Анна Чакветадзе (‘Anna Chakvetadze’); 10. Lucie Šafářová; 11. Ирода Туляганова (‘Iroda Tulyaganova’); 12. Magdaléna Rybáriková; 13. Sabine Lisicki
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Andrew's quarter-final TV-report

=================
THE CHAMPIONSHIPS (Wimbledon, London, England; grass; Major)
=================
Contents
--------

1. Quarter-final TV-report: Lisicki v Bartoli
2. Women’s Doubles third-round TV-report: Lisicki/Stosur v Cîrstea/Morita

---------------------------------------------
1. Quarter-final TV-report: Lisicki v Bartoli (Tuesday 28th June 2011)
---------------------------------------------

+ Sabine Lisicki [WC,EF] d. MARION BARTOLI [9,DF,S], 6-4 6-7 (4/7) 6-1

Played under the Centre Court roof during a thunderstorm that initially made Sabine jump in fright, and at times made the sounds of tennis inaudible, this was another great match involving Sabine to go with her Birmingham quarter-final against Magdaléna Rybáriková and her second round here against Lǐ,Nŕ.

Well, not quite up to the level of those two matches, as exhaustion caught up with Bartoli in the third set, as I knew it would after a three-set marathon against Flavia Pennetta in the heat, and a tough match against Serena Williams without a day off to recover.

Adding to that the facts that Bartoli was ill, and that she uses up so much energy playing two matches at the same time – an imaginary match between the points of the real match – once Sabine had the first set under her belt, I never doubted for a moment that she would be the one smiling at the end.

Not even when she got overexcited at 6-4 *5-4 (having played an absolutely brilliant match up to that point), wasting three nonconsecutive match-points in that game (one by netting a dropshot at the end of the best rally of the match), and being broken back on a wild double fault.

Not even when I saw how very anxious she looked at the 1:0 *5-6 changeover (she played an excellent next game, holding to 15 with a forehand smash-winner and an off-backhand dropshot-winner).

Not even when she dropped the second set on a tiebreak to hand the momentum over to Bartoli, with two of Sabine’s biggest weapons – her first serve and her dropshot – both going AWOL.

Sabine came through a tricky service-game at the start of the third set, choking from 40/0 to Deuce, but she pulled herself together with a pinpoint forehand winner down the line, and converted her fourth game-point.

Bartoli, now gasping with exhaustion, was broken to 15 on a double fault, then Sabine held to love with a heads-up service-game for 1:1 3-0*.

Bartoli dug deep to hold for 1-3* after a ten-minute game of five deuces, in which she needed seven game-points.

But Sabine dominated the rest of the match, hitting forehand winners in all directions, including a crosscourt one just inside the sideline on her fourth match-point, which came almost an hour after her third.

Technically, it was another amazing performance by Sabine, but her failure to close out the second set despite *5-4 and three match-points is a worry.

Sabine has already blown bigger leads than that and actually lost matches: to Anastasia Rodionova at the US Open 2009 after leading 1:1 5-3 with two match-points, and to Vera Zvonarëva at the French Open 2011 after leading 1:1 5-2* 40/30* – although in the latter case, she was suffering from cramping and dizziness, and had to be carried off on a stretcher. She had to be carried off in a wheelchair in the former case, as she sprained her left ankle (the one she would injure horrifically at Indian Wells 2010) on Rodionova’s match-point.

Sabine discovered that the cramping and dizziness was due to gluten-intolerance. Now that she’s on a gluten-free diet, she’s going from strength to strength; she’s won 11 consecutive matches since.

Sabine is through to her first Major semi-final, and is the second wild card ever to reach a Wimbledon semi-final (the first being Zhčng,Jié in 2008). Sabine definitely has the game to upset Maria Sharapova, especially if Maria’s serve goes AWOL again, but Sabine wouldn’t get away with such a choke as she had against Bartoli.

Sabine may now wish to emulate Goran Ivanišević’s unique achievement of winning Wimbledon as a wild card, but the “ck” in her surname would leave her one letter shy of matching his unique achievement of being the only player to win Wimbledon whose name consists of alternating consonants and vowels across the concatenation of given name and family-name.


First set
---------
LISICKI @_@*_*_*_* 6
BARTOLI _@__*_*_*_ 4

The match was first on Centre Court, and was played under the roof as it was raining. After a brief delay, the match started at 13:25 BST.

Bartoli serving 0-0: Sabine hit a forehand dropshot-winner. 0/15. Sabine opened up the court and hit a forehand winner down the line. 0/30. Sabine hit an amazing forehand winner down the line, clipping the outside edge of the sideline. 0/40 (BP #1). Double fault (second serve into the net). Broken.

An amazing start by Sabine. BBC commentator Lindsay Davenport contrasted it with Serena Williams’s performance against Bartoli yesterday, when she couldn’t take the initiative against Bartoli.

Sabine serving 1-0: First serve out wide forced Bartoli to net a forehand return. 15/0. Huge deep first serve out wide forced Bartoli to earth a backhand return. 30/0. Bartoli’s deep off-forehand return forced Sabine to earth a backhand. 30/15. There was a loud thunderclap, which made Sabine jump, then had her smiling and laughing. Bartoli hit a deep forehand return just inside the baseline, forcing Sabine to hit a backhand long. 30/30. Bartoli’s deep crosscourt forehand forced Sabine to hit a forehand long. 30/40 (BP #1). Sabine saved it with a short off-backhand winner back behind Bartoli. Deuce #1. More thunder... Sabine hit a backhand just long. Ad Bartoli (BP #2). Bartoli hit a deep forehand onto the baseline, forcing Sabine to net a forehand. Broken.

I think the thunder really distracted Sabine there. She stopped hitting the ball properly for a couple of points. A tennis-player’s natural instinct when she hears thunder is to run for cover!

Bartoli serving 1-1: Body-jamming first serve forced Sabine to net an off-backhand return. 15/0. Bartoli ran down a dropshot and hit a short-angled crosscourt forehand, forcing Sabine to bunt a forehand dropshot just wide. 30/0. Bartoli crosscourt forehand just wide. 30/15. Bartoli netted a forehand. 30/30. Bartoli forehand long. 30/40 (BP #1). Sabine hit a pinpoint off-forehand winner just inside the sideline. Broken.

Sabine is now hitting the ball well again, so now that she’s used to the thunder, I fancy her chances.

Sabine serving 2-1: Sabine hit a crosscourt forehand deep into the corner, forcing Bartoli to hit a forehand long. 15/0. Bartoli’s depth induced Sabine to hit a backhand long. 15/15. First serve out wide clipped the outside edge of the sideline for an ace – Sabine had to challenge it. 30/15. Deep first serve forced Bartoli to hit a forehand return long. 40/15 (GP #1). Sabine hit a rolled crosscourt forehand winner back behind Bartoli. Held.

I’m really enjoying watching Sabine play in this match. Centre Court seems to bring out the best in her.

Bartoli serving 1-3: Sabine hit a forehand onto the baseline to force a short ball, and hit a crosscourt forehand dropshot-winner that didn’t have to be particularly good to be a winner against Bartoli. 30/0. First serve out wide: Sabine hit an off-forehand winner. 30/0. Sabine hit a deep crosscourt forehand return onto the baseline, but Bartoli picked it off with an amazing half-volley forehand winner down the line. 30/15. Sabine netted a backhand. 30/30. Bartoli forced a short floater, and dispatched it with an off-backhand drive-volley winner. 40/30 (GP #1). Sabine’s backhand return clipped the netcord and dropped dead for a winner. Deuce #1. Sabine crosscourt backhand just wide. Ad Bartoli (GP #2). Bartoli’s deep crosscourt backhand forced Sabine to net a backhand. Bartoli said “allez”. Held.

Now Bartoli’s bringing some quality of her own to this match.

Sabine serving 3-2: Bartoli netted a backhand. 15/0. First serve out wide: Sabine thought she heard a let, but she was wrong, and just let Bartoli’s crosscourt backhand return go past for a winner. 15/15. Ace #2: first serve out wide. Sabine said “komm jetzt”. 30/15. Deep first serve down the middle forced Bartoli to net a forehand. 40/15 (GP #1). Sabine netted a backhand dropshot – not the right time to try one, as Bartoli would have reached it easily. 40/30 (GP #1). Deep first serve down the middle forced Bartoli to net a backhand return. Held.

The thunderstorm is continuing, and the rain is beating down noisily on the Centre Court roof. I’ve never heard anything like it in my 19 years of watching tennis. At least I don’t have to check if play has resumed on the outside courts yet!

Bartoli serving 2-4: Sabine hit a deep backhand down the line, forcing Bartoli to earth a forehand. 0/15. Sabine’s depth forced Bartoli to hit an off-backhand wide. 0/30. Deep first serve forced Sabine to hit a down-the-line forehand just wide. 15/30. Bartoli forced a floater and hit a crosscourt forehand smash-winner onto the sideline; it was called wide, but Bartoli challenged it to show that it caught about 1% of the breadth of the sideline! 30/30. Bartoli forced a floater and hit a forehand smash-winner. 40/30 (GP #1). Deep first serve down the middle forced a floater; Bartoli let it bounce and hit an error-forcing forehand smash. Held.

A brilliant game by Bartoli. Sabine is still in the driving-seat, but she can’t afford to falter on serve now.

Sabine serving 4-3 (new balls): Ace #3: first serve out wide, deep in the corner. 15/0. Sabine, driven wide, mishit a crosscourt backhand wide. 15/15. Sabine netted a backhand. 15/30. Ace #4: deep first serve down the middle. 30/30. Sabine drew Bartoli to the net with a dropshot, then hit a dipping ball at her feet, forcing Bartoli to hit a backhand half-volley wide. 40/30 (GP #1). First serve + TWO-HANDED forehand dropshot-winner! Bartoli’s not entirely the only Selesian in this match! Held.

The rain is now so loud that I can barely hear the ball being struck. If the players can’t hear it, then that’s taking away one of their key instincts.

Bartoli serving 3-5: Body-jamming first serve out wide forced Sabine to net an off-backhand return. 15/0. Bartoli’s depth forced Sabine to hit a backhand long. 30/0. Bartoli forehand long. 30/15. Sabine forced a floater and hit an off-forehand smash-winner. 30/30. Bartoli hit a down-the-line forehand just wide. 40/30 (SP #1 for Lisicki). Deep first serve down the middle forced Sabine to hit a crosscourt forehand wide. Deuce #1. Double fault #2 (second serve into the net). Ad Lisicki (SP #2). Deep first serve down the middle forced Sabine to net an off-forehand. Deuce #2. Second serve out wide: Sabine netted a makeable forehand return. Ad Bartoli (GP #1). Sabine went to the net, but mishit a crosscourt forehand volley just wide. Held.

A bit of mental baggage for Sabine with that missed set-point. But the BBC commentators said that Bartoli was “flat” emotionally, and “not taking it on against another big hitter”.

Chris Bradnam: “If the evil twin is going to start talking, it’s right now for Lisicki.”

Lisicki serving 5-4: Sabine netted a backhand. 0/15. Bartoli netted a forehand off a crosscourt forehand dropshot from Sabine. 15/15. Deep, body-jamming serve forced Bartoli to earth a backhand. 30/15. Deep first serve out wide forced Bartoli to hit a backhand long. Sabine pumped her fist and said “komm jetzt”. 40/15 (SP #3 for Lisicki). First serve out wide + short-angled off-backhand winner back behind Bartoli: on the sideline. Lisicki won the first set 6-4 at 14:08 BST (43m).

A wonderful first set by Sabine, but there have been no breaks since the third game, so I expect a tight second set.


Second set
----------
LISICKI _*__@*_*@__*_ 6(4)
BARTOLI *_*@__*__@*_T 7(7)

Bartoli serving 0-0: Bartoli forced a short ball and hit a crosscourt backhand winner just inside the sideline. 15/0. Sabine crosscourt forehand just wide. 30/0. First serve out wide: Sabine hit an off-backhand return-winner deep into the corner. 30/15. Bartoli’s depth forced Sabine to hit a backhand long. 40/15 (GP #1). First serve out wide forced Sabine to net a forehand. Held.

Lisicki serving 0-1: Sabine forced a short return, and hit a sweet off-forehand dropshot-winner. 15/0. Sabine backhand long. 15/15. Bartoli backhand long. 30/15. First serve + crosscourt forehand dropshot-winner. 40/15 (GP #1). Bartoli hit a crosscourt backhand onto the sideline, forcing Sabine to hit a crosscourt backhand wide. 40/30 (GP #2). Ace down the middle. Held.

The thunder and rain have really quietened down now.

Bartoli serving 1-1: First serve down the middle induced Sabine to net a backhand return. 15/0. Bartoli’s depth induced Sabine to hit a forehand long. 30/0. Body-jamming first serve forced Sabine to hit a crosscourt forehand wide. 40/0 (GP #1). Double fault #3 (second serve just long). 40/15 (GP #2). Bartoli’s depth forced Sabine to hit a forehand long. Bartoli said “allez! allez!” Held.

Lisicki serving 1-2: Sabine’s crosscourt forehand clipped the netcord and fell wide. 0/15. Bartoli went to the net, but Sabine hit a perfect crosscourt backhand lob-winner over Bartoli’s head and just inside the baseline. 15/15. Deep first serve out wide forced Bartoli to net a forehand return. 30/15. Sabine on the third stroke hit a down-the-line backhand wide. 30/30. Deep body-jamming 95mph second serve out wide forced Bartoli to hit a forehand long. 40/30 (GP #1). Bartoli punished a short ball with a crosscourt backhand dropshot-winner. Deuce #1. Lisicki on the third stroke hit a backhand long. Ad Bartoli (BP #1). First serve just long. Bartoli’s depth induced Sabine to dump a forehand into the net. Held.

Sabine really tightened up in that game, and Bartoli was quick to take advantage of that.

Bartoli serving 3-1: Sabine hit a fabulous short-angled crosscourt forehand winner. 0/15. Sabine hit a fine backhand dropshot-winner. 0/30. Bartoli went to the net, but Sabine’s dipping backhand induced her to hit a crosscourt forehand volley just wide. 0/40 (BP #1). Deep first serve down the middle forced Sabine to net a backhand return. 15/40 (BP #2). Sabine pinned Bartoli back with a crosscourt forehand, and hit a crosscourt forehand dropshot-winner. Broken.

Sabine is embarrassing Bartoli with numerous dropshots, just as she did to her opponents at Birmingham. They can’t just solve the problem by standing in, as Sabine also has great depth and power on her groundstrokes.

