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Old Jul 18th, 2011, 06:46 PM   #1
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Wimbledon 2009: Andrew's TV-reports (3r + QF)

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THE CHAMPIONSHIPS (Wimbledon, England; grass; Major)
=================

Now that I am an Eternal Fan of Sabine, let me take you back to Wimbledon 2009, and the TV-reports that I didn't share with the Sabine Lisicki community at the time.

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Contents
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1. Third-round TV-report: Lisicki v Kuznetsova
2. Fourth-round result: Lisicki v Woźniacki
3. Quarter-final TV-report: Lisicki v Safina

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1. Third-round TV-report: Lisicki v Kuznetsova (Saturday 27th June 2009)
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+ Sabine Lisicki [DF] d. SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [5], 6-2 7-5

Not a bad return for Anna Chakvetadze's first-round loss to Sabine!

Not a happy return of the day for Kuznetsova on her 24th birthday, though!

I started this report on the assumption that the BBC would televise it at some point, seeing as it was on Court One and the fifth seed was in real trouble, but with only two channels available for tennis at the time, they wasted them both on men's matches and then Safina v Flipkens!

So I started by following live scores on a game-by-game basis, and then went into point-by-point mode when it looked like Sabine was about to win at 6-2 5-2*.

At least the BBC did later show Sabine's three missed match-points at 6-2 5-4* and the last game of the match.

The BBC commentators appreciated Sabine as follows:

David Mercer: "This young woman has a massive serve, huge groundstrokes, and real intelligence: real variety in her stroke-play."

Virginia Wade: "That's the second time I've watched her play a spectacular match that she's just been /so/ impressive. Her serve is just a /giant/ of a serve. Also, her demeanour is just beautiful."


First set
---------
LISICKI _@*@* *@ 6
KUZNETS @____*__ 2

The BBC didn't even mention this match in a round-up during the first set, let alone bring live coverage!

Sabine saved break-point in a deucy game at *4-2.


Second set
----------
LISICKI * * *@*___*@ 7
KUZNETS _* *___*@*__ 5

I thought BBC Red Button would surely join this match when Hewitt v Petzschner finished, but instead, it showed Safina v Flipkens (Court 2) from the start on Stream 302, while Stream 301 was showing the Glastonbury Festival!

Kuznetsova serving 2-5: 0/15. 40/15. Held.
Sabine serving 5-3: 0/15. 15/15. 15/40 (BP). Broken.

Is this the start of a massive choke? Sabine really needs to break for the match in the next game, because if Kuznetsova can hold here, she would really have the momentum and Sabine's chances would be slipping away.

Kuznetsova serving 4-5: 0/30. 30/30. 30/40 (MP #1). Deuce #1. Ad Sabine (MP #2). Deuce #2. Ad Kuznetsova. Deuce #3. Ad Sabine (MP #3). Deuce #4. Ad Kuznetsova. Held.

Three match-points wasted. Has Sabine missed the boat? She needed many match-points to win the Charleston-final.

Sabine serving 5-5: 0/15. 40/15. Held.

Kuznetsova serving 5-6: 40/0. Deuce #1. Ad Kuznetsova. Deuce #2. Ad Sabine (MP #4). Deuce #3. Ad Sabine (MP #5). Sabine won 6-2 7-5 at 17:21 BST (second set 49m, match 1h26m).

I switched over to BBC 1 - which I believed was still showing Melzer v Roddick - to see Sabine shaking hands, smiling, and looking close to tears of joy as she sat in her chair.

Then I saw the following play in the BBC's highlights-show: Today at Wimbledon:

First set: Kuznetsova serving 2-5 (30/40): Double fault (second serve into the net).

Second set: Kuznetsova serving 2-3 (15/40): Sabine off-backhand + forehand winner down the line.

Second set: Kuznetsova serving 4-5 (30/30): Double fault (second serve just wide). 30/40 (MP #1). Kuznetsova forced a floater and dispatched it with an off-forehand smash-winner... Ad Sabine (MP #2). She dumped a makeable off-forehand return into the net... Ad Sabine (MP #3). She mishit a forehand return wide left, and yelled in frustration.

