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Sabine Lisicki

Sabine LisickiSabine Lisicki, born on the 22nd of September 1989 in Troisdorf, West Germany is a German professional tennis player. She turned professional in 2006 and her breakthrough came in 2009 when she reached the quarterfinals of the Wimbledon Championships and won her first Womens Tennis Association title, the Family Circle Cup, in a match with Caroline Wozniacki. In March of 2010, she suffered an ankle injury at the Indian Wells Masters that kept her out of competition for five long months which saw her fall out of the top 100. She came back in 2011 and won the Aegon Classic before entering the Wimbledon Championships as a wildcard and going on to compete in the semifinals, where she lost to Maria Sharapova.

In doing so she became only the second woman in Wimbledon history to make it to the semifinals while entering the tournament as a wildcard. She followed that a couple of months later by winning her third Womens Tennis Association tournament at the Texas Open. In 2012, she achieved her career-highest ranking of 12th, once again reaching the quarterfinals of the Wimbledon Championships. Again, in 2012 she suffered from another left ankle injury that prevented her from having better year on tour. She reached the final of the 2013 Wimbledon Championships and will play Marion Bartoli in the final on 6 July 2013. In doubles, Lisicki won the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in 2011 with Samantha Stosur and in 2013 with Mona Barthel. She also reached the doubles final at Wimbledon in 2011 with Stosur and came fourth in the mixed doubles at the 2012 London Olympics with Christopher Kas.

Sabine LisickiBeginning in 2004 Lisicki started training at the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Bradenton, Florida, where she is sponsored and managed by IMG. She is coached by her father, who studied sport science in Wrocław and Cologne back in Germany. In 2006, Lisicki competed at the 2006 Sunfeast Open – Singles Qualifying in Kolkata where she defeated Ragini Vimal in the first round, but lost in the qualifying round to Sanaa Bhambri of India. Lisicki had a successful year in 2007 on the ITF circuit and climbed from World Ranking of 497 to number 198 in the Womens Tennis Association rankings. She won two titles, one in Jersey and another in Toronto, Canada. She defeated top-seed Katie O'Brien on the 2nd of August 2007 at the Odlum Brown Vancouver Open. At the 2008 Australian Open, in her first Grand Slam tournament, she defeated the number 16-seeded player, Dinara Safina, as well as Mariya Koryttseva to reach the third round as a qualifier, but lost her third round match to Caroline Wozniacki.

In the first round of the Fed Cup against the United States, Lisicki defeated Lindsay Davenport in straight sets. Lisicki next reached the fourth round of the Miami 2008 Sony Ericsson Open, a Tier I event, where she defeated sixth seeded Anna Chakvetadze in straight sets, but was beaten in the next round by Elena Dementieva. Competing at the 2008 Wimbledon Championships, Lisicki lost in the first round to the 2007 runner-up, number 11 seed Marion Bartoli. Lisicki started her breakthrough year at the Hopman Cup in Perth where she advanced to the third round before losing to Dominika Cibulková in straight sets. At the Australian Open, Lisicki defeated the 30th seed Aleksandra Wozniak in the opening round before losing to Samantha Stosur in straight sets. She then took part in Germany's 3–2 win over Switzerland in their Fed Cup World Group II tie, defeating Timea Bacsinszky but losing to Patty Schnyder.

Sabine LisickiAt the Cellular South Cup in Memphis, Lisicki reached the semifinals, defeating number 3 seed Lucie Šafářová on the way before losing to eventual winner Victoria Azarenka. Lisicki then took part in the first Premier Mandatory tournament of the year in North America. At the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California where she lost in the first round to Elena Vesnina. At the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami, she lost in the second round to 26th seed Iveta Benešová. During the clay-court season, Lisicki lost in the second round of the MPS Group Championships in Ponte Vedra Beach to eventual finalist and number 5 seed Aleksandra Wozniak. On the green clay at the Family Circle Cup in Charleston, Lisicki won her first Womens Tennis Association Tour title without dropping a set, defeating the 5th seed Caroline Wozniacki in the final. She had previously defeated 2nd seeded Venus Williams in the third round and number 6 seed Marion Bartoli in the semifinals. She then took part in Germany's Fed Cup World Group play-off win against China. She defeated world ranked no. 16 Zheng Jie in the first singles match, and partnered with Anna-Lena Grönefeld to win the decisive doubles match. Lisicki advanced to the second round of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart before losing to third-seeded Jelena Janković in straight sets.

She then advanced to the quarterfinals at the Estoril Open in Portugal where she lost to compatriot Anna-Lena Grönefeld, retiring when 6–2 down. At the French Open, Lisicki lost to Lucie Šafářová in the first round. On her first match on grass at the Aegon International in Eastbourne, Lisicki lost to Samantha Stosur in the first round. In doubles, Lisicki and her partner Ana Ivanović lost in the first round to Cara Black and Liezel Huber. Lisicki played her first Grand Slam quarterfinal at the 2009 Wimbledon Championships, where she was beaten by world number 1 Dinara Safina. To reach the quarterfinal, she had defeated Anna Chakvetadze in the first round, Patricia Mayr in the second, the 2009 French Open champion and number 5 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova in the third round, and ninth seed Caroline Wozniacki in the fourth. Seeded 23rd, Lisicki advanced to the second round at the 2009 US Open, but lost to qualifier Anastasia Rodionova. On Rodionova's match point, Lisicki slipped while going to return a backhand and injured her left ankle. She left the court in a wheelchair as Rodionova advanced to the third round. Lisicki later reported that an MRI showed no tears, that the injury was a sprain, and Lisicki was able to return to her base in Florida for rehabilitation.

Sabine LisickiLisicki returned to the tour at the Toray Pan Pacific Open at the end of September, where she reached the second round, but lost in three sets to 7th seeded Jelena Janković. In October, Lisicki reached the final of Luxembourg, but lost there to Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland. On her way to the final she beat Iveta Benešová, Polona Hercog, Patty Schnyder and Shahar Pe'er. Lisicki qualified for the Commonwealth Bank Tournament of Champions. She lost her first round robin match to Aravane Rezaï, but won her second round robin match against Melinda Czink. Lisicki started the 2010 season by playing at the Hopman Cup for Germany. She won her singles ties against Elena Dementieva and Laura Robson but lost to Yaroslava Shvedova. Partnering with Philipp Kohlschreiber, they lost all their doubles matches, preventing Germany from proceeding to the finals. Lisicki then travelled to Melbourne to compete in the Australian Open where she was the 21st seed.

However, she was defeated in the second round by Alberta Brianti in three sets. Her first tournament after the Australian Open was the Pattaya Open in Bangkok where she was the second seed. However, she lost her second round match to home player Tamarine Tanasugarn. She then went to Dubai to compete in the Dubai Tennis Championships. She lost her second round match against Venus Williams and her next two tournaments were at Indian Wells and Miami. In both tournaments, Lisicki retired in the second round because of an ankle injury. The injury sidelined her for five months, and she withdrew from tournaments at Ponte Vedra and Charleston. She also missed