Lisicki serving 2-3: Deep 120mph first serve down the middle forced Bartoli to earth a backhand return. 15/0. Bartoli’s depth forced Sabine to hit a backhand long. 15/15. Sabine ran Bartoli back and forth like a yo-yo with a deep ball on the baseline + dropshot + forehand pass-winner down the line. 30/15. Bartoli hit a pinpoint forehand winner down the line: on the sideline. 30/30. Deep 121mph first serve out wide forced Bartoli to net a backhand return. 40/30 (GP #1). Sabine netted a forehand dropshot from the baseline off a low-bouncing ball. Deuce #1. First serve out wide forced a short sitter, which Sabine dispatched with a forehand winner down the line: on the baseline. Ad Lisicki (GP #2). Sabine hit a crosscourt forehand deep into the corner, but Bartoli squeezed a backhand winner down the line onto the sideline. Deuce #2. Sabine forced a short ball and hit an off-forehand winner. Ad Lisicki (GP #3). Ace: deep first serve down the middle. Held.

Bartoli serving 3-3 (new balls): The loud rain and thunder returned at the start of this game. Sabine hit a forehand long. 15/0. Bartoli’s depth forced Sabine to net a forehand. 30/0. Bartoli’s depth forced Sabine to hit a backhand long. 40/0 (GP #1). Sabine’s deep crosscourt backhand forced Bartoli to hit a backhand long. 40/15 (GP #2). Deep first serve out wide: Sabine hit an amazing down-the-line forehand winner that clipped the outside edge of the sideline. 40/30 (GP #2). First serve: Sabine netted a makeable forehand return. Held.

Lisicki serving 3-4: Bartoli forced a floater, but hit an awkward high forehand drive-volley long. 15/0. Ace #6: first serve down the middle. 30/0. Bartoli forced a short ball but netted a forehand. 40/0 (GP #1). Sabine forced a short return and hit a crosscourt forehand dropshot-winner. Held.

Bartoli serving 4-4: Bartoli went towards the net, but Sabine hit a down-the-line backhand pass-winner before Bartoli even got there. 0/15. Bartoli hit a crosscourt forehand deep into the corner, forcing Sabine to net a forehand. Sabine emitted a cute little yell. 15/15. Sabine hit a pinpoint off-forehand winner onto the sideline. 15/30. Would-be ace out wide just wide. With some cute two-tone grunting in the rally, Sabine hit a deep crosscourt forehand winner just inside the sideline. 15/40 (BP #1). Ace #1: deep 98mph first serve down the middle. 30/40 (BP #2). Bartoli forehand long. Broken.

Sabine really does have one foot in the semi-finals now, as Bartoli looked tired walking to the changeover – not surprising, as her last three matches have been very tough, she’s been ill, and she expends so much energy on the court.

Lisicki serving 5-4: Sabine ran down a dropshot, but bizarrely hit a sliced crosscourt forehand wide. 0/15. Sabine opened up the court and hit a forehand winner down the line off a short ball. 15/15. Ace #7: deep first serve down the middle. 30/15. Sabine on the third stroke dumped a forehand into the net. 30/30. Ace #8: first serve out wide. 40/30 (MP #1 for Lisicki). Sabine discarded her first toss. She got her first serve in, but ended up netting a backhand. Deuce #1. Sabine got away with a high-bouncing dropshot, and hit a perfect backhand lob-winner over Bartoli’s head and onto the baseline. Ad Lisicki (MP #2). In the best rally of the match, Sabine ran down a dropshot and hit a forehand down the line; Bartoli’s crosscourt backhand forced Sabine to hit a short-angled crosscourt backhand that sat up nicely for Bartoli to hit a backhand down the line, but Sabine ran it down superbly to hoist a defensive forehand lob that landed on the baseline; four groundstrokes later, Sabine netted a forehand dropshot. Deuce #2. Sabine’s short-angled crosscourt forehand forced Bartoli to net a forehand, and she really does look exhausted now. Ad Lisicki (MP #3). Bartoli’s deep crosscourt backhand return induced Sabine to hit a crosscourt forehand wide. Deuce #3. A foot-fault robbed Bartoli of a backhand return-winner down Sabine’s backhand sideline. Deuce #4. Bartoli’s hard, deep backhand forced Sabine to earth a backhand. Ad Bartoli (BP #1). Double fault (wild second serve long). Broken.

Sabine got overexcited in that game, but I’m still confident of her eventual victory, as Bartoli looks so tired. She might sneak this set now that she has the momentum, but it’s hard to imagine her outlasting Sabine in a third set.

Bartoli serving 5-5: Bartoli netted a backhand. 0/15. Bartoli hit a deep crosscourt backhand back behind Sabine, forcing her to net a backhand. 15/15. Sabine netting a forehand. 30/15. Short first serve down the middle: forehand return long. 40/15 (GP #1). Deep first serve out wide forced Sabine to net a forehand. Bartoli jogged to the chair pumping her fist. Held.

Sabine looked very anxious at the changeover.

Lisicki serving 5-6: Bartoli went to the net, but Sabine forced her to retreat with a deep lob, forcing a floater that she dispatched with a crosscourt forehand smash-winner. 15/0. Sabine went to the net, but Bartoli’s dipping crosscourt backhand forced her to net a backhand half-volley. 15/15. Sabine forced a short return and hit an off-backhand dropshot winner back behind Bartoli. 30/15. Bartoli blasted a forehand just long. 40/15 (GP #1). Deep first serve out wide forced Bartoli to hit a crosscourt forehand wide. Held.

An excellent game by Sabine after her mini-choke. Bartoli is looking surprisingly energetic at the moment, after looking so tired earlier. Her adrenalin has given her a second wind, though I doubt that it would take her all the way through the third set that she needs to win this match.

6-6 tiebreak (all scores Lisicki/Bartoli):
{0/0*} A long baseline-rally ended with Bartoli netting a backhand.
{*1/0} Bartoli hit a crosscourt forehand deep into the corner, forcing Sabine to hit a forehand long.
{*1/1} Bartoli went to the net, forcing Sabine to hit a short-angled crosscourt backhand pass just wide.
{1/2*} Deep first serve down the middle forced Sabine to net a backhand return.
{1/3*} Sabine’s deep down-the-line backhand forced Bartoli to earth a forehand.
{*2/3} Bartoli’s deep crosscourt forehand forced Sabine to hit a forehand long.
{*2/4} Sabine netted a backhand, drawing a loud yell of “allez!” from Bartoli.
{2/5*} Another amazing rally ended with Sabine forcing a short ball and hitting a deep off-backhand winner from the net.
{3/5*} Sabine’s deep off-forehand forced Bartoli to hit a backhand long to cancel out another mini-break.
{*4/5} Second serve... Bartoli’s deep backhand return forced Sabine to hit a backhand long.
{*4/6: SP #1 for Bartoli} Bartoli gave Sabine a taste of her own medicine, pinning her back and then hitting an off-backhand dropshot that forced Sabine to net a forehand. Bartoli won the second set 7-6 (7/4) at 15:11 BST (second set 1h02m, match so far 1h45m).


Third set
---------
LISICKI *@*_*@* 6
BARTOLI ___*___ 1

Lisicki serving 0-0: Bartoli looked like would win the point with a crosscourt forehand deep into the corner, but Sabine retrieved it with an amazing chopped forehand crosscourt, low over the net, inducing Bartoli to hit a down-the-line forehand long. 15/0. Ace out wide – but it was wide, and Sabine wasted a challenge. Sabine hit an off-backhand deep into the corner, forcing Bartoli to earth a forehand. 30/0. Bartoli went to the net, but Sabine ran down a dropshot, hit a crosscourt backhand pass-winner, and said “komm jetzt”. 40/0 (GP #1). Double fault (second serve just long). 40/15 (GP #2). Bartoli hit a deep crosscourt backhand just inside the baseline, forcing Sabine to hit a down-the-line backhand wide. 40/30 (GP #3). Sabine’s off-forehand forced a short ball, but she dumped a backhand dropshot into the net, and muttered. Deuce #1. Sabine, driven wide, hit a pinpoint forehand winner down the line – on the sideline – and yelled “c’mon”. Ad Lisicki (GP #4). Bartoli forehand long. Held.

An important hold for Sabine (normally, I would add “very”, but I still believe that Bartoli is too tired to win in three). Sabine’s two big weapons – her first serve and her dropshot – have gone AWOL.

Bartoli serving 0-1: Sabine hit a pinpoint backhand winner up the line: just inside the sideline. 0/15. First serve down the middle: Sabine netted a tough but makeable forehand return. 15/15. Bartoli hit a crosscourt forehand just wide. 15/30. Sabine’s crosscourt forehand forced Bartoli to net a forehand. Bartoli looked exhausted again. 15/40 (BP #1). Double fault (second serve into the net). Broken.

Bartoli is gasping with exhaustion now.

Lisicki serving 2-0 (new balls): Ace out wide: just inside the sideline. 15/0. Sabine hit a crosscourt forehand deep into the corner, forcing Bartoli to hit a forehand long. 30/0. First serve out wide: Bartoli hit a forehand return long by a whisker. 40/0 (GP #1). Deep first serve out wide forced Bartoli to net a backhand. Held.

Bartoli looks like she might be beginning to cramp. She’s panting at the changeover.

Bartoli serving 0-3: Bartoli forced a short ball and dispatched it with an off-forehand winner – a surprisingly energetic point by her. 15/0. Sabine hit a short-angled crosscourt forehand back behind Bartoli just wide. 30/0. Sabine squeezed an incredible forehand winner down the line: just inside both the sideline and the baseline. 30/15. Sabine netted a backhand dropshot from the baseline. 40/15 (GP #1). Sabine went to the net and hit a crisp backhand punch-volley winner down the line. 40/30 (GP #2). Sabine’s depth forced Bartoli to hit a backhand long. Deuce #1. Sabine netted a forehand. Ad Bartoli (GP #3). Double fault (second serve into the net). Deuce #2. Sabine backhand long. Ad Bartoli (GP #4). Bartoli had to stretch wide for a return, and netted a forehand. Deuce #3. Sabine dumped a backhand into the net. Ad Bartoli (GP #5). Sabine forced a short ball and hit a crosscourt forehand dropshot. Deuce #4. Bartoli’s depth induced Sabine to dump a forehand low into the net. Ad Bartoli (GP #6). Bartoli netted a forehand on the third stroke. Deuce #5. Deep first serve out wide forced Sabine to hit a crosscourt forehand wide. Ad Bartoli (GP #7). Sabine hit a down-the-line backhand just wide, and looked a bit upset. Held.

What an exhausting game for an already weary Bartoli! It lasted 10m30s.

Lisicki serving 3-1: Sabine opened up the court and hit a crosscourt forehand winner. 15/0. Deep first serve down the middle forced Bartoli to earth a forehand return. 30/0. Sabine forced a short ball, and hit a safe off-forehand winner deep into the corner. 40/0 (GP #1). Bartoli hit a crosscourt forehand onto the sideline, forcing Sabine to hit a crosscourt forehand wide. 40/15 (GP #2). First serve out wide – deep in the corner – forced Bartoli to hit a forehand return long. Held.

Bartoli sat at the changeover with her right shin on her left knee.

Bartoli serving 1-4: Sabine’s deep down-the-line forehand forced Bartoli to bunt a backhand very long. Lindsay Davenport: “That’s not the type of point Bartoli wants to get involved in too often. That’s a draining point, but nice to see Lisicki go for her groundies. You wanna see your player go for her shots when it gets tight – that’s what’s gotten them there. Certainly Lisicki pulled back so much when serving for the match in the second.” 0/15. Bartoli hit a deep backhand just inside the sideline, forcing Sabine to bunt an off-forehand lob wide. 15/15. First serve out wide: Lisicki’s forehand return clipped the netcord and dropped dead for a winner. 15/30. Bartoli played a good spreading rally to force a floater, but showed her exhaustion by letting it bounce and hitting a forehand smash long. 15/40 (BP #1). Sabine’s deep off-forehand induced Bartoli to net a backhand. Broken.

Lisicki serving 5-1: Bartoli went to the net, but Sabine hit a crosscourt forehand pass-winner just inside the sideline. Lindsay Davenport: “Lisicki is moving just as well as she did in the beginning of this match – much fresher legs, able to run down a lot more balls in this match.” 15/0. Sabine got tight again, netted a forehand, and muttered. 15/15. Second serve out wide: forehand return long. 30/15. Bartoli hit a backhand winner down the line. 30/30. Sabine forced a short ball and hit a forehand winner down the line. 40/30 (MP #4 for Lisicki). First serve + crosscourt forehand winner just inside the sideline. Lisicki won 6-4 6-7 (4/7) 6-1 at 15:47 BST (third set 36m, match 2h21m).

It’s a good job that Sabine closed it out there, as she looked like she might just be starting to cramp after the 30/15 point. I would hate to see a repeat of what happened as she tried to close out her match against Vera Zvonarëva at the French Open.

Sabine looked delighted to win, although she didn’t burst into tears of joy in her chair as she did after beating Lǐ,Nŕ in the second round. She gave Bartoli a consoling pat on the shoulder as they walked off Centre Court together.


Sabine’s BBC interview
----------------------

This interview took place in the corridor immediately after Sabine walked off Centre Court.

Phil Jones: “And a very excited Sabine, understandably: the first German player to reach the semi-finals here at Wimbledon since Steffi Graf in 1999. How does that sound?”

Sabine: “I don’t know what to say. I’m still speechless. I cannot believe it yet.”

Jones: “Tell me about the emotions during the match. You had three match-points [at 1:0 *5-4], then you lost that set. How did you manage to regroup and get yourself back on track for a fantastic third set from you?”

Sabine: “Yeah, I was very disappointed with myself [when] I played at 5-4 that game, because I missed easily. I wasn’t really decided to take and just go for it. But I felt that I was the better player today, and I knew I just had to focus and fight again in the third set to win it.”

Jones: “I think it’s worth reiterating to all those people who are listening around the world just what kind of a journey you’ve had to this point, because last year, you had to learn to /walk/ all over again – you had a horrific injury. Now you’re here in the semi-final. Can you believe that journey?”

Sabine: “Well, it’s still unbelievable, you know. I cannot explain how I feel at the moment. It was just such a tough road back. It’s so wonderful to be standing on Centre Court in Wimbledon, which I love so much. I’m just so happy! <laughing>”

Jones: “We could see that joy. That’s what has endeared you to all the crowd here. Now you’re just two wins away from being the champion.”

Sabine: “I still have to take it one match at a time. I did a very good job to get here. I played terrific tennis, and I’m getting better with each match, and I have absolutely nothing to lose, and I’m going to get and fight.”

Jones: “A great story, Sabine. Fantastic performance. Well done.”

