Lisicki downs Bartoli to reach semis

Twenty-one-year-old two matches away from becoming unlikely champion but first she will have to defeat Maria Sharapova.

    Sharapova looks like a good bet for the title especially with the Williams sisters out of the tournament [GALLO/GETTY] 

    German wildcard Sabine Lisicki beat Marion Bartoli 6-4, 6-7, 6-1 under the Centre Court roof in a dramatic Wimbledon quarter-final on Tuesday.
     
    The 21-year-old Lisicki broke the ninth-seeded Frenchwoman early in the opening set and late in the second to put herself in sight of her first Grand Slam semi-final.
     
    She served for victory at 5-4 and had three match points but the tenacious Bartoli, who beat defending champion Serena Williams in the last round, saved them all and forced a tiebreak which she won 7-4.

    Lisicki, who had to be carried off court on a stretcher after wasting a match point and losing to Vera Zvonareva at this year's French Open, dominated the third set and sealed victory on her fourth match point.

    "I cannot explain how I feel at the moment,'' said Lisicki, the first German Grand Slam semi-finalist since Steffi Graf in 1999.

    "It was just such a tough road back and it's so wonderful to be standing on Centre Court in Wimbledon which I love so much. I'm just so happy."

    Semi for Sharapova

    Maria Sharapova looked like a champion under the Centre Court roof at Wimbledon, advancing to the semi-finals at the All England Club for the first time since 2006 with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Dominika Cibulkova.

    Sharapova, the only Wimbledon champion remaining in the women's draw after the Williams sisters were eliminated a day earlier, won eight straight games to win the first set and take control of the second.

    The fifth-seeded Russian has not lost a set at this year's tournament, and she was nowhere near losing one Tuesday.

    "It's been a few years since I got past the fourth round, and now I'm in the semifinals," said Sharapova, who won the tournament in 2004 and also reached the semifinals in '05.

    "It was just such a tough road back and it's so wonderful to be standing on Centre Court in Wimbledon which I love so much. I'm just so happy"

    Wild card Sabine Lisicki

    "So this a great chance for me to take it a step further."

    Sharapova will next face German wild-card entry Sabine Lisicki. With the Williams sisters both losing in the fourth round, Sharapova may be the one with the experience needed to win.

    After a two-and-a-half hour delay, Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic reached the Wimbledon semi-finals for the second year in a row, beating Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-2.

    Pironkova, who eliminated Venus Williams from the tournament, lost in the semi-finals last year.

    In the last quarter-final of the day fourth-seeded Victoria Azarenka beat Tamira Paszek 6-3, 6-1 to reach the semi-finals at a Grand Slam tournament for the first time.

    The match began on Court 1 but play was suspended after one game because of the damp conditions. They completed the match under the roof on Centre Court.

    Azarenka, the highest-ranked player left in the quarter-finals, raced into a 5-1 lead in the first set and broke for a third time for the set when the unseeded Paszek netted a forehand.

    The Belarussian broke serve twice more to come through the second set and set up a semi-final against eighth-seeded Petra Kvitova.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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