Sport360°’s Reem Abulleil praises Germany’s new rising star, Sabine Lisicki.
The Germans have officially arrived! We’ve seen a lot from Julia Goerges, Andrea Petkovic and Sabine Lisicki this season already, but you don’t expect anyone to really leave a true mark unless they’ve proved themselves at a Grand Slam (you hear that Caroline Wozniacki?).
So while Goerges won in Stuttgart, and Lisicki in Birmingham, it was Petkovic who was considered the most promising of the pack with back-to-back quarter-final showings in Australia and Paris.
With her semi-final run at Wimbledon Lisicki has definitely upstaged them all.
Yesterday she became the first German to make the semi-finals of a Grand Slam since Steffi Graf made the Wimbledon finals 12 years ago. Just imagine what we would’ve missed if the world No62 hadn’t earned that wildcard!
While Goerges is more fluid than Petkovic, who uses power over finesse making her tennis seem robotic at times, Lisicki combines both a strong serve and a wide variety of shots to outsmart her opponents, and it is refreshing to have someone like her on the WTA.
Lisicki hit an impressive 52 winners against Marion Bartoli, and just to put her winner count into perspective, she has hit a total of 78 more than world No1 Wozniacki, even though she’s only played 35 more games than the Dane. That kind of aggressive play is just what the women’s tour needs.
Some cracks in her mental strength appeared in the second set yesterday when she was broken when serving for the match, but Lisicki, who has been fighting back from an injury, was trying to reach her first career Grand Slam semi-final and Bartoli is a feisty opponent with a knack for coming back from the brink of defeat.
Perhaps Maria Sharapova will prove the real test for Lisicki’s mental ability in their semi-final showdown tomorrow, because the way I see it, Lisicki has all the right tools to edge the 2004 champion. It’s how the two-time quarter-finalist holds up on the big stage against a considerably experienced player that will make the difference.
It’s been 12 years since Graf and Boris Becker retired just weeks from one another; the Germans can finally enjoy the arrival of a star in the making.