Sabine: “Thank you so much. And thanks to the crowd for cheering for me! <laughing>”

She’s adorable.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------
2. Women’s Doubles third-round TV-report: Lisicki/Stosur v Cîrstea/Morita (Wednesday 29th June 2011)
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+ Sabine Lisicki [EF]/Samantha Stosur d. Sorana Cîrstea/Ayumi Morita [s], 6-4 6-3

It’s always fun to watch Sabine play doubles, as she shows off her amazing smile much more often than in singles. She hit some great shots in this match, and built on her second-round upset of defending champions Vania King and Yaroslava Shvedova.


First set
---------
LISICK/STOSUR *_*@*___*@ 6
CÎRSTE/MORITA _*___*@*__ 4

The match was first on Court 2, and started at 12:18 BST.

BBC commentator Liz Smylie contrasted Sabine’s big, flat serve with Stosur’s kick serve, saying that Sabine’s was much better for grass – especially in the first week of Wimbledon, when the grass is slick.

Stosur serving 0-0: First serve out wide forced Morita to net a forehand return. 15/0. First serve out wide forced Cîrstea to net a backhand return. 30/0. Stosur hit a down-the-line forehand just wide. 30/15. Cîrstea netted a backhand off a deep crosscourt backhand from Stosur. 40/15 (GP #1). Sabine picked off Morita’s return with a crisp forehand volley-winner down the middle. Held.

Cîrstea serving 0-1: Sabine’s short-angled crosscourt forehand forced Cîrstea to hit a forehand long. 15/0. Morita went to the net and hit a crisp crosscourt forehand volley-winner. 15/15. Sabine netted a forehand. 30/15. First serve out wide + forehand smash forced Sabine to net a forehand. 30/30. Cîrstea forehand smash-winner. 40/30 (GP #1). Sabine netted a cheap backhand off a short ball. Held.

The BBC commentators are enjoying “the smile that is lighting up The Championships” from Sabine.

Lisicki serving 1-1: Ace #1: booming first serve down the middle. 15/0. Deep first serve down the middle forced Cîrstea to net a forehand return. 30/0. Morita’s deep crosscourt forehand return induced Sabine to net a forehand. 30/15. First serve out wide forced Cîrstea to net a backhand. 40/15 (GP #1). Cîrstea dispatched a floater with an easy forehand smash-winner. 40/30 (GP #2). Sabine hit a crosscourt forehand wide off a deep return. Deuce #1. A netcord from Morita forced Sabine to run forwards and net a forehand. Ad Cîrstea (BP #1). Sabine hit a crosscourt backhand pass that just brushed Morita’s racket, making it technically an error from her. Deuce #2. Kick second serve down the middle forced Morita to net a backhand. Ad Lisicki (GP #1). Stosur netted a forehand volley and apologised to Sabine. Deuce #3. Ace down the middle. Ad Lisicki (GP #2). Ace down the middle. Held.

Morita serving 1-2: Sabine’s dipping forehand return forced Cîrstea to net a forehand volley. 0/15. Double fault (second serve long). 0/30. Cîrstea hit a crosscourt backhand volley-winner after Morita’s crosscourt forehand forced a floater from Sabine. 15/30. Morita netted a backhand off a deep volley from Stosur. 15/40 (BP #1). Morita netted a forehand off a deep crosscourt forehand from Sabine. Broken.

Stosur serving 3-1: First serve out wide forced Morita to bunt a forehand return long. 15/0. Ace #4: first serve out wide. 30/0. Cîrstea forehand long. 40/0 (GP #1). Stosur went to the net, but hit a backhand volley long off a testing return from Cîrstea. 40/15 (GP #2). Stosur’s deep crosscourt forehand volley forced Morita to earth a forehand lob. Held.

Cîrstea serving 1-4: Morita netted a backhand volley off a testing backhand from Stosur. 0/15. Morita hit a forehand volley at Sabine’s feet, forcing her to net a forehand half-volley. 15/15. Sabine’s forehand return induced Morita to hit a backhand volley long. 15/30. Deep first serve out wide forced Stosur to net a return. 30/30. Sabine netted a forehand off a deep ball from Morita. 40/30 (GP #1). Sabine backhand volley long. Held.

Lisicki serving 4-2: Morita’s deep crosscourt forehand forced Sabine to net a forehand. 0/15. Cîrstea nailed a huge backhand return-winner down the line past Stosur. 0/30. Cîrstea off-forehand winner. 0/40 (BP #1). Cîrstea netted a backhand. 15/40 (BP #2). Deep first serve out wide broke Morita’s frame, forcing her to hit a crosscourt forehand return wide. 30/40 (BP #1). Cîrstea’s deep crosscourt backhand return forced Sabine to earth a backhand. Broken.

Sabine looked quite anxious in that game. I remember that she was all smiles when I watched one of her doubles-matches at Wimbledon 2009, but she’s not smiling all the time today. I think this doubles is a serious matter to her.

Morita serving 3-4 (new balls): Cîrstea off-forehand volley-winner. 15/0. Sabine backhand long. 30/0. Morita’s deep crosscourt forehand forced Sabine to hit a forehand long. 40/0 (GP #1). Stosur off-forehand long. Held.

Stosur serving 4-4: First serve out wide forced Morita to net a forehand return. 15/0. Sabine dispatched a short floater with an easy forehand smash-winner, which put the smile back on her face. 30/0. Deep first serve down the middle forced Morita to net a backhand. 40/0 (GP #1). Cîrstea hit a pinpoint backhand pass-winner down the line. 40/15 (GP #2). Deep first serve out wide: Sabine at the net left Morita’s forehand return, but it dropped just inside the baseline for a winner. 40/30 (GP #3). Morita netted a forehand volley. Held.

Cîrstea serving 4-5: Cîrstea netted a forehand volley off a body-jamming ball from Stosur. 0/15. Sabine hit a forehand volley long off a huge backhand from Cîrstea. 15/15. Cîrstea dumped a backhand into the bottom of the net. 15/30. Stosur ran down a very short floater and hit an off-forehand smash-winner that clipped the outside edge of the sideline. 15/40 (SP #1). Stosur hit an off-forehand volley-winner. Lisicki/Stosur won the first set 6-4 at 12:48 BST (30m).


Second set
----------
LISICK/STOSUR *_*_*_*@* 6
CÎRSTE/MORITA _*_*_*___ 3

Lisicki serving 0-0: Sabine, driven wide, hit a pinpoint forehand pass-winner down the line, and smiled. 15/0. Sabine went to the net, her crosscourt backhand volley forcing Morita to net a backhand. 30/0. Cîrstea hit a pinpoint forehand return-winner down the line, and Sabine was still smiling. 30/15. Sabine’s testing forehand forced Cîrstea to hit a backhand volley long. 40/15 (GP #1). Body-jamming first serve forced Morita to net a backhand return.

Cîrstea serving 0-1: Sabine’s forehand return clipped the netcord and dropped dead for a winner, and she smiled at the providence. 15/0. First serve out wide forced Stosur to net a backhand. 15/15. Deep first serve down the middle forced Sabine to net a backhand. 30/15. Morita hit an error-forcing backhand volley. 40/15 (GP #1). Sabine crosscourt backhand wide. Held.

Stosur serving 2-0: Body-jamming first serve forced Cîrstea to net a forehand. 15/0. Ace out wide: second serve on the sideline. Cîrstea/Morita wasted a challenge. 30/0. Morita hit a pinpoint backhand winner onto the baseline. 30/15. Deep first serve down the middle forced Morita to earth a forehand return. 40/15 (GP #1). First serve out wide: Cîrstea netted a forehand return. Held.

Morita serving 1-2: Stosur’s off-forehand volley forced Cîrstea to net a backhand volley. 0/15. Sabine netted a backhand volley off a dipping ball from Morita. 15/15. Morita forehand long. 30/15. Cîrstea hit a crosscourt forehand volley-winner. 40/15 (GP #1). Sabine hit a forehand return long; Cîrstea had to duck to avoid it. Held.

Lisicki serving 2-2: Morita off-forehand winner. Sabine wasted a challenge. 0/15. Sabine bisected her opponents with a deep forehand winner down the middle: just inside the baseline. 15/15. Stosur intercepted to hit an off-forehand volley-winner. 30/15. A good rally ended with Stosur dispatching a floater with a forehand smash-winner. 40/15 (GP #1). Cîrstea’s hard, body-jamming backhand return forced Stosur to hit a crosscourt backhand volley just wide. 40/30 (GP #2). Sabine netted a forehand volley. Deuce #1. Stosur’s off-forehand volley forced Morita to net a backhand. Ad Lisicki (GP #3). Stosur hit an off-backhand volley-winner. Held.

Cîrstea serving 2-3: Cîrstea hit a hard off-forehand pass-winner past Stosur. 15/0. Morita hit an off-backhand volley-winner. 15/15. Sabine’s dipping forehand forced Morita to net a backhand volley. 15/30. Morita hit a forehand volley-winner onto Sabine’s feet. 30/30. Sabine hit a wild off-forehand return wide. 40/30 (GP #1). Deep first serve forced Stosur to hit a crosscourt backhand wide. Held.

Stosur serving 3-3 (new balls): Sabine intercepted to hit a forehand volley-winner down the line. 15/0. First serve out wide forced Morita to hit an off-forehand wide. 30/0. Double fault (second serve just long). 30/15. Ace out wide took a strange bounce, forcing Cîrstea to whiff a backhand return. 40/15 (GP #1). Morita netted a forehand return. Held.

Morita serving 3-4: Cîrstea hit a deep forehand volley-winner just inside the baseline. Sabine/Stosur challenged: it clipped about 5% of the breadth of the baseline! 15/0. Morita netted a backhand. 15/15. Morita hit an unbelievable off-backhand winner onto the sideline. 30/15. Deep first serve out wide forced Stosur to hit a crosscourt backhand return wide. 40/15 (GP #1). Double fault #2 (second serve into the net). 40/30 (GP #2). Short second serve: Stosur hit a forehand return-winner onto the baseline. Deuce #1. In the best rally of the match, Cîrstea intercepted Sabine’s crosscourt forehand return with a stinging forehand volley, forcing Stosur to bunt back a short lob; Morita hit a backhand at Stosur’s feet, but she hit an excellent half-volley off-forehand into the alley, forcing Morita to hit a short, defensive backhand down the line; Sabine hit a deep forehand + deep forehand volley down the line, forcing Morita to hoist a defensive backhand lob, which Stosur dispatched with a thunderous forehand smash-winner down the middle. Ad Stosur (BP #1). Stosur exchanged a series of off-forehands with crosscourt backhands from Morita until Sabine threatened to intercept, inducing Morita to net a crosscourt backhand. Broken.

Lisicki serving 5-3: Stosur netted a backhand off a hard crosscourt backhand return from Cîrstea. 0/15. Deep first serve down the middle forced Morita to earth a forehand return. 15/15. Deep first serve down the middle forced Cîrstea to net a backhand return. 30/15. Huge first serve down the middle forced Morita to net a forehand return. 40/15 (MP #1 for Lisicki/Stosur). Ace down the middle. Lisicki/Stosur won 6-4 6-3 at 13:18 BST (second set 30m, match 1h00m).

Sabine celebrated with a huge smile.

Liz Smylie: “There is a lot to like about Lisicki’s game and her personality.”

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
__________________
My Eternal Fanship: 1. Monica Seles; 2. Мария Шарапова (‘Maria Sharapova’); 3. Daniela Hantuchová; 4. Jelena Dokić; 5. Iva Majoli; 6. Karina Habšudová; 7. Вера Звонарёва (‘Vera Zvonarëva’); 8. Nicole Vaidišová; 9. Анна Чакветадзе (‘Anna Chakvetadze’); 10. Lucie Šafářová; 11. Ирода Туляганова (‘Iroda Tulyaganova’); 12. Magdaléna Rybáriková; 13. Sabine Lisicki

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Andrew's semi-final TV-report

=================
THE CHAMPIONSHIPS (Wimbledon, London, England; grass; Major)
=================
Contents
--------

1. Semi-final TV-report: Sharapova v Lisicki
2. Women’s Doubles quarter-final TV-report: Lisicki/Stosur v Petrova/Rodionova

--------------------------------------------
1. Semi-final TV-report: Sharapova v Lisicki (Thursday 30th June 2011)
--------------------------------------------

+ MARIA SHARAPOVA [5,EF] d. Sabine Lisicki [WC,EF], 6-4 6-3

What should have been a mouth-watering match between two members of my Eternal Fanship left a very bitter taste, as Sabine played at only 30% of her best, and Maria thus got away with a bad day on her serve (13 double faults, only 48% of first serves in, and she was broken three times). It is a disappointment to me... I confess myself disappointed.

Sabine made an excellent start, holding to 15 with a deep crosscourt backhand volley-winner just inside the baseline. Maria made a terrible start, book-ending her opening service-game with double faults as Sabine broke to love. Sabine hit four great serves to hold for 15 for 3-0*.

Maria came through a tough service-game of three deuces, saving a break-point, to hold for 0:0 1-3*. At Deuce #2, they showed a glimpse of what this match could have been as Maria nailed a deep off-forehand winner just inside both lines, and then Sabine hit an off-forehand return-winner just inside the sideline.

At 0:0 *3-1 0/15, Sabine illustrated a tactic that has served her so well in this grass-court season: she pinned Maria back and hit a forehand dropshot-winner. However, she netted another dropshot at 30/30, Maria broke back with an error-forcing off-forehand return deep into the corner, and held for 3-3*.

Sabine held convincingly to 15 for 0:0 4-3*, but would lose the next six games. At 0:0 4-3* 0/30*, she drew Maria to the net with a dropshot and hit a fantastic backhand lob-volley winner, but it was an isolated highlight.

With Maria achieving greater depth on her groundstrokes, she broke for *5-4, and hit an off-forehand winner for 40/15. Sabine saved the first set-point with a forehand dropshot-winner, but Maria converted the second with an ace down the middle.

Sabine’s resistance crumbled at the start of the second set as two of her biggest weapons – her first serve and her dropshot – went AWOL. She was broken to love for 0-1* with two double faults, and broken again to love for 0-3* as the umpire denied her request to suspend play due to light drizzle.

Sabine got one of the breaks back with the help of an off-forehand winner and two double faults: 0:1 *1-3. But Maria reinstated the double break with the help of a backhand winner down the line and an off-backhand winner.

At 1:0 *4-1, Maria came through a tough service-game of four deuces, despite serving two double faults and Sabine hitting three brilliant winners: a leaping forehand smash-winner and two backhand return-winners. Maria saved two break-points: one by hitting a down-the-line forehand winner after a great rally, and another with an off-backhand winner just inside the sideline.

Sabine held for 2-5* with a brilliant off-forehand winner onto the sideline, and got to 30/15* with a backhand return-winner down the line and a brilliant short-angled crosscourt forehand winner onto the sideline. She was then gifted the break back as Maria netted a backhand volley and served her 13th double fault.