Kuznetsova serving 5-6: Kuznetsova went to the net and hit an off-backhand volley-winner. 15/0. Sabine netted a down-the-line backhand. 30/0. Sabine off-backhand return just wide. David Mercer: "It's been a very good service-game by Kuznetsova." 40/0. Second serve: Sabine hit a backhand return-winner down the line. 40/15. Sabine hit a terrific crosscourt forehand return low over the net, forcing Kuznetsova to hit a forehand just long. 40/30. A nailbiting rally ended with Kuznetsova hitting a forehand wide and just long. Deuce #1. Sabine sprayed a wild backhand return very wide. Ad Kuznetsova. She netted a backhand dropshot from the baseline on the third stroke - what the heck was she thinking? Deuce #2. Kuznetsova sprayed a forehand long. Ad Sabine (MP #4). Serve out wide + crosscourt backhand winner back behind Sabine. Deuce #3. Serve out wide forced a short return, but Kuznetsova dumped a backhand into the net. Ad Sabine (MP #5). First serve into the net. A nailbiting rally ended with Kuznetsova hitting an off-backhand wide on the seventh stroke - off a mildly awkward crosscourt backhand from Sabine.

Sabine threw her arms in the air and screamed. She blew kisses to the crowd, and looked very delighted.


Sabine's BBC interviews
-----------------------

Sabine's first BBC interview (immediately after the match): "I'm just so happy. I think it was my sixth or seventh match-point! I just kept fighting, and when it was 5-5, it was tough, but I'm so happy that I pulled it off. [I told myself] 'Just play one point at a time, you have nothing to lose' - just the same thing as I went into the match, and just to start over again. It's a huge win for me, because before I came into this Wimbledon Championships, I hadn't won actually a match on grass. So I can't believe I'm in the fourth round, and I'm just so happy."

It was wonderful to see Sabine so smiley, and she has a cute high-pitched voice, too.

Sabine's second BBC interview (later): "It means a lot to me, because before coming to the Wimbledon Championships, I hadn't won a match on grass, actually. So I really hadn't thought that I would get to the second week for the first time in Wimbledon."

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2. Fourth-round result (Monday 29th June 2009)
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+ Sabine Lisicki [DF] d. CAROLINE WOŹNIACKI [9], 6-4 6-4

As expected, Lisicki v Woźniacki was unavailable to Freeview-viewers, but I saw Sabine's match-point in a BBC 1 round-up: at 6-4 *5-4 (40/0), a long rally culminated with Sabine's deep, low-bouncing backhand down the line forcing Caroline to bunt a forehand lob just long. Again, Sabine looked very emotional when she won.

According to the photos, Lisicki and Woźniacki bumped shoulders at one of the changeovers - I'm not sure what that was about.

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3. Quarter-final TV-report: Lisicki v Safina (Tuesday 30th June 2009)
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- Sabine Lisicki [DF] lt. DINARA SAFINA [1], 7-6 (7/5) 4-6 1-6

Sabine put up a great performance in the first set, although she should have won it earlier, as she led 5-3* before having two games where she could barely get the ball in.

But she played a stabilising service-game at *5-6 to force the tiebreak, which she played very well.

For the first set and a half, Sabine was overpowering the Majorless world #1, who was erratic and served 15 double faults in the match. But at *3-3, a single break of serve was enough for Safina to go on and take the second set.

Dinara Safina: "I had chances in the first set I didn't took [sic], but she had chances in the second set. I think I was Santa Claus serving so many double faults [15]."

But Sabine's challenge faded badly in the third set as she got tired: she wasn't playing with the brilliance of the first two sets, and was hitting too many dropshots with too little success.

At 1-4* in the third, Sabine took a medical time-out to get her right calf massaged.

Sabine Lisicki: "She was more experienced than me, and had already been in the couple of second weeks at the Grand Slams [sic] already, so she knew how to deal with it. I gave it all I had, but she was fitter than me."

