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Force Lisicki too strong for wily Radwanska in epic semi

Updated: 2013-07-05 08:29
( Agencies)

Tough nut

It should have come as no surprise that Lisicki was a tough nut to crack because she came back from a career-threatening ankle injury in 2010 which forced her off the tour for five months and sent her tumbling down the rankings.

The 23-year-old, who lost to Maria Sharapova in the 2011 Wimbledon semis, wrapped up the first set in 33 minutes and, brimming with confidence, broke again in the opening game of the second.

The match then turned on its head, however, as Lisicki's concentration faltered and Radwanska started to get a read on her opponent's serve.

She immediately broke back and moved 3-1 ahead and although the German kept going for her shots and was rewarded with another break in the next game, Radwanska had the momentum and took the set.

Force Lisicki too strong for wily Radwanska in epic semi

Sabine Lisicki of Germany celebrates after defeating Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland in their women's semifinal tennis match at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, in London, July 4, 2013. [Photo/Agencies]

Lisicki's serve, which had been such a weapon early in the match was in disarray. She was broken for the fifth successive time at the start of the third set and trailed 3-0.

That was the position she found herself in against Williams and once again the threat of defeat brought out her best.

She swiftly rediscovered her form, fighting back to level at 3-3 and breaking again to lead 5-4.

She served for the match, but in keeping with what had gone before, she faltered and was broken.

In the pressure-cooker atmosphere of Center Court, both players diced with danger.

Radwanska saved two break points to hold for a 7-6 lead but was unable to repeat the trick as Lisicki broke decisively in the 15th game when her opponent sent a volley long.

After choking the first time, she kept her cool, ending a dramatic contest with a forehand winner and falling face first onto the turf.

"I've been dreaming about that since I'm a little girl," she said. "That's why I said it's the best place to play my first grand slam final. I couldn't imagine any better place.

"I just can't wait to play Saturday."

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