However, Maria hit two brilliant crosscourt backhand winners onto the sideline to reach match-point at 1:0 5-3* 40/15*, converting it when Sabine hit a forehand long.


First set
---------
SHARAPO ___*@*_*@* 6
LISICKI *@*___*___ 4

Ever since they set up this semi-final, I haven’t felt a clear preference for either of these players to win it. I’ve been an Eternal Fan of Maria since Wimbledon 2003, so I feel a strong loyalty to her, and would love to see her win her fourth Major. On the other hand, I inducted Sabine into my Eternal Fanship a week ago, and have been feeling the excitement of that new love ever since. I would love to see her become a Major champion, but since this is a semi-final, I have more trust in Maria to win the final because of her mental strength and far greater experience at this level. I just wish they could both win and team up for the final!

The match was second on Centre Court. Maria won the toss and presumably chose to receive, there was a nice smile on Sabine’s face during the warm-up, and the match started at 15:12 BST.

Lisicki serving 0-0: Huge first serve out wide forced Maria to earth a forehand return. 15/0. Sabine’s crosscourt forehand to the sideline forced Maria to hit a crosscourt forehand wide. 30/0. Maria forced a sitter and dispatched it with an off-forehand winner. 30/15. Deep first serve forced Maria to hit an off-forehand wide. 40/15 (GP #1). First serve out wide forced a floater, which Sabine dispatched with a deep crosscourt backhand drive-volley winner just inside the baseline. Held.

An excellent start by Sabine, and an encouraging one for the match from a neutral perspective. No sign of nerves there, but closing out could be another matter, should she find herself in that position.

Sharapova serving 0-1: Double fault #1 (second serve into the net). 0/15. Maria crosscourt backhand wide. 0/30. Sabine hit a deep forehand down the line, forcing Maria to earth a backhand return. 0/40 (BP #1). Double fault #2 (second serve into the net). Broken.

An ugly opening service-game by Maria, book-ended by double faults, but as the more experienced, mentally stronger player, she can afford such a bad start better more Sabine could afford to start like that.

BBC commentator Lindsay Davenport: “This is really how quickly she loses the rhythm on her serve. Just when you think she has her service-motion under control, she starts off the match like this.”

Lisicki serving 2-0: 121mph first serve: Maria’s forehand return clipped the netcord, forcing Sabine to run forwards and net a forehand; Sabine reacted with a cute little yelp, followed by a lovely smile. 0/15. Body-jamming first serve forced Maria to net a forehand return. 15/15. Short-angled second serve forced Maria to hit a forehand return long. 30/15. Deep second serve out wide forced Maria to hit a down-the-line backhand wide. 40/15 (GP #1). Sabine got away with a short second serve, as Maria dumped a cheap forehand return into the net. Held.

Lindsay Davenport: “We talk about Lisicki being such a great server because she serves hard, but it’s also her variety: her location she mixes up, the speed she mixes up, and the spin. She really has all the serves in her bag. It makes it very tough for the returner to know which one to cover, and what speed it’s going to come at them.”

People are returning to the stands after taking a break after the first semi-final, so that’s good for the atmosphere, which was a little flat at the start.

Sharapova serving 0-3: Double fault #3 (second serve into the net). 0/15. Maria forced a short ball and hit a crosscourt forehand virtual winner, and shouted “c’mon”. 15/15. Deep first serve out wide forced Sabine to bunt a forehand return long. 30/15. Sabine off-forehand wide. 40/15 (GP #1). Maria netted a forehand on the third stroke. 40/30 (GP #2). Sabine’s deep crosscourt forehand forced Maria to hit a crosscourt forehand wide. Deuce #1. Double fault #4 (second serve into the net). Lindsay Davenport: “She’s so tense.” Ad Lisicki (BP #1). Maria’s first serve was called long, but her Hawk-Eye challenge showed that it caught about 15% of the breadth of the service-line, so she got another first serve. Sabine hit her first dropshot of the match – a crosscourt forehand – wide. Deuce #2. Maria nailed a deep off-forehand winner deep into the corner: just inside both baseline and sideline!! Ad Sharapova (GP #3). First serve out wide: Sabine hit an 81mph off-forehand return-winner just inside the sideline. Deuce #3. First serve out wide: crosscourt forehand wide. Ad Sharapova (GP #4). Deep second serve out wide induced Sabine to hit a backhand return very long. Held.

Maria’s poor form continues, but at least she’s on the “games” section of the scoreboard now.

Lisicki serving 3-1: Maria hit a crosscourt forehand deep into the corner, forcing Sabine to earth a forehand. 0/15. Sabine pinned Maria back and hit a forehand dropshot-winner (and an off-forehand pass-winner that didn’t count, because Maria’s forehand was called “not up” by the umpire). Lindsay Davenport: “Lisicki has good feel on the dropshot. When she goes to the forehand dropshot, she almost takes two hands back with her!” 15/15. Maria’s deep off-forehand forced Sabine to bunt a backhand lob long. 15/30. Sabine went to the net behind an off-forehand, forcing Maria to net a backhand. 30/30. Sabine netted a forehand dropshot, and gave a cute wry smile. 30/40 (BP #1). Maria hit an off-forehand return deep into the corner, forcing Sabine to net a backhand. Broken.

BBC commentator Andrew Cotter: “After a stuttering start for the now-favourite for the title, she is back in it.”

Sharapova serving 2-3: Deep first serve down the middle forced Sabine to earth a forehand. 15/0. Sabine forced a short ball, dispatched it with an off-forehand winner, and said “c’mon”. 15/15. Sabine netted a forehand. 30/15. Second serve out wide: Sabine netted a makeable backhand return. 40/15 (GP #1). Double fault (second serve just long). 40/30 (GP #2). Sabine backhand just long. Held.

There are some ominous dark clouds in the vicinity. It looks likely that they will have to put the roof on Centre Court at some stage. I welcome that prospect, as Sabine has been involved in two fantastic matches under the roof so far this Wimbledon, and to be honest, this one has a way to go to reach that level.

Lisicki serving 3-3: Sabine hit a deep backhand onto the baseline, forcing Maria to hit a crosscourt backhand wide. Maria wasted a Hawk-Eye challenge: it was plumb on the baseline. 15/0. First serve out wide forced a floater, which Sabine dispatched with a crosscourt drive-volley forehand winner. Lindsay Davenport: “The best point from the German in the last three games. Just as that 3-0* game was important for Sharapova, this game is crucial for Lisicki to re-establish some momentum.” 30/0. Double fault #1 (second serve into the net). 30/15. First serve down the middle: Maria netted a makeable forehand return. 40/15 (GP #1). First serve out wide + pinpoint forehand down the line forced Maria to net a backhand. Sabine said “komm jetzt”. Held.

Andrew Cotter: “Lisicki looks the stronger at the moment. She looks absolutely unfazed.”

Sharapova serving 3-4: Kick 91mph second serve down the middle induced Sabine to net a backhand return. 15/0. Deep second serve out wide: crosscourt forehand return wide. 30/0. Sabine drew Maria to the net with a dropshot, and hit a fantastic backhand lob-volley over Maria’s head for a winner, and celebrated with a smile. 30/15. Maria’s depth induced Sabine to hit a backhand long. 40/15 (GP #1). Maria hit a deep crosscourt forehand deep into the corner, back behind Sabine, forcing her to net a forehand. Held.

Andrew Cotter: “This match has fallen into a bit of a stalemate.”

Lisicki serving 4-4: 105mph sliced first serve out wide + crosscourt backhand winner deep in the corner. 15/0. Maria hit a deep off-forehand just inside the baseline, forcing Sabine to net a backhand. 15/15. Maria hit an off-forehand wide. 30/15. Maria’s deep crosscourt forehand forced Sabine to net a forehand. 30/30. Sabine netted a forehand off a deep ball on the baseline from Maria. Sabine changed her racket. 30/40 (BP #1). Maria hit a deep forehand return just inside the baseline, forcing Sabine to hit a backhand long. Broken.

Lindsay Davenport (at 30/30): “You just get the sense that Lisicki’s on her heels more often as this match has progressed. Not in control of as many points as she was early on. Maria has started to find her range, and is seeing just too many second serves.”

Andrew Cotter: “Where’s the turnaround come from, Lindsay? Lisicki dropping her level? Sharapova picking up? A bit of both?”
Davenport: “Absolutely both, and that game at 3-0* was so crucial. Lisicki had that point to go up *4-0. Once Maria was able to eke through that game, she hasn’t looked back, and now, all of a sudden, it’s Lisicki reacting, and it’s very tough to win on grass when you’re not the one dictating play, but Maria has gained more confidence as this set has gone on. She was far from her best in the beginning, but because she believes in herself, because she stayed so positive, she’s been able to turn this match around. Now Maria is winning a higher percentage of points on the second serve – Lisicki was way ahead in that category.”

Sharapova serving 5-4: Deep first serve out wide forced Sabine to net a forehand return. 15/0. Maria’s depth induced Sabine to hit a forehand long. 30/0. Double fault (second serve wide of the centre-line). It’s now quite windy, judging by Maria’s hair. 30/15. In a good baseline-rally, Maria hit an off-forehand winner back behind Sabine. 40/15 (SP #1 for Sharapova). Sabine punished a short ball with a forehand dropshot-winner. Lindsay Davenport: “An amazing dropshot: it was so low! Great feel – Lisicki’s got the power and the touch, and you don’t see that every day.” 40/30 (SP #2 for Sharapova). Ace down the middle: just inside the centre-line. Sharapova won the first set 6-4 at 15:55 BST (43m).


Second set
----------
SHARAPO @*@_@*__@ 6
LISICKI ___@__*@_ 3

Lisicki serving 0-0: In a crowd-pleasing rally, Sabine went to the net behind a forehand dropshot down the line, but it sat up nicely for Maria to hit a crosscourt backhand that clipped the netcord; Sabine hit a crosscourt backhand dropshot that sat up nicely for Maria to hit a backhand pass-winner down the line. 0/15. Double fault #2 (second serve long). 0/30. Sabine netted a forehand dropshot. 0/40 (BP #1). Double fault (second serve into the net). Broken.

Lindsay Davenport: “Lisicki’s serve has really deserted her in this match. She needed to get a lot of first serves in, a lot of first points, and just serving at 45% [of first serves in]. That’s not going to get it done against Maria.”

As a Sabine fan, it’s very sad to see that her serve and her dropshot have both gone AWOL. This is by far the worst she’s played so far this grass-court season – little short of a complete collapse, I’m sorry to say.

Sharapova serving 1-0: Maria’s depth induced Sabine hit a forehand very long. 15/0. Sabine’s backhand return clipped the netcord and dropped dead for a winner. 15/15. Maria spread Sabine with a first serve out wide + crosscourt backhand, forcing Sabine to run to her left and net a one-handed backhand. 30/15. Sabine hit a deep forehand just long. I would have challenged. 40/15 (GP #1). Double fault (second serve into the net). 40/30 (GP #2). Double fault (second serve long). Deuce #1. Deep serve induced Sabine to hit a forehand return long. Maria twirled around, pumped her fist and yelled “c’mon”. Sabine forehand return long. Maria doubled over, pumped her fist and shouted “c’mon” again – a rather excessive reaction, given Sabine’s current lack of resistance. Held.

Lindsay Davenport: “It’s amazing how much more subtle Maria Sharapova now looks in this match. Doesn’t seem to be fighting herself nearly as much [as] in the beginning stages. You don’t see her rushed as much; she has time to set up, she has time to prepare, and that’s when she’s at her best.”

Lisicki serving 0-2: With raindrops starting to fall, they played a fantastic baseline-rally, with Maria’s short-angled crosscourt backhand to the sideline forcing Sabine outside the alley to bunt a backhand long. 0/15. Maria’s deep, body-jamming off-forehand return forced Sabine to net a backhand. 0/30. Sabine asked the umpire to suspend play, but was forced to play on in the light drizzle, and Maria nailed a huge forehand winner down the line. 0/40 (BP #1). Sabine hit a crosscourt forehand onto the sideline, forcing Maria to hit one just wide. 15/40 (BP #2). First serve forced a short return, but Sabine dumped a backhand into the net. Broken.

The rain eased off, but I feel terrible for Sabine that she had to play through it in that game. It’s not as though Maria needs any extra help in this match.

Sharapova serving 3-0: Sabine forced a short ball, and hit an off-forehand winner onto the sideline (it looked wide to me, but nobody else seemed to think so). 0/15. Double fault #9 (second serve into the net). 0/30. First serve: Sabine netted a backhand return. 15/30. Sabine’s deep off-forehand return forced Maria to net a backhand. 15/40 (BP #1). Double fault #10 (second serve just long – Maria wasted a challenge). Broken.

Instead of smiling, Sabine is now chewing on wasps, and the smile with which she celebrated the break was kind of forced.

Lisicki serving 1-3: Sabine played a good rally but netted a forehand off a deep backhand down the line just inside the baseline from Maria. 0/15. Maria ran down a dropshot and hit a backhand winner down the line. 0/30. Sabine hit a backhand long. 0/40 (BP #1). Sabine’s backhand clipped the netcord and dropped dead for a winner, putting the first genuine smile for a while on Sabine’s face. 15/40 (BP #2). First serve out wide: Maria blasted a forehand return long. 30/40 (BP #3). Deep first serve out wide forced Maria to net a backhand return. Deuce #1. Maria hit an off-backhand winner deep into the corner. Ad Sharapova (BP #4). Maria hit a deep off-forehand onto the baseline, forcing Sabine to mishit a crosscourt backhand wide. Broken.

And sadly, it now looks as though the second part of this match – the one with Sabine again playing magical tennis under the roof – is not going to materialise.