Sam Smith: "Safina showed us why she's won so many matches in the last year. Extra experience, extra tactical nous, and extra conditioning really stacked up to make that difference, especially in that final set."

Tracy Austin: "I think it all caught up with Lisicki in the second set, after she led 3-2, but she is a tremendous talent. She has a massive serve and a massive forehand, and she's only 19 years old."


First set
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LISICK _*@* * *___* 7(7)
SAFINA *___* * *@*_ 6(5)

Sam Smith (re. Sabine): "She is the most terrific young talent. Gives the ball quite a whack. This year, it's all come together for her. She's been more consistent. She's still hitting the ball hard, but they're going in."

The match was first on Centre Court, and started at 13:10 BST. Safina won the toss and elected to serve.

Safina serving 0-0: Double fault (second serve into the net). 0/15. Sabine ran down a dropshot and hit a crosscourt forehand pass-winner - she's fast! 0/30. Second serve: Sabine off-backhand return wide. 15/30. Safina crosscourt forehand winner onto the sideline. 30/30. Sabine mishit a forehand return just long. 40/30. Sabine walked down a poor dropshot from Safina, but hit a crosscourt backhand wide - indecision.

Sabine serving 0-1: Ace out wide (30th of her tournament!). 15/0. Sabine got jammed by Safina's return and dumped a cheap forehand halfway up the net, but she's smiling. 15/15. Safina netted a cheap forehand return. 30/15. Sabine forced a short ball, but hit an aggressive crosscourt forehand just wide. 30/30. Safina dumped a cheap backhand into the net on the fourth stroke. 40/30. Sabine started grunting, and hit a fabulous short-angled crosscourt backhand, forcing Safina to hit a backhand just long.

Safina serving 1-1: Safina went to the net, but left herself exposed to a forehand pass-winner down the line. 0/15. Safina's depth induced Sabine to net a backhand. 15/15. Double fault (second serve into the net). 15/30. Double fault (second serve just wide). 15/40 (BP #1). Safina hit a deep backhand just inside the baseline, inducing Sabine to spray a crosscourt forehand wide. 30/40 (BP #2). Safina ran down an inadequate dropshot and hit a crosscourt backhand winner. Deuce. Sabine's backhand down the line forced a floater, which she dispatched with an off-forehand winner. Ad Sabine (BP #3). Sabine's backhand was called long but overruled, so they had to replay the point. Double fault (second serve just long).

Now it's my turn to smile!

Sabine serving 2-1: Sabine dumped a backhand into the net. 0/15. Sabine backhand winner down the line: just inside the baseline. 15/15. Sabine forehand just long. 15/30. Safina forehand just long. 30/30. Serve down the middle forced a floater, which she dispatched with a crosscourt forehand drive-volley winner. Sam Smith: "If there's a ball to be hit, she'll hit it. Front foot all the time. Absolutely no hesitation." 40/30. Double fault (second serve just long). Deuce #1. Sabine went to the net behind an acute crosscourt backhand, and dispatched the resulting floater with a beautiful off-backhand winner. Sam Smith: "What's so exciting about Lisicki is that she wins points in so many different ways." Ad Sabine. She blasted a crosscourt backhand just long, and smiled. Deuce #2. Safina dispatched a short ball with an off-forehand winner as Sabine slipped. Ad Safina (BP #1). Sabine's deep crosscourt backhand induced Safina to net a backhand. Deuce #3. Sabine blasted an off-backhand wide. Ad Safina (BP #2). 116mph ace down the middle. Deuce #4. Sabine's forehand down the line clipped the netcord twice, and fell back on her side. Ad Safina (BP #3). Safina had the initiative, but dumped a cheap forehand into the net. Deuce #5. Sabine's acute-angled crosscourt forehand forced Safina to hit a forehand long. Ad Sabine. Deep first serve on the service-line forced Safina to hit a backhand return wide.

A very important game to come through for Sabine.

