Lisicki and Bartoli to face off in finals

LONDON — Sabine Lisicki booked her place in the Wimbledon final after a battling three-set victory over Agnieszka Radwanska on Centre Court today.

The German set up a Saturday showdown for the title against Marion Bartoli by outlasting the Polish fourth seed 9-7 in the third and final set to seal victory 6-4 2-6 9-7 overall.

The 23rd seed had caused the shock of the women’s draw at this year’s Wimbledon by dumping Serena Williams out of the event, and she followed up by making it all the way to the final.

Behind her booming serve and aggressive ground strokes, Lisicki powered to the first set and looked well in control of matters, before Radwanska started to get a foothold in the contest.

The Pole was more consistent and soon Lisicki’s attacking shots were missing their mark and as errors crept into her game, Radwanska levelled to send the semi-final into a third and final set.

Radwanska grabbed an early break and a 3-0 lead in the third set as she rattled off nine games out of ten to firmly move onto the front foot.

Lisicki conjured up a break of her own to level at 3-3 and then broke again in the ninth game to go 5-4 ahead and serve for a place in the final.

Radwanska was not done though, and at the fourth time of asking managed to break right back and draw the match level once again, with both then holding serve to make it 6-6.

The pressure was mounting but both managed to hold serve until Lisicki found an extra gear in the 15th game of an extended set to finally break again and serve for the match once again at 8-7.

This time the German made no mistake with some trademark big serves putting her 40-0 ahead in the game, before sealing her spot in the final by taking the second match point.

Marion Bartoli took just 62 minutes to reach her second Wimbledon final with a 6-1 6-2 victory over Kirsten Flipkens.

The Frenchwoman, runner-up to Venus Williams six years ago, completely overwhelmed a Belgian opponent who had not previously been beyond the fourth round of a grand slam before this year’s tournament at the All England Club.

Bartoli reeled off 23 winners as Flipkens’ frequent attempts to come to the net more often than not ended with the ball flashing back past her.

Flipkens has climbed to 20th in the world after a blood clot problem last year caused her to take two months out of the game, but her inexperience in the latter stages of the major tournaments was brutally exposed.

Bartoli set the tone in the second game as a backhand winner brought up two break points and a long Flipkens backhand sealed the early advantage.

Warm applause greeted Flipkens when she put her first game on the board by holding serve, but Bartoli then won three straight games to wrap up the first set in under half an hour.

Flipkens had beaten former champion Petra Kvitova in the last eight but by the start of the second set it was clear this match was a bridge too far. (Sky)

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