Sharapova serving 4-1: Sabine forced a floater, and dispatched it with an athletic leaping forehand smash-winner down the line. She yelled “c’mon”. 0/15. Sabine sliced a backhand just long, and rightly didn’t challenge. 15/15. Maria’s crosscourt backhand to the sideline forced Sabine to net a backhand. 30/15. Double fault #11 (second serve into the net). 30/30. Double fault #12 (second serve wide of the centre-line). Lindsay Davenport: “Very concerning. All the other aspects of Maria’s game are going well: the groundstrokes, the movement, moving forward into the court quickly. But it’s always that serve in these matches: will it hold up?” 30/40 (BP #1). Maria played a great spreading rally, her off-forehand + crosscourt forehand making Sabine run from sideline to sideline; Sabine on the run hit a short-angled crosscourt forehand, but Maria replied with a running forehand winner down the line. Deuce #1. Maria on the third stroke dumped a backhand into the net. Ad Lisicki (BP #2). Maria hit an off-backhand winner just inside the sideline, forcing Sabine to hit a forehand long. Deuce #2. First serve out wide + down-the-line forehand forced Sabine to bunt a running backhand crosscourt lob wide. Ad Sharapova (GP #1). Second serve: Sabine hit a crosscourt backhand return-winner onto the baseline. Maria used up her penultimate challenge: Hawk-Eye showed that it caught about 50% of the breadth of the baseline. Deuce #3. First serve out wide forced Sabine to mishit a crosscourt forehand wide. She muttered. Andrew Cotter: “Both players a little bit disgruntled with their form.” Ad Sharapova (GP #2). Second serve out wide: Sabine hit a brilliant crosscourt backhand winner just inside the sideline. Lindsay Davenport: “Maria so badly needs a first serve, because second serve is allowing Lisicki to hang in the second set, and specifically this game.” Deuce #4. A long baseline-rally ended with Sabine netting a sliced backhand, but drew loud applause from the crowd. Ad Sharapova (GP #3). Deep second serve out wide induced Sabine to hit a backhand return long. Held.

That hold comes despite poor serving and a couple of brilliant points from Sabine.

Lisicki serving 1-5: Double fault (Sabine challenged her first serve, then hit the second just long). 0/15. Sabine’s deep crosscourt backhand forced Maria to net a backhand. 15/15. Deep first serve out wide forced Maria to net a forehand return. Andrew Cotter: “Since that flying start to the match, Lisicki has been on the receiving end, with Sharapova not playing at her best.” 30/15. Deep first serve down the middle – on the service-line – forced Maria to hit a forehand return long. 40/15 (GP #1). Sabine opened up the court with a deep crosscourt backhand + dropshot, but netted a very easy-looking backhand down the line. 40/30 (GP #2). Sabine hit a brilliant off-forehand winner onto the sideline, and celebrated the hold with a shout of “c’mon”. Held.

Much more positive from Sabine, but surely too little too late?

Sharapova serving 5-2: Sabine hit an off-backhand would-be return-winner just wide, and used up her penultimate challenge. 15/0. Sabine hit a backhand return-winner down the line, and pumped her fist. 15/15. Sabine, now smiling again, hit a brilliant short-angled crosscourt forehand winner onto the sideline. 15/30. Ace #2: first serve down the middle. 30/30. Maria went to the net, but dumped a backhand volley into the net, and groaned “no!” 30/40 (BP #1). Double fault #13 (second serve into the net). Broken.

Wow – that could really turn this match on its head if Sabine keeps up the form she’s shown in the last two games!

Lindsay Davenport: “Well, now she seems to be playing as free as in those first few games: just swinging away, not as much pressure, and that’s when she plays her best tennis: when she’s more relaxed. She has that smile on her face a little more.

“I think Maria would much rather be returning for a match than serving for a match – especially with today’s performance in serving. She’s one of those players that can block the last five, ten minutes of play out of her head. Important for her to do that now.”

Lisicki serving 3-5: Second serve out wide: Maria hit a deep forehand return that forced Sabine to earth a backhand. 0/15. Deep first serve out wide forced Maria to hit a down-the-line backhand wide. 15/15. Maria forced a sitter and hit a blazing crosscourt backhand winner onto the sideline. 15/30. Second serve out wide: Maria hit an amazing deep crosscourt backhand return-winner onto the sideline. 15/40 (MP #1 for Sharapova). First serve into the net. Sabine caught her second-serve toss. Deep, kicking second serve, but Sabine on the third stroke hit a forehand long, and it was Maria’s smile lighting up a gloomy Centre Court. Sharapova won 6-4 6-3 at 16:39 BST (second set 44m, match 1h27m).

Sabine gave the crowd a wave and a nice smile, but left the court pretty quickly. I’m sure she’ll be bitterly disappointed – just as I am – that she didn’t do justice to her incredible talent in that match.

BBC presenter Sue Barker: “The start was just spectacular from Lisicki. How much was it Lisicki falling off, and how much Maria just upping the gears?”
Lindsay Davenport: “Oh, it was a combination of both – there’s no question. And surprising that Maria started so slow; she seemed to be on her heels a bit, and Lisicki was able to really take control of most of the rallies, but that game at 3-0* was so huge. Lisicki had that point to go up *4-0, missed a dropshot, and from there, once Maria got on the scoreboard, she really seemed to relax, go after her shots there, and then it became a real uphill struggle for Lisicki.

“It was a huge occasion for Lisicki: her first Major semi-final. She’s been through so much. But this is what Maria has trained so hard for the last few years. Even though it was pretty poor service-day for Maria, she was very good off the ground; she was very precise; she was moving well. Once they got into baseline-rallies, there wasn’t much Lisicki could do.”


Maria’s BBC interview
---------------------

Phil Jones: “Maria, many congratulations.”

Maria: “Thank you.”

Jones: “It feels like after all the trials and tribulations of the last three and a half years, you’re back where you belong.”

Maria: “Well, it’s amazing to be back in the final of Wimbledon. It has been a while, like you said. So to break through here and to get to the final, I’m really happy, even though I didn’t play my best tennis today.”

Jones: “Take me back to the start of the match, when Sabine got off to a fast start. How did you manage to turn it around?”

Maria: “Yeah, well, she played really well, and I did quite the opposite. <laughing> It was tough. I just had to stay focused. I got back on track, and just remained really focused throughout the rest of the match.”

Jones: “It’s one thing to be a form-player and come in as one of the favourites – if not /the/ favourite. It’s another thing to deliver. Are you proud of yourself, the way you’ve been able to do that?”

Maria: “Well, I have really realistic expectations, in terms of I hadn’t gone past the fourth round in a few years, so to be in the final again is a great achievement for me, but I still feel that I have more to do.”

Jones: “Now it’s Petra Kvitová in the final. Your take on that match-up and how your game will manage hers?”

Maria: “She’s a really tricky player, because she’s a great grass-court player. She’s a lefty, she uses her serve really well, and she’s playing really good tennis. So it will be a tough match, but I’m looking forward to it.”

Jones: “It’s great to see you back in the Wimbledon final: champion in 2004, maybe again this year. Congratulations.”

Maria: “Thanks a lot.”

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2. Women’s Doubles quarter-final TV-report: Lisicki/Stosur v Petrova/Rodionova (Thursday 30th June 2011)
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

+ Sabine Lisicki [EF]/Samantha Stosur d. (NADIA PETROVA/ANASTASIA RODIONOVA)[6], 7-5 1-6 6-1

An up-and-down match for Sabine after the disappointment of losing her singles semi-final just an hour and a half earlier, but she pulled through with the help of a supportive partner and a sympathetic crowd, and did it with a smile.

The match was not available on BBC Red Button, but was televised on BBC Two from 1:0 1-2* to the end (fortunately, Sabine was able to close it out just seven minutes before the end of the transmission, as she hit a series of brilliant winners from 1:1 3-1*).


First set
---------
LISICK/STOSUR *_*_*_*@__*@ 7
PETROV/RODION _*_*_*__@*__ 5

The match was fourth on Court 3, and started at 18:15 BST.

Lisicki/Stosur serving 0-0: 15/0. 15/15. 15/30. 30/30. 40/30 (GP #1). Deuce #1. Ad Lisicki/Stosur (GP #2). Deuce #2. Ad Lisicki/Stosur (GP #3). Deuce #3. Ad Lisicki/Stosur (GP #4). Deuce #4. Ad Lisicki/Stosur (GP #5). Held.

Petrova/Rodionova serving 0-1: 15/0. 30/0. 30/15. 40/15 (GP #1). 40/30 (GP #2). Deuce #1. Ad Petrova/Rodionova (GP #3). Held.

Lisicki/Stosur serving 1-1: 0/15. 15/15. 30/30. 40/30 (GP #1). Deuce #1. Ad Lisicki/Stosur (GP #2). Held.

Petrova/Rodionova serving 1-2: 15/0. 30/0. 40/0 (GP #1). Held.

Lisicki/Stosur serving 2-2: 15/0. 30/0. 40/0 (GP #1). Held.

Petrova/Rodionova serving 2-3: 0/15. 0/30. 15/30. 30/30. 40/30 (GP #1). Deuce #1. Ad Petrova/Rodionova (GP #2). Held.

Lisicki/Stosur serving 3-3: 15/0. 15/15. 30/15. 40/15 (GP #1). Held.

Petrova/Rodionova serving 3-4 (new balls): 0/15. 15/15. 15/30. 30/30. 30/40 (BP #1). Broken.

Lisicki/Stosur serving 5-3: 0/15. 0/30. 15/30. 15/40 (BP #1). 30/40 (BP #2). Broken.

Petrova/Rodionova serving 4-5: 0/15. 15/15. 30/15. 40/15 (GP #1). Held.

Lisicki/Stosur serving 5-5: 0/15. 15/15. 15/30. 30/30. 40/30 (GP #1). Held.

Petrova/Rodionova serving 5-6: 0/15. 0/30. 0/40 (SP #1 for Lisicki/Stosur). 15/40 (SP #2 for Lisicki/Stosur). 30/40 (SP #3 for Lisicki/Stosur). Deuce #1. Ad Lisicki/Stosur (SP #4). Lisicki/Stosur won the first set 7-5 at 19:01 BST (46m).


Second set
----------
LISICK/STOSUR *______ 1
PETROV/RODION _*@*@*@ 6

Stosur serving 0-0: 15/0. 15/15. 30/15. 40/15 (GP #1). 40/30 (GP #2). Held.

Petrova serving 0-1: 15/0. 30/0. 40/0 (GP #1). Held.

Lisicki serving 1-1: 15/0. 15/15. 15/30. 30/30. 40/30 (GP #1). Deuce #1. Ad Petrova/Rodionova (BP #1). Deuce #2. Ad Petrova/Rodionova (BP #2). Deuce #3. Ad Petrova/Rodionova (BP #3). Broken.

Rodionova serving 2-1: BBC Two joined the match with a close-up of Sabine in the first point of this game: she hit a crosscourt backhand, then watched a ball from the opposition fall wide of her backhand sideline. 0/15. Stosur hit a backhand long, and adjusted her cap. 15/15. Rodionova was attacked by a bee, but swatted it with her racket. Sabine forehand return long. 30/15. Sabine netted a high backhand volley-winner on the run. 40/15 (GP #1). Body-jamming serve forced Sabine to net a backhand. Held.

Stosur serving 1-3 (new balls): Stosur left a lob that went long. 15/0. Sabine, driven wide, netted a forehand, but still was able to laugh about it. 15/15. Sabine backhand long. 15/30. Rodionova intercepted to hit a forehand volley-winner down the middle. 15/40 (BP #1). Double fault (second serve into the net). Broken.

Petrova serving 4-1: Rodionova intercepted to hit a backhand volley after a body-jamming serve forced Sabine to hit a backhand long. 15/0. Rodionova’s stinging crosscourt backhand first volley forced Stosur to hit a crosscourt backhand just wide. 30/0. Deep first serve: Sabine mishit a forehand return long, and changed her racket. 40/0 (GP #1). Stosur netted a forehand volley. Held.

Lisicki serving 1-5: Sabine got to play a series of groundstrokes, and Petrova netted a backhand volley. 15/0. Sabine hit a down-the-line backhand wide, and wailed. 15/15. Petrova hit an off-forehand smash onto the baseline, forcing Sabine to bunt a backhand lob wide. 15/30. Stosur left a huge gap to her right for Petrova to hit a backhand winner down the line. 15/40 (SP #1). A good doubles-rally ended with Rodionova’s backhand volley forcing Stosur to earth a forehand half-volley. Petrova/Rodionova won the second set 6-1 at 19:31 BST (second set 30m, match so far 1h18m).


Third set
---------
LISICK/STOSUR @*_*@*@ 6
PETROV/RODION __*____ 1

Petrova serving 0-0: BBC Two missed the first two points to show a featurette about people turning rackets into works of art. 0/15. 15/15. Stosur hit a short-angled crosscourt backhand volley-winner off Rodionova’s first volley. 15/30. Stosur backhand long. 30/30. Sabine hit a good defensive lob, and an off-forehand pass-winner. 30/40 (BP #1). Stosur’s short lob-return proved awkward for Rodionova as she netted a backhand volley. Broken.

Lisicki serving 1-0: Deep first serve out wide forced Rodionova to net a forehand return. Deep first serve down the middle forced Petrova to hit a floater, which Stosur dispatched with a forehand smash-winner. Deep first serve out wide forced a floater, which Stosur dispatched with a forehand smash-winner. 40/0 (BP #1). First serve out wide + Stosur crosscourt backhand volley-winner. Held.

It’s interesting to see that Sabine is serving first for her team, because yesterday Stosur served first in each set. Perhaps they were trying to save Sabine’s energy for her singles semi-final then, although Stosur has a great serve too.

Rodionova serving 0-2: Deep first serve out wide – on the service-line – forced Sabine to hit a forehand return wide, but she could smile about it. 15/0. Stosur netted a backhand return. 30/0. Rodionova hit a huge crosscourt forehand onto the sideline, forcing Sabine to earth a forehand. 40/0 (GP #1). Rodionova netted a down-the-line backhand pass. 40/15 (GP #1). Deep first serve down the middle forced Sabine to lunge wide for a backhand return that miraculously landed on the baseline, forcing Rodionova to net a forehand. 40/30 (GP #2). A long rally ended with Petrova bisecting Sabine and Stosur with a crosscourt forehand volley-winner. Held.

Stosur serving 2-1: Stosur’s deep second serve induced Rodionova to hit an off-backhand return long. 15/0. Rodionova off-backhand volley-winner. 15/15. Petrova netted a backhand off an awkward dipping ball from Stosur. Sabine and Stosur had a laugh between points. 30/15. Stosur hit a pinpoint backhand winner down the line: just inside the sideline. 40/15 (GP #1). First serve out wide forced Rodionova to net a forehand return. Held.

Petrova serving 1-3: Sabine hit a brilliant crosscourt backhand return-winner down Rodionova’s backhand sideline. 0/15. Double fault (second serve long – Petrova wasted a challenge). Petrova tried to serve and volley, but Sabine’s crosscourt forehand return induced her to net a forehand volley. 0/40 (BP #1). Stosur’s deep off-forehand forced a floater, which Sabine pounced on with a backhand volley-winner down the middle. Broken.

BBC commentator Louise Pleming: “They’ve just really pulled it together at the right time, Lisicki and Stosur. They’ve been combining a lot better.”

Lisicki serving 4-1: Rodionova’s deep crosscourt forehand forced Sabine to hit a forehand long. 0/15. Deep second serve forced Petrova to hit a backhand long. 15/15. First serve out wide forced a floater; Stosur’s forehand volley forced Rodionova to hit a backhand into the front row of the stand to her left. 30/15. Sabine hit an off-forehand winner, and gave a big smile. 40/15 (GP #1). Sabine hit a huge forehand virtual winner down the middle. Held.