Safina serving 1-3: Deep service-winner out wide: on the service-line. 15/0. Sabine's forehand return clipped the netcord, and this time, dropped dead for a winner. She apologised, but there was a big smile on her face. 15/15. Service-winner out wide. 30/15. Safina's forehand clipped the netcord and dropped dead for a winner, and Sabine smiled again. Barry Davies: "How nice to see someone smile when something has gone against them." 40/15. Sabine netted a backhand return.

There was a nice close-up of Sabine serving at the changeover. While her legs still look muscular, they look nicer than I remember them from Birmingham 2008 - the only previous time I saw a whole Sabine-match and not just a game.

Sabine serving 3-2: Safina ran down a dropshot but hit a forehand wide. 15/0. Second serve down the middle induced Safina to net a forehand return. 30/0. Ace down the middle. 40/0. Safina blasted an amazing acute-angled crosscourt backhand winner - I bet she can't do that again! 40/15. Ace down the middle: on the service-line (I thought I heard a call, but if I did, it certainly wasn't from an official).

Safina serving 2-4: Safina crosscourt backhand + pinpoint backhand winner down the line. 15/0. Double fault (second serve just long). 15/15. First serve down the middle forced Sabine to earth a backhand return. 30/15. Safina's deep crosscourt forehand forced Sabine to hit one long. 40/15. First serve down the middle - on the service-line - induced Sabine to hit a backhand return long.

Sam Smith: "If Safina can just stay tight to Lisicki, she can impose her #1 status. But she's almost having to counterpunch out here - that is how big the strike is from the young Lisicki."

Sabine serving 4-3 (new balls): First serve down the middle induced Safina to hit an off-backhand return wide. 15/0. Sabine opened up the court with a crosscourt forehand, but dumped an off-forehand into the net. 15/15. Sabine forced a short ball, and dispatched it with a crosscourt forehand winner. 30/15. Virtual ace out wide. 40/15. Ace down the middle caught the back edge of the service-line (Safina used up a challenge to prove it).

Safina serving 3-5: Serve out wide + off-forehand winner down the line. 15/0. Service-winner down the middle. 30/0. Double fault (mishit second serve wide of the /wrong/ sideline!!). 30/15. Sabine down-the-line forehand just wide. 40/15. Safina opened up the court with a crosscourt forehand winner, and hit a crosscourt backhand winner into the space.

Sabine serving 5-4: Double fault (second serve just long). 0/15. Sabine, on the third stroke, hit a wild forehand long. Sam Smith: "She almost had too much time to think about that forehand." 0/30. Safina hit a deep down-the-line forehand return onto the baseline, forcing Sabine to bunt a defensive one-handed backhand lob wide. 0/40 (BP #1). Backhand return long. 15/40 (BP #2). Sabine netted a backhand.

A couple of drops of blood in the water, and Safina pounced like a piranha.

Safina serving 5-5: Sabine forehand just long. 15/0. Sabine netted a backhand return. 30/0. Sabine forehand return long. 40/0. Sabine's deep return induced Safina to hit a forehand long. 40/15. Sabine off-backhand wide.

Safina has found the rhythm on her serve, and Sabine can barely get the ball in since *5-4.

Sabine serving 5-6: Sabine's down-the-line forehand appeared to catch the baseline, but was called long. She didn't challenge. 0/15. Sabine's deep forehand induced Safina to hit a forehand long. 15/15. Sabine pounced on a short ball with an off-forehand winner. 30/15. Safina down-the-line forehand just wide. 40/15. Deep second serve induced Safina to hit a forehand long.

A stabilising hold for Sabine after a two choky games from *5-4.

6-6 tiebreak (all scores Lisicki/Safina):
{0/0*} Deep first serve: Sabine netted an off-backhand return.
{*0/1} Sabine's deep forehand forced a floater, which she dispatched with an off-forehand drive-volley winner. Sam Smith: "She's a front-foot kind of girl. She goes after anything in the air."
{*1/1} Safina backhand drive-volley wide. She muttered.
{2/1*} Safina hit a loose forehand long, much to Sabine's delight.
{3/1*} Very short second serve out wide: Sabine crosscourt forehand winner.
{*4/1} Double fault (second serve wide).
{*4/2} Safina spread Sabine, but hit a crosscourt backhand wide on the 13th stroke.
{5/2*} First serve down the middle forced Sabine to net a forehand return.
{5/3*} A deep ball from Sabine hung for an age for Safina to hit... and she dumped a forehand halfway up the net. Good defence by Sabine.
{*6/3: SP #1} Safina pounced on a short ball with an off-forehand winner.
{*6/4: SP #2} Sabine's serve forced a short return, but she blasted an off-forehand just wide, much to her dismay. She wasted a challenge to show that it was quite wide.
{6/5*: SP #3} Double fault (second serve very long). Safina threw her racket and got a code-violation. Sabine won the first set 7-6 (7/5) at 14:09 BST (59m).


Second set
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LISICK * * *___*_ 4
SAFINA _* * *@* * 6

Sabine serving 0-0: Ace down the middle. 15/0. Ace down the middle. 30/0. Ace out wide: such an acute angle, on the sideline, "spun away from the flailing racket of Safina" [Barry Davies], "lovely wrist-work" [Sam Smith]. Sabine went to the net and hit a lovely off-forehand punch-volley winner.

Safina serving 0-1: Serve + crosscourt backhand winner. 15/0. Safina crosscourt forehand winner. 30/0. Sabine's depth pushed Safina back on her heels, forcing her to net a forehand. 30/15. Backhand return long. 40/15. Safina crosscourt backhand wide. 40/30. Safina crosscourt backhand winner.

Sabine serving 1-1: Forehand return long. 15/0. Ace down the middle. 30/0. Safina blasted a wild off-forehand long. 40/0. Deep, hard first serve out wide forced Safina to bunt a backhand return wide.

Safina serving 2-1: Safina pounced on a short ball with a big crosscourt forehand winner. 15/0. First serve out wide: Sabine netted a backhand return. 30/0. Sabine's deep crosscourt backhand return forced Safina to earth a backhand. 30/15. Sabine crosscourt forehand + down-the-line forehand induced Safina to hit a backhand long. 30/30. Backhand return long. Sabine smiled at the umpire, but didn't challenge the lack of call on the service-line. 40/30. Safina's off-forehand forced Sabine to miss a backhand.

Sabine serving 2-2: Safina netted a forehand off a short ball. 15/0. Sabine's deep forehand induced Safina to hit a backhand long. 30/0. Safina mishit a crosscourt return forehand wide, and muttered. 40/0. First serve out wide: Safina netted a backhand return.

Sam Smith (re. Safina): "She's won most of the major tournaments - except the Majors."

Safina serving 2-3: Double fault (second serve wide of the centre-line). 0/15. Sabine hit a gorgeous short-angled crosscourt forehand virtual winner!! 0/30. Serve out wide + crosscourt backhand forced Sabine to stretch wide and net a backhand. 15/30. Sabine netted a cheap forehand return. 30/30. Deep first serve down the middle forced Sabine to hit an off-backhand wide. 40/30. Double fault (second serve long). Safina muttered. Deuce. Deep first serve down the middle forced Sabine to hit a forehand return wide. Ad Safina. Her depth induced Sabine to spray a crosscourt forehand very long and wide.

Sabine serving 3-3: Sabine unforcedly netted a backhand. 0/15. Safina's deep crosscourt backhand forced Sabine to hit a backhand long. 0/30. First serve: Safina mishit a forehand return long. 15/30. Sabine ran down a dropshot and almost ran into the net, but hit a backhand dropshot that forced Safina to hit an off-backhand into the tramlines. 30/30. A deep forehand return induced Sabine to spray a wild backhand very long. 30/40 (BP #1). First serve down the middle + beautifully-flighted off-forehand winner deep into the corner forced Safina to earth a backhand lob. Deuce. Sabine's down-the-line forehand clipped the netcord and fell back on her side. She smiled. Ad Safina (BP #2). Double fault (second serve long).