Rodionova serving 1-5 (new balls): Sabine nailed a backhand return at Petrova, forcing her to bunt an off-backhand volley wide. 0/15. Rodionova crosscourt backhand wide. 0/30. Rodionova backhand long. 0/40 (MP #1 for Lisicki/Stosur). Sabine hit a backhand volley-winner down the line, and reacted with a huge smile. Lisicki/Stosur won 7-5 1-6 6-1 at 19:53 BST (third set 21m, match 1h37m).

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
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Andrew's Women's Doubles semi-final and final TV-reports

=================
THE CHAMPIONSHIPS (Wimbledon, London, England; grass; Major)
=================
Contents
--------

1. Women's Doubles semi-final TV-report: Lisicki/Stosur v Eraković/Tanasugarn
2. Women's Doubles final TV-report: Lisicki/Stosur v Peschke/Srebotnik

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1. Women's Doubles semi-final TV-report: Lisicki/Stosur v Eraković/Tanasugarn (Friday 1st/Saturday 2nd July 2011)
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+ Sabine Lisicki [EF]/Samantha Stosur d. (Marina Eraković/Tamarine Tanasugarn)[PL], 6-3 4-6 8-6

This was an epic match played over two days, and Sabine did well to come through it despite looking incredibly low on confidence, only playing at 20% of her best, and constantly being picked on by Eraković and Tanasugarn.

Sabine lost her first three service-games, and also failed to serve out the match at 1:1 *5-2. On the plus side, she did hit several brilliant winners, and gave us plenty of her amazing smiles.

Tanasugarn served for the second set at *5-1, but Sabine and Stosur saved five set-points in a game of five deuces. A sixth set-point was saved on Sabine's serve at *2-5, but after two deuces, she held for her first time in the match.

Eraković served for the second set at *5-3, saved two break-points from 15/40 after complaining that a door was reflecting the sun into her eyes, but wasted a seventh set-point with a double fault, and was broken back. Three more set-points were saved on Stosur's serve at *4-5 (0/40), but the eleventh was converted when Sabine intercepted but netted a backhand volley.

Stosur bizarrely won the first point at 1:1 *0-1 when she hit a serve into Tanasugarn's body rather than the service-box. Eraković took a medical time-out for a right-arm injury after being broken for 2-3*.

Sabine and Stosur broke again for 1:1 *5-2, and with the light fading fast on Friday evening, Eraković and Tanasugarn repeatedly argued with the supervisor and used other delaying tactics in an attempt to get the match suspended overnight. They finally got their wish after Stosur played a very choky service-game to get broken back for 5-5*.

Sabine played much better when the match resumed on Saturday. Her groundstrokes were powerful and consistent, and she hit some big serves to save the match at 1:1 *5-6, when she was twice two points from defeat (30/30 and one deuce).

Sabine forced two errors as Eraković served at 1:1 *6-6 and was broken to 15. Stosur at *7-6 served out the match to 15, with Sabine hitting three forehand smash-winners, including a beautiful one at match-point where she had to run right and stretch high.


First set
---------
LISICK/STOSUR *__@*@_@* 6
ERAKOV/TANASU _*@___@__ 3

The match was originally scheduled third on Centre Court, but was switched to Court 12, and started at 19:13 BST.

Stosur serving 0-0: Tanasugarn hit an awkward lob over Sabine's left shoulder, forcing her to mishit a high off-backhand volley wide. 0/15. Stosur netted a crosscourt backhand after a crosscourt-backhand drill with Tanasugarn. 0/30. Double fault (second serve just long). 0/40 (BP #1). Deep first serve down the middle forced Tanasugarn to net a forehand return. 15/40 (BP #2). Deep first serve down the middle forced Eraković to bunt a crosscourt forehand return wide. 30/40 (BP #3). Ace #1: first serve down the middle, just inside the centre-line. Deuce #1. Sabine hit an off-forehand volley wide. Ad Tanasugarn (BP #4). Sabine stretched high and wide to hit an off-forehand volley-winner. Matt Chilton: "Lisicki is tall [5′10″], and she's got a big wingspan." Tracy Austin: "It's a good play to move and intercept shots right in the first game. That really will get into the head of Tanasugarn and Eraković that she's gonna be moving up there." Deuce #2. Stosur's deep backhand volley forced Eraković to hit a forehand lob long. Ad Stosur (GP #1). Ace #2: first serve out wide (Tanasugarn thought it was wide, but Hawk-Eye is not installed on Court 12). Held.

Stosur is wearing her sunglasses for the near end (for the next two games) but not the far end.

Eraković serving 0-1: Sabine hit a down-the-line forehand return just wide. Tracy Austin: "Not a bad idea to do early on, to send the message: ‘I'm not afraid to go up your line.’ Keep Tanasugarn home." 15/0. Deep first serve down the middle forced Stosur to net a forehand return. 30/0. Body-jamming first serve forced Sabine to hit an off-backhand return wide. 40/0 (GP #1). Eraković netted a forehand return. 40/15 (GP #2). Deep first serve out wide forced Sabine to bunt a forehand return long. Held.

Lisicki serving 1-1: Deep 109mph first serve down the middle forced Eraković to net a backhand return. 15/0. Tanasugarn's low-bouncing crosscourt backhand forced Sabine to net a backhand. 15/15. Second serve: Eraković dumped a backhand into the net. 30/15. Sabine netted a backhand. 30/30. Sabine crosscourt forehand wide. 30/40 (BP #1). Sabine dumped a backhand halfway up the net off a crosscourt backhand from Tanasugarn. Broken.

A poor opening service-game by Sabine.

Tanasugarn serving 1-2: Deep first serve out wide forced Sabine to net a forehand. 15/0. Sabine's deep backhand volley forced a floater, which Stosur dispatched with an off-forehand smash-winner. 15/15. Sabine's deep crosscourt forehand forced Tanasugarn to hit a forehand long. 15/30. Eraković off-forehand return-winner. 15/40 (BP #1). Eraković hit an off-forehand wide. Broken.

Stosur serving 2-2: Body-jamming serve forced Eraković to hit a forehand return long. 15/0. Sabine intercepted to hit a nice crosscourt backhand drive-volley winner. 30/0. Eraković hit a pinpoint forehand pass-winner down the line past Sabine. 30/15. Ace #3: 105mph first serve down the middle. 40/15 (GP #1). Tanasugarn bisected Sabine and Stosur with a short-angled crosscourt backhand pass-winner. 40/30 (GP #2). Ace #4: 110mph down the middle. Held.

Eraković serving 2-3: Tanasugarn crosscourt forehand volley-winner. 15/0. Sabine forced a short ball and hit an extremely hard forehand winner down the middle, onto the baseline. 15/15. Sabine hit a forehand pass-winner down the line. 15/30. Double fault (second serve just long). 15/40 (BP #1). Sabine netted a forehand off a low-bouncing forehand from Eraković. 30/40 (BP #2). Eraković hit a down-the-line backhand pass-winner, as Sabine had moved to her left too soon. Deuce #1. Sabine went to the net and hit an amazing acute-angled crosscourt forehand drop-volley winner from below the height of the net. Matt Chilton: "An absolute gem from Sabine Lisicki" Ad Stosur (BP #3). Another hard Sabine forehand forced Eraković to bunt a backhand volley long. Broken.

Tracy Austin appreciated Sabine's forehand (specifically the one at 15/0 there) as follows: "Lisicki gets great shoulder-turn. She's a very strong girl. Uses her legs well."

What does it mean that she uses her legs well? First of all, Sabine showed great footwork to set up for that forehand, with lots of little steps to get into the perfect position to nail a forehand off a high-bouncing ball. Secondly, she did an excellent job of transferring the whole weight of her body into that forehand, standing on her left leg with her right leg coming up out behind her on the follow-through - much faster than this description might imply.

Lisicki serving 4-2: Tanasugarn hit a forehand volley-winner down the middle. 0/15. Sabine netted a backhand. 0/30. Sabine netted a forehand. I think she's struggling with the sun from this end, as Stosur is wearing her sunglasses at this end only, and Sabine caught her toss at the beginning of this point. 0/40 (BP #1). Sabine netted a backhand. Broken.

Tanasugarn serving 3-4 (new balls): Sabine's deep crosscourt forehand forced Tanasugarn to hit a forehand long. 0/15. Sabine netted a forehand. 15/15. Sabine hit a down-the-line forehand winner. 15/30. A great rally culminated with Stosur's forehand volley forcing a floater from Eraković, which Sabine dispatched with a crosscourt forehand volley-winner. Sabine celebrated with a lovely smile. 15/40 (BP #1). First serve: Sabine's dipping crosscourt backhand return forced Eraković to bunt an off-backhand volley over the low fence at the side of Court 12. Broken.

Stosur serving 5-3: First serve out wide forced Eraković to hit a crosscourt forehand wide. 15/0. Eraković netted a forehand. 15/15. Sabine hit a forehand volley to Eraković's feet, forcing her to earth a forehand. 30/15. Ace #5: first serve out wide. 40/15 (SP #1 for Lisicki/Stosur). First serve out wide: Eraković ripped a crosscourt forehand return-winner. 40/30 (SP #2 for Lisicki/Stosur). Sabine punished a weak Tanasugarn lob with a high forehand punch-volley down the line for a virtual winner (Tanasugarn just clipped it with her racket). Lisicki/Stosur won the first set 6-3 at 19:46 BST (33m).

There was a nice close-up of Sabine smiling and laughing with Stosur at the set-break.
Matt Chilton: "She really enjoys herself out on court - singles or doubles. Brings out the best in her partners as well."
Tracy Austin: "Lisicki's personality wherever she is - on court or off court - she's very vivacious."


Second set
----------
LISICK/STOSUR _*____@*@_ 4
ERAKOV/TANASU *_*@*@___@ 6

Eraković serving 0-0: Body-jamming first serve forced Sabine to hit a crosscourt forehand wide. 15/0. Second serve: Stosur off-forehand return wide. 30/0. Double fault (second serve into the net). 30/15. Sabine's deep, defensive backhand volley induced Eraković to net a forehand. 30/30. Sabine netted a backhand return off a low-bouncing first serve. 40/30 (GP #1). Stosur off-forehand wide. Held.

Stosur serving 0-1: Stosur forced a floater, but slapped a forehand smash into the net. 0/15. First serve down the middle forced Tanasugarn to hit an off-forehand wide. 15/15. Ace #7: first serve out wide. 30/15. Tanasugarn hit a forehand pass-winner down the middle. 30/30. Deep first serve out wide forced Eraković to hit a forehand return long. 40/30 (GP #1). A great doubles-rally ended with Eraković hitting a deep forehand pass-winner down the line, just inside the baseline. Deuce #1. Ace #8: first serve down the middle (Eraković thought it was long, but there's no Hawk-Eye on Court 12). Ad Stosur (GP #1). Sabine hit a high forehand volley-winner down the line, which put a big smile on her face. Held.

Tanasugarn serving 1-1: Sabine hit a brilliant backhand return-winner down Eraković's backhand sideline. 0/15. Eraković stumbled at the net, but used her left hand to avoid falling over completely, and recovered to hit a crosscourt backhand volley that forced Sabine to bunt a backhand lob long. 15/15. Sabine netted a cheap forehand, and emitted a cute little groan. 30/15. Double fault (second serve clipped the netcord and fell wide). 30/30. Stosur hit a forehand volley long off a dipping ball from Eraković. 40/30 (GP #1). Tanasugarn netted a backhand off a short-angled crosscourt backhand return from Sabine. Deuce #1. Stosur netted an awkward high backhand volley. Ad Tanasugarn (GP #2). First serve: Stosur backhand return long. Held.

Some Eraković-fans held up a placard with a sick pun based on the "sick" in Sabine's surname.

A lot of spectators came in at the changeover, following the completion of Nadal v Murray on Centre Court a few minutes earlier.

Lisicki serving 1-2: Ace #8: first serve down the middle. 15/0. Double fault (seocnd serve into the net). 15/15. Sabine dumped a forehand halfway up the net. 15/30. Double fault (second serve long). 15/40 (BP #1). Stosur tried to break up a crosscourt-forehand drill between Sabine and Eraković by intercepting, but netted a forehand volley. Broken.

Eraković serving 3-1: Tanasugarn hit a round-arm backhand smash-winner. 15/0. Stosur's body-jamming backhand forced Tanasugarn to hit a backhand volley long. 15/15. First serve out wide forced Sabine to hit a backhand return wide of Tanasugarn's backhand sideline. 30/15. A good doubles-rally ended with Tanasugarn dispatching a floater with a forehand volley-winner down the middle. 40/15 (GP #1). Ace out wide: just inside the sideline. Held.

Stosur serving 1-4: Stosur backhand first volley wide. 0/15. Tanasugarn hit a forehand lob-winner over Sabine's head and just inside the baseline. 0/30. Tanasugarn hit a crosscourt forehand volley-winner. 0/40 (BP #1). With Eraković and Tanasugarn now picking on Sabine at every opportunity, Sabine hit an off-forehand volley-winner, and shouted "c'mon". 15/40 (BP #2). Slow first serve out wide induced Eraković to net a forehand return. 30/40 (BP #3). Eraković's forehand clipped the netcord and went through Sabine and Stosur for a winner. Broken.

Tanasugarn serving 5-1: Tanasugarn stood close to the sideline to hit a first serve out wide, pushing Sabine into the alley to hit a forehand down the line; Eraković's backhand volley induced Sabine to bunt a backhand lob long. 15/0. Sabine hit a forehand smash long off an awkward lob from Tanasugarn. 30/0. Eraković intercepted but netted a forehand as Tanasugarn went for the same shot. 30/15. Eraković hit an off-backhand volley into Sabine's body, forcing her to earth a backhand volley. 40/15 (SP #1 for Eraković/Tansugarn). Sabine hit a forehand return-winner down the line. 40/30 (SP #2 for Eraković/Tanasugarn). Eraković hit an off-backhand volley wide. Deuce #1. Eraković hit a crosscourt forehand volley-winner as Sabine stumbled at the back of the court. Ad Eraković/Tanasugarn (SP #3). Stosur bisected Eraković and Tanasugarn with a crosscourt backhand volley-winner. Deuce #2. First serve down the middle induced Sabine to earth a mishit backhand return. Tracy Austin: "Lisicki really backing off on that backhand - she's definitely lost some belief." Ad Eraković/Tanasugarn (SP #4). Stosur saved it with a backhand return-winner down the line. Deuce #3. Tanasugarn crosscourt forehand just wide. Ad Lisicki/Stosur (BP #1). Eraković hit a delicate crosscourt backhand volley-winner. Deuce #4. Sabine made Tanasugarn wait as she was distracted by something, then Tanasugarn's first serve forced her to net a backhand return. Ad Eraković/Tanasugarn (SP #5). Stosur forced a floater, and dispatched it with an off-forehand smash-winner. Deuce #5. Sabine hit a crosscourt forehand return deep into the corner, forcing Tanasugarn to hit a forehand that went backwards. Ad Lisicki/Stosur (BP #2). Stosur hit a scything crosscourt backhand volley-winner. Broken.

Sabine is really struggling with her confidence at the moment, and they all know it. Stosur is doing a good job of supporting her.

Lisicki serving 2-5 (new balls): Sabine neutered her opponents' early initiative with a defensive forehand lob onto the baseline, forcing a short ball from Tanasugarn; Sabine hit a heavy forehand down the middle, inducing Tanasugarn to bunt a backhand lob just long (Sabine and Stosur showed good judgement at the net to leave it). 15/0. Eraković picked off a floater from Sabine with a crosscourt forehand volley-winner. 15/15. First serve out wide forced Eraković to hit a forehand return long. 30/15. Sabine hit a woefully short, weak second serve; Tanasugarn's deep forehand return induced her to earth a backhand. 30/30. Stosur tried to intercept Tanasugarn's crosscourt forehand, but it proved too high for her, as she hit an off-forehand volley long and wide. 30/40 (SP #6 for Eraković/Tanasugarn). Stosur saved it with a crisp crosscourt backhand volley-winner. Deuce #1. Eraković forehand long. Ad Lisicki (GP #1). Sabine hit a defensive crosscourt forehand lob just wide. Deuce #2. Stosur off-forehand smash-winner. Ad Lisicki (GP #2). Stosur hit a backhand volley-winner down the middle. Held.

A very important hold for Sabine - her first of the match.

Eraković serving 5-3: First serve out wide: Sabine netted a makeable forehand return. 15/0. Stosur crosscourt forehand drop-volley winner. 15/15. Eraković forehand just long. 15/30. Sabine smiled as she waited for Eraković to serve - she still believes she can win this set. Tanasugarn hit a forehand just long, looked bewildered, and told the umpire she saw a puff of titanium pigment. 15/40 (BP #1). Eraković's deep forehand forced Sabine to hit a crosscourt backhand wide. 30/40 (BP #2). Eraković complained to the umpire that an open door was reflecting the sun into her eyes as she tried to serve, and there was a long delay while they waited for the problem to go away (presumably someone closed the door, as there was clapping from the spectators and Tanasugarn). Deep, body-jamming first serve induced Stosur to net a forehand return. Sabine seemed angered by the delay: she picked up the ball, looked like she was tempted to whack it into the crowd, but chose to remain impeccable by gently dropping the ball and giving Stosur a loud hand-slap instead. Deuce #1. Stosur forehand long. Ad Eraković (SP #7). Double fault #4 (second serve long). Deuce #2. Body-jamming first serve: Sabine hit a deep, body-jamming off-backhand return, forcing Eraković to net a backhand. Ad Stosur (BP #3). Tanasugarn backhand long. Broken.

Back on serve after seven saved set-points!

Stosur serving 4-5: Tanasugarn hit a crosscourt backhand pass-winner as Sabine ducked to avoid it and flapped her racket in vain, accompanied by a cute little squeak. 0/15. Stosur backhand wide. 0/30. Stosur ran down a Tanasugarn lob and, with her back to the net, hit an incredible off-backhand lob that landed just inside the sideline and deep; it bounced high enough for Eraković to hit a crosscourt forehand smash from way behind the baseline, forcing Stosur to hit a crosscourt forehand wide. 0/40 (SP #8 for Eraković/Tanasugarn). Sabine saved it with a deep backhand down the middle, forcing Eraković to net a backhand. 15/40 (SP #9 for Eraković/Tanasugarn). Eraković netted a forehand in front of Sabine. 30/40 (SP #10 for Eraković/Tanasugarn). Tanasugarn hit a crosscourt backhand pass-winner onto the sideline - except that it was called wide. Deuce #1. Double fault (second serve into the net). Ad Tanasugarn (SP #11 for Eraković/Tanasugarn). Sabine intercepted but netted a backhand volley. Eraković/Tanasugarn won the second set 6-4 at 20:40 BST (second set 53m, match so far 1h26m).


Third set
---------
LISICK/STOSUR _*_*@*@____*@* 8
ERAKOV/TANASU *_*____@*@*___ 6

Eraković serving 0-0: Second serve: Sabine netted a forehand return, and looked at her entourage (including her parents, and German Fed Cup captain Barbara Rittner) - not for the first time. 15/0. Tanasugarn off-backhand first volley wide. 15/15. Deep first serve down the middle forced Sabine to hit a backhand return long. 30/15. Eraković backhand long. 30/30. Deep first serve forced Sabine to hit a backhand long. 40/30 (GP #1). Stosur's dipping crosscourt backhand forced Eraković to net a forehand half-volley. Deuce #1. Sabine squeezed a forehand return-winner down the line: in the alley, just inside the baseline. Ad Stosur (BP #1). Ace #2: first serve down the middle clipped the outside edge of the service-line. Deuce #2. Sabine retrieved a series of difficult shots from Eraković and Tanasugarn with defensive lobs, until finally an Eraković forehand smash forced her to net a forehand. Ad Eraković (GP #2). Eraković forced a short sitter, and hit an off-forehand winner onto the baseline. Held.

Stosur serving 0-1: Stosur hit a second serve wide of the centre-line, but it hit Tanasugarn, so they won the point! 15/0. Tanasugarn netted a backhand. 30/0. Stosur hit an off-backhand volley right between Eraković's feet, forcing her to earth a backhand. 40/0 (GP #1). Double fault (kick second serve long). 40/15 (GP #2). Sabine on the third stroke hit a delectable crosscourt forehand drop-volley. Held.

I've never seen what happened on the first point at *0-1 before in my 19 years of watching professional tennis! I would have thought that it should be a fault if a serve hits a player who is standing outside the service-box (in general, it is your error if your shot hits a player who is standing outside the entire playing-area, but her error if she is standing within the playing-area).

Tanasugarn serving 1-1: Double fault (second serve long). 0/15. Tanasugarn hit a crosscourt backhand volley-winner. 15/15. Sabine's dipping backhand return induced Eraković to net a backhand volley. 15/30. Tanasugarn netted a backhand off a sliced backhand from Stosur. 15/40 (BP #1). First serve out wide: Sabine netted a forehand return. Matt Chilton: "The Lisicki forehand has been mainly absent." 30/40 (BP #2). Stosur hit a nervy off-forehand wide. Deuce #1. Eraković hit a forehand drop-volley winner. Ad Tanasugarn (GP #1). Stosur sliced a backhand long. Held.

Lisicki serving 1-2: Sabine netted a forehand. 0/15. Sabine hit a deep 113mph first serve + big off-forehand winner. 15/15. Stosur's off-forehand first volley forced Tanasugarn to bunt a backhand just wide. 30/15. Deep first serve down the middle forced Tanasugarn to net a forehand return. 40/15 (GP #1). Deep first serve down the middle forced Eraković to hit a backhand return wide. Held.

Sabine's first good service-game of the match: all first serves in, and some good one-two punches with her forehand too.

Eraković serving 2-2: Eraković forehand long. 0/15. Eraković forehand just long off a deep crosscourt backhand from Stosur. 0/30. Stosur netted a forehand volley that should have been an easy winner. 15/30. Tanasugarn crosscourt backhand volley-winner. 30/30. Eraković's crosscourt forehand was called wide, though it actually clipped the sideline. 30/40 (BP #1). Tanasugarn crosscourt backhand first volley-winner. Deuce #1. Body-jamming first serve out wide forced Sabine to net a backhand return. Ad Eraković (GP #1). Second serve... Sabine's forehand drop-volley forced Eraković to run forwards and flick up a defensive backhand lob, which Stosur dispatched with an off-forehand smash-winner. Deuce #2. Tanasugarn crosscourt forehand wide. Ad Stosur (BP #2). Sabine hit Tanasugarn with an off-backhand volley, and thus won the point - the second time that's happened to Tanasugarn today! Broken.

Eraković took a medical time-out for a right-arm problem, while Sabine and Stosur took a bathroom-break (or perhaps to get some food from a nearby barbeque). It's already 21:06 BST, so it's unlikely that this match will finish tonight after this delay. The rule is that a match can only be suspended for darkness after an even number of games in the set.

Stosur serving 3-2: First serve down the middle forced Eraković to hit a backhand long. 15/0. Sabine dispatched a short floater with a round-arm forehand smash-winner. 30/0. First serve: Eraković forehand return long. 40/0 (GP #1). Double fault (wild second serve wide of the sideline). 40/15 (GP #2). Second serve: Eraković forehand return long. Held.

There was a nice close-up of Sabine and Stosur laughing together at the back of the court.

Tanasugarn serving 2-4 (new balls): Sabine's forehand return down the line induced Eraković to net a backhand volley. 0/15. Tanasugarn sprayed a crosscourt backhand wide, and yelled. She complained to the umpire that she could not see the ball, and Eraković joined in the argument, asking why they had to carry on right now. 0/30. Sabine crosscourt forehand return forced Tanasugarn to net a forehand return. 0/40 (BP #1). Sabine handled an awkward lob by hitting an high off-forehand volley-winner onto the sideline. Broken.

Eraković and Tanasugarn got the supervisor out to argue some more, but they still had to continue. The final is supposed to be tomorrow.

Lisicki serving 5-2: Stosur hit a high crosscourt backhand volley-winner. 15/0. Sabine on the third stroke hit a backhand long. 15/15. Eraković's deep crosscourt forehand forced Sabine to hit a forehand long. 15/30. Tanasugarn hit a backhand winner down the line. 15/40 (BP #1). Sabine hit a huge forehand virtual winner down the line (Tanasugarn just brushed it with her outstretched racket). 30/40 (BP #2). Sabine netted a backhand. Broken.

Eraković and Tanasugarn continued their argument with the supervisor, but even though it was now an even number of games, they had to play on. It's now 21:21 BST and getting darker by the minute.

Eraković serving 3-5: Tanasugarn's forehand volley forced Stosur to net a backhand. 15/0. Eraković's dipping forehand induced Sabine to hit a crosscourt backhand volley wide. 30/0. Double fault (second serve just long). 30/15. Tanasugarn's big backhand volley forced Stosur to bunt an off-backhand wide. 40/15 (GP #1). First serve out wide forced Sabine to hit a down-the-line forehand return wide. Held.

Eraković and Tanasugarn continued arguing with the supervisor, who also asked Sabine and Stosur whether they were happy to continue. It requires the consent of both teams to stop on an odd number of games.

Stosur serving 5-4: Stosur forehand volley long. 0/15. Stosur earthed a backhand off an off-forehand return from Tanasugarn. 0/30. Sabine intercepted to hit a sharp-angled off-forehand volley-winner, and said "c'mon". 15/30. A longish baseline-rally ended with Stosur spraying a forehand long. 15/40 (BP #1). Stosur on the third stroke hit a forehand long. Broken.

The match was suspended due to darkness at 21:27 BST (third set so far 47m, match so far 2h14m). The match resumed at 14:20 BST on Saturday (16h53m delay).

Tanasugarn serving 5-5: Tanasugarn netted a forehand on the third stroke. 0/15. Eraković hit an off-backhand drop-volley winner. 15/15. Stosur netted a forehand volley. 30/15. Deep, low-bouncing first serve down the middle forced Stosur to net a forehand return. 40/15 (GP #1). First serve: Sabine hit a deep off-backhand return onto the baseline, forcing Tanasugarn to net a backhand. 40/30 (GP #2). Stosur's backhand clipped the netcord and dropped dead for a winner. Deuce #1. First serve out wide - on the sideline - induced Sabine to hit a forehand return just long. Ad Tanasugarn (GP #3). Sabine's backhand volley down the middle forced a floater from Tanasugarn, giving Stosur an easy crosscourt backhand volley-winner. Deuce #2. Eraković intercepted a crosscourt-forehand drill between Sabine and Tanasugarn to hit an off-forehand volley-winner. Ad Tanasugarn (GP #4). Tanasugarn hit a forehand lob-winner over Sabine's head. Held.

Matt Chilton: "Lisicki is showing signs of improvement. Yesterday, her groundstrokes left a lot to be desired, but she drilled that one [40/15] down the centre."

Lisicki serving 5-6: Tanasugarn pounced on a floater from Sabine to hit an off-forehand volley straight into Stosur's body, forcing her to earth a forehand volley. 0/15. Ace #9: 111mph first serve down the middle, on the sideline. Sabine shouted "c'mon". 15/15. Eraković on the fourth stroke dumped a forehand into the net. 30/15. Tanasugarn's deep crosscourt forehand just inside the baseline induced Sabine to net a forehand. 30/30. Sabine, two points from defeat and looking into the sun, caught her first service-toss. Deep second serve out wide forced a floater from Eraković, which Stosur dispatched with an easy off-forehand smash-winner. 40/30 (GP #1). Sabine mishit a forehand volley long. Deuce #1. First serve down the middle forced a short return; Sabine's short-angled crosscourt forehand forced Eraković to run way outside the alley and forwards to earth a forehand. Ad Lisicki (GP #2). Deep 78mph kick second serve just inside the service-line induced Tanasugarn to hit a backhand return long. Held.

Eraković serving 6-6: Eraković on the third stroke dumped a forehand halfway up the net. Sabine straightened her strings and smiled. 0/15. Tanasugarn's crosscourt forehand volley forced Sabine to net a forehand. 15/15. Deep first serve out wide, but Sabine's forehand return forced Tanasugarn to mishit an off-forehand volley that sat up nicely for Stosur to hit an off-forehand winner. 15/30. Tanasugarn intercepted but dumped a backhand volley into the net. 15/40 (BP #1). Deep first serve: Sabine's off-backhand return induced Eraković to mishit a forehand long. Broken.

Stosur serving 7-6: Deep first serve down the middle forced a floater, which Sabine dispatched with a forehand smash-winner down the middle. 15/0. Stosur tried to serve and volley, but dumped a forehand volley into the net. 15/15. Stosur hit a short-angled crosscourt forehand onto the sideline, forcing Eraković to hoist a forehand lob, which Sabine dispatched with another forehand smash-winner down the middle. 30/15. Sabine and Stosur had a long discussion, then Stosur found herself choking on a cloud of aphids as she went to serve. Tanasugarn took the initiative with a down-the-line backhand lob over Sabine's head; Eraković and Tanasugarn looked like strong favourites to win the point as they closed in on the net, but Stosur ran down Eraković's off-backhand drop-volley to bisect them with a forehand pass-winner down the middle and onto the baseline. 40/15 (MP #1 for Lisicki/Stosur). Sabine had another cute chat with Stosur. Deep second serve down the middle forced a floater from Eraković, which Sabine dispatched by running right and stretching high to hit an off-forehand smash-winner. Lisicki/Stosur won 6-3 4-6 8-6 at 14:39 BST (third set 17h59m gross, 1h06m net; match 2h33m net, 19h26m gross).