What a shame. Safina continues to play poorly by #1-standards, but... gorgeous Katherine Jenkins, who sang at the roof-exhibition in May, is sitting in the Royal Box!

Safina serving 4-3: Service-winner. 15/0. Sabine netted a forehand return. 30/0. A woefully short second serve, and Safina hit a forehand long on the third stroke. 30/15. Serve out wide + backhand winner down the line. 40/15. Safina's down-the-line backhand forced Sabine to stretch wide and low, and earth a forehand.

Sabine serving 3-5: Ace down the middle caught the outside edge of the centre-line (123mph - her fastest of the tournament so far). 15/0. Sabine netted a forehand on the third stroke. 15/15. Safina hit a deep forehand return onto the baseline, forcing Sabine to hit a crosscourt forehand wide. 15/30. Ace #12: down the middle. 30/30. Deep first serve down the middle induced Safina to hit a forehand return long. She screamed. 40/30. Another forehand return long.

Safina is playing much better now than up to 6-7 3-3, but excellent serving by Sabine to recover from 15/30.

Safina serving 5-4: Double fault #10 (second serve just long). Safina muttered. 0/15. A great first serve enabled Safina to dominate the point, finishing with an off-forehand volley-winner. 15/15. First serve down the middle + crosscourt backhand winner. 30/15. Safina backhand long on the third stroke. 30/30. A long, nailbiting baseline-rally ended with Safina netting a backhand winner. Sabine screamed "c'mon!" 30/40 (BP). Safina hit a deep backhand down the middle - on the baseline - that shot through on Sabine, forcing her to bunt a backhand lob wide. Deuce #1. Sabine ran down a dropshot, but mishit a crosscourt forehand dropshot wide. Ad Safina (SP #1). Double fault (second serve just long). But Safina challenged the call, and Hawk-Eye showed that it caught the back edge of the service-line, so they had to replay the point (Safina complained). Safina forced a short ball, but hit a crosscourt backhand just long. Deuce #2. Sabine netted a forehand off a low-bouncing ball, and reacted with a cute little jump. Ad Safina (SP #2). Sabine netted a backhand on the fourth stroke. Safina won the second set 6-4 at 14:52 BST (second set 43m, match so far 1h42m).

Both commentators refuse to predict who will win the third set.


Third set
---------
LISICK _@_____ 1
SAFINA @ @*@*@ 6

Sabine serving 0-0: Safina went to the net, but Sabine hit a crosscourt backhand pass-winner. 15/0. Sabine crosscourt backhand wide. 15/15. Sabine hit a deep forehand onto the baseline to force a short floater... but hit an off-forehand just wide. 15/30. Safina hit an off-forehand wide, and yelled loudly. 30/30. Sabine netted a backhand on the third stroke. 30/40 (BP). Sabine hit a delectable forehand dropshot, but unfortunately Safina managed to run it down and return the favour; Sabine's backhand was "not up".

Safina serving 1-0: Sabine forced a floater, glided into the net, and dispatched it with a crosscourt forehand volley-winner. 0/15. Safina forced a short ball, but sprayed a wild forehand very long! 0/30. Sabine crosscourt forehand just long (called by the umpire). 15/30. Sabine netted a backhand return. 30/30. Double fault (second serve into the net). 30/40 (BP #1). Safina's depth forced Sabine to hit a backhand long. Deuce #1. Safina crosscourt backhand wide. Ad Sabine (BP #2). Sabine backhand long on the fourth stroke. Deuce #2. Sabine's forehand dropshot-return induced Safina to net a forehand. Ad Sabine (BP #3). Safina's depth induced Sabine to hit a forehand just long. Deuce #3. Sabine blasted a crosscourt forehand just wide. Ad Safina. Safina stopped the rally to challenge Sabine's crosscourt forehand on the sideline, but Hawk-Eye showed that it caught the outside edge of the sideline by about 1%, so Sabine won the point! Deuce #4. Safina's depth forced Sabine to net a forehand. Ad Safina. Sabine ran down a dropshot and hit a backhand dropshot-winner that drew a loud cheer from the crowd. Deuce #5. Double fault (second serve into the net). Ad Sabine (BP #4). Sabine's off-forehand clipped the netcord and dropped dead for a winner.