Sabine was smiling and laughing as she sat on her chair after the match. She and Stosur posed for photos with their arms around each other's shoulders.

----------------------------------------------------------------------
2. Women's Doubles final TV-report: Lisicki/Stosur v Peschke/Srebotnik (Saturday 2nd July 2011)
----------------------------------------------------------------------

- Sabine Lisicki [EF]/Samantha Stosur lt. (KVĚTA PESCHKE/KATARINA SREBOTNIK)[2], 3-6 1-6

A sad ending for Sabine - though you'd never know it from her constant smile - as she started brilliantly to go 3-1* up, only to suffer a dramatic loss of confidence: she caught four service-tosses in one game at *3-4, and literally went several games without hitting a single ball in the court during a run of seven games against her from 0:0 3-1* to 0:1 0-3*.

The key game of the match was on Peschke's serve at 0:0 *3-3, when Sabine failed to break despite hitting a ferocious 96mph forehand winner off a Peschke smash, and two brilliant return-winners to reach break-point at 30/40. I think that Sabine would particularly rue the backhand error that she made at Deuce #4 in that game, because it was the first really bad shot that she hit in the final - and sadly, the first of many.

The momentum briefly switched back to Sabine at 0:1 0-3* 0/40* when Peschke double-faulted and Sabine hit her first non-error for several games. She hit an amazing forehand return-winner at Deuce #1, broke back for *1-3, but Peschke and Srebotnik were not to be denied, and swept the last three games, although Sabine did save one championship-point with an ace.

Overall, Peschke and Srebotnik won the title because they are a great doubles-team who have been working together specifically towards winning a Major Women's Doubles title for the last year and a half, having both retired from singles to specialise in doubles.

Whereas Wimbledon was only Sabine's third doubles-tournament of the year, having won Stuttgart with Stosur (their first tournament together) and reached the semi-finals of ITF Reggio Emilia with Ajla Tomljanović.

Peschke and Srebotnik beat them by superior teamwork.


First set
---------
LISICK/STOSUR _*@*_____ 3
PESCHK/SREBOT *___*@*@* 6

The match was third on Centre Court. Peschke and Srebotnik won the toss and chose to serve, and the match started at 18:20 BST.

During the warm-up, BBC commentator Lindsay Davenport picked Sabine and Stosur to triumph, as they had the big weapons even though Peschke and Srebotnik are an established doubles-team.

Srebotnik serving 0-0: First serve out wide forced Sabine to net a forehand return. 15/0. Second serve: Stosur bisected Peschke and Srebotnik with a crosscourt backhand return-winner. 15/15. Stosur bisected Peschke and Srebotnik with a crosscourt backhand volley-winner. 15/30. Peschke crosscourt backhand volley-winner. 30/30. Sabine's deep crosscourt forehand induced Srebotnik to hit a crosscourt forehand wide. 30/40 (BP #1). Deep first serve out wide: Stosur backhand return long. Deuce #1. Peschke pounced on a short return with a crosscourt forehand volley-winner. Ad Srebotnik (GP #1). Srebotnik hit a crosscourt forehand drop-volley winner. Held.

The court is now half in shadow, with Stosur about to serve from the sunny end.

Stosur serving 0-1: Stosur netted a forehand volley. 0/15. Ace down the middle. 15/15. Stosur bisected Peschke and Srebotnik with a forehand pass-winner down the middle. 30/15. Sabine should have hit a backhand volley off Peschke's return, but let it go, and Stosur in no-man's-land netted an awkward forehand volley from below the height of the net. 30/30. First serve out wide forced Srebotnik to net a forehand return. 40/30 (GP #1). Double fault (second serve just long). Deuce #1. Stosur mishit a forehand long off a deep ball. Ad Peschke (BP #1). Deep first serve out wide induced Peschke to hit a backhand return long. Deuce #2. Peschke backhand volley just long. Ad Stosur (GP #2). Sabine hit a forehand smash-winner down the line off a ball that may have been going wide. Held.

Peschke serving 1-1: Peschke netted a backhand volley. 0/15. Peschke dispatched a floater (forced by Srebotnik) with an off-forehand smash-winner. 15/15. Sabine's down-the-line forehand clipped the netcord and jumped over Srebotnik's racket for a winner. 15/30. Stosur hit a short-angled crosscourt backhand return-winner onto the sideline. 15/40 (BP #1). Srebotnik hit a forehand volley-winner straight into Stosur's body, forcing her to earth a backhand volley. 30/40 (BP #2). Peschke netted a forehand half-volley off a dipping return. Broken.

So far, Sabine is playing much better than she did in her Women's Doubles semi-final. As BBC commentator Simon Reed put it, she has "so much belief" today, whereas her confidence looked completely shot at times in that semi-final.

Lisicki serving 2-1: Sabine hit a pinpoint forehand winner down the line: just inside the sideline. 15/0. Sabine, driven wide, hit a fantastic backhand winner down the line, and gave a big smile. 30/0. Srebotnik crosscourt forehand wide. 40/0 (GP #1). Sabine mishit a crosscourt backhand wide. 40/15 (GP #2). Ace down the middle. Held.

Srebotnik serving 1-3: Sabine's powerful backhand return forced Peschke to bunt a backhand volley long. 0/15. Stosur netted a forehand. 15/15. Sabine crosscourt backhand just wide, and managed to smile about it. 30/15. Stosur netted a forehand return, then challenged the serve: Hawk-Eye showed that it caught about 2% of the breadth of the service-line, which put a huge smile on Sabine's face. 40/15 (GP #1). First serve: Sabine hit an early crosscourt backhand return-winner. 40/30 (GP #2). First serve out wide induced Stosur to net a backhand return. Held.

There was a nice close-up of Sabine at the changeover, during which she gave a big smile.

Stosur serving 3-2: Sabine netted a backhand. 0/15. First serve down the middle: Peschke bisected Sabine and Stosur with an off-forehand return-winner. 0/30. Sabine hit a fantastic off-forehand volley-winner off a body-jamming forehand return from Srebotnik. 15/30. Stosur hit a backhand halfway up the net. 15/40 (BP #1). Stosur forehand long. Broken.

Peschke serving 3-3: Sabine went for a short-angled crosscourt forehand pass: it clipped the netcord and took a wicked little hop, landing just inside the sideline, forcing Srebotnik to net a forehand. 0/15. Sabine picked off Peschke's off-forehand smash with a ferocious 96mph forehand winner down Srebotnik's forehand sideline! Simon Reed: "Unbelievable speed. The guys would be very happy with that - any of them!" 0/30. Srebotnik picked off Sabine's crosscourt forehand return with a deft forehand drop-volley winner. 15/30. Sabine's indecision caused her to net a backhand volley. 30/30. Sabine hit a stunning crosscourt backhand return-winner. Simon Reed: "Whether it's forehand or backhand, she hits it like greased lightning." 30/40 (BP #1). Sabine bunted a crosscourt backhand wide off a dipping ball at her feet. Deuce #1. Sabine hit a huge 83mph forehand return-winner down the line, and gave an equally huge smile. Ad Peschke (GP #1). Peschke hit a forehand volley-winner down the middle. Deuce #2. Peschke's depth forced Sabine to hit a crosscourt backhand wide. Sabine muttered with a smile on her face. Ad Peschke (GP #2). Stosur hit a booming short-angled off-forehand winner onto the sideline! Deuce #3. Stosur drilled a forehand smash-winner into Srebotnik's left foot, probably giving her a nasty bruise. Ad Peschke (GP #3). Srebotnik hit an off-backhand volley-winner. Deuce #4. Sabine hit an off-backhand wide. Simon Reed: "She's got so many good shots in [that] you can't condemn her when one goes astray." Ad Peschke (GP #4). Stosur mishit a crosscourt backhand return wide, then wasted a challenge on the serve, which was plumb on the service-line. Held.

An important hold for Peschke, and annoying that Sabine's brilliant returns weren't rewarded with a break. I think she might rue the one she missed at Deuce #4.

Lisicki serving 3-4 (new balls): Stosur dominated the rally at the net, finishing it off with an off-forehand volley-winner. I always feel that her volleys are the barometer of her game, and they look in good nick at the moment. 15/0. Sabine almost squeezed a crosscourt backhand winner onto the sideline, but it was just wide. 15/15. A long rally, in which Sabine and Stosur had to retrieve a series of smashes with lobs, ended with Stosur hitting a backhand long. 15/30. Peschke crosscourt backhand volley wide. 30/30. Sabine caught her toss for the fourth time in this game, and netted a forehand. 30/40 (BP #1). Double fault (second serve long). Broken.

It's sad to see Sabine's confidence draining away after such a brilliant start. She caught four tosses in that game.

Srebotnik serving 5-3: Deep first serve out wide induced Sabine to bunt a forehand return long. 15/0. Sabine retrieved two Srebotnik volleys with mini lobs, but Srebotnik hit a stinging forehand smash for a virtual winner. Sabine looked like she might throw her racket for the first time in her life, but just swished it in frustration instead. 30/0. First serve out wide forced Sabine to net a forehand. 40/0 (SP #1 for Peschke/Srebotnik). Stosur blasted a forehand long. Peschke/Srebotnik won the first set 6-3 at 19:01 BST (41m).


Second set
----------
LISICK/STOSUR ___@___ 1
PESCHK/SREBOT @*@_@*@ 6

Stosur serving 0-0: BBC Two missed the start of the second set to show an interview with Women's Singles champion Petra Kvitová, and the BBC Red Button service didn't provide an option for avoiding that overlay. 15/0. 15/15. 15/30. 30/30. 30/40 (BP #1). Double fault. Broken.

Srebotnik serving 1-0: Srebotnik netted an off-forehand volley off a defensive forehand lob from Sabine. 0/15. Peschke hit a forehand smash-winner off a short, high-bouncing return from Stosur. 15/15. Deep first serve out wide forced Sabine to earth a backhand return. 30/15. Double fault #1 (second serve into the net). 30/30. Peschke pinned Sabine back with a deep volley, then hit a high backhand drop-volley winner. 40/30 (GP #1). Stosur netted a forehand off a very short ball. Held.

Lisicki serving 0-2: Sabine crosscourt forehand long, and looked anxious. 0/15. Sabine netted a backhand in front of Peschke. 0/30. Srebotnik ripped a short-angled crosscourt forehand pass-winner past Sabine, just inside the sideline. 0/40 (BP #1). Sabine dumped a backhand halfway up the net. Broken.

Sabine has gone from being brilliant early in the match to literally not being able to hit a ball in the court. Simon Reed linked that to her service-toss going AWOL, but couldn't believe the turnaround that has seen them lose the last eight games.

Peschke serving 3-0: Sabine off-forehand just wide. 15/0. Stosur netted a very makeable backhand return - she seems to have caught whatever is bothering Sabine. 30/0. Sabine hit a backhand long. 40/0 (GP #1). Double fault (second serve into the net). 40/15 (GP #2). Sabine hit a backhand return into court - the first non-error that she's hit since I started thinking that she couldn't get a ball into court - and Peschke hit a forehand long. 40/30 (GP #3). Stosur's deep off-forehand return forced Peschke to earth a backhand lob, although Sabine ran right along the net just in case it did go over. Deuce #1. Sabine hit an amazing forehand return-winner down the line: just inside the sideline. She reacted with a fist-pump and a huge smile. Ad Stosur (BP #1). Peschke netted a backhand. Broken.

An unbelievable turnaround from *3-0 (40/0)! It seems that Sabine has relaxed and rediscovered her good form, while Peschke and Srebotnik - who specialise in doubles, but have won no Major Women's Doubles titles between them - have become nervous with the winning-post in sight.

Stosur serving 1-3: Ace #3: first serve out wide. 15/0. First serve down the middle: Peschke forehand return long. 30/0. Double fault (second serve into the net). 30/15. Stosur netted a backhand. 30/30. Srebotnik off-backhand winner. 30/40 (BP #1). Srebotnik's crosscourt forehand volley forced Sabine to earth a backhand volley. Broken.

Srebotnik serving 4-1: Srebotnik's deep forehand forced Sabine to bunt a forehand lob long. 15/0. Peschke forced a short floater, and dispatched it with a crosscourt forehand round-arm smash-winner. 30/0. Peschke punished a short ball with an off-forehand dropshot-winner. 40/0 (GP #1). Sabine's dipping backhand forced Srebotnik to net a backhand volley. She gave a big smile. 40/15 (GP #2). First serve out wide forced Sabine to hit a crosscourt forehand return just long. Held.

Lisicki serving 1-5: First serve out wide: Stosur cut off Srebotnik's crosscourt forehand return with an off-forehand volley into Peschke's body, forcing her to net a backhand volley. 15/0. They had to wait for a noisy spectator to settle down. Slow first serve out wide: Peschke's deep crosscourt backhand return pushed Sabine way back behind the baseline, inducing her to hit a backhand that clipped the netcord and fell back on her side. 15/15. Double fault #5 (second serve long). 15/30. Peschke hit an off-forehand winner just inside the sideline. 15/40 (CP #1 for Peschke/Srebotnik). Ace down the middle. Sabine smiled. 30/40 (CP #2 for Peschke/Srebotnik). First-serve let. First serve just long. Short second serve... Sabine on the fifth stroke hit a backhand halfway up the net. Peschke/Srebotnik won 6-3 6-1 at 19:30 BST (second set 28m, match 1h09m).

The four players exchanged warm embraces at the net. BBC presenter Sue Barker described it as "the friendliest end to a match that I've ever seen". You would never know from Sabine's huge smile that she'd just suffered a heavy defeat in a Major final.

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
__________________
My Eternal Fanship: 1. Monica Seles; 2. Мария Шарапова (‘Maria Sharapova’); 3. Daniela Hantuchová; 4. Jelena Dokić; 5. Iva Majoli; 6. Karina Habšudová; 7. Вера Звонарёва (‘Vera Zvonarëva’); 8. Nicole Vaidišová; 9. Анна Чакветадзе (‘Anna Chakvetadze’); 10. Lucie Šafářová; 11. Ирода Туляганова (‘Iroda Tulyaganova’); 12. Magdaléna Rybáriková; 13. Sabine Lisicki
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