Two game-points saved, four break-points needed, and Sabine breaks for the first time since 1-1* in the first set!

Perhaps Sabine's advantage of having won 6-4 6-4 yesterday, while Safina had to play three sets later in the day, could come into play here.

Sabine serving 1-1: Sabine went to the net behind a deep backhand, but Safina's pass forced her to lunge wide and miss a backhand volley. 0/15. Safina sprayed a wild forehand very long. 15/15. Double fault (second serve just long). 15/30. Sabine netted a forehand. 15/40 (BP). Sabine sprayed a backhand long.

All that hard work of the previous game just frittered away in the blink of an eye.

Safina serving 2-1: Deep first serve down the middle forced Sabine to hit a crosscourt forehand return wide. 15/0. Forehand return just long. 30/0. Sabine backhand just long. 40/0. Safina, on the third stroke, hit a forehand just wide. 40/15. First serve out wide induced Sabine to chop a forehand return into the net.

Sabine serving 1-3: Second serve out wide: Safina blasted a forehand return long. 15/0. Sabine drew Safina to the net with a dropshot, but hit a crosscourt backhand wide. 15/15. Safina went to the net on a short ball from Sabine, but Sabine hit a forehand pass-winner down the line. 30/15. Sabine went to the net, but hit a forehand volley just long, and wasted a challenge. 30/30. Safina forced Sabine to retreat, but hit a backhand long. 40/30. Sabine netted a sliced backhand. Deuce. Sabine forehand long on the third stroke. Ad Safina. Safina broke with a deep backhand down-the-line return virtual winner.

The umpire announced that the trainer had been called to the court. Sabine changed her socks, then she sat at the changeover with an iced towel around her neck. The trainer was for her. Sabine stood up, and there was a lovely close-up of her legs. She lay down on a towel, and the trainer massaged the back of her right calf - I wouldn't mind that job!

Safina serving 4-1: Sabine forehand just long. 15/0. Safina backhand dropshot-winner. 30/0. Safina ran down a dropshot and hit a crosscourt backhand dropshot-winner. 40/0. Double fault (second serve into the net). 40/15. Double fault (second serve just long). 40/30. Double fault (second serve just wide of the centre-line). Deuce. Safina hit a crosscourt forehand winner onto the sideline, but it was called wide. She risked her last challenge to show that it caught the outside edge of the sideline by about 5%. Ad Safina. Sabine netted a backhand. She looks quite disappointed now.

Sabine serving 1-5: Safina's deep crosscourt forehand forced Sabine to earth a forehand. 0/15. Safina netted a horrendous forehand off a short ball from Safina that didn't sit up much. 15/15. Safina went to the net behind a forehand down the line, but Sabine exploited the gap with a crosscourt backhand pass-winner. 30/15. Safina blasted a crosscourt foerhand just wide. 40/15. Sabine went to the net, but Safina hit a crosscourt backhand pass-winner just inside both the baseline and the sideline. 40/30. Safina's deep off-forehand winner forced Sabine to hit a backhand lob long. Deuce #1. Safina forehand long. Ad Sabine. She netted a backhand. Deuce #2. Sabine crosscourt forehand + forehand winner down the line. Ad Sabine. Double fault (second serve just long). Deuce #3. Sabine netted a crazy backhand dropshot off a deep ball from Safina. Ad Safina (MP #1). Safina's deep forehand return forced Sabine to hit a backhand wide. Safina won 6-7 (5/7) 6-4 6-1 at 15:39 BST (third set 47m, match 2h29m).

Both of the quarter-finals on Court One had finished by the time this one did!

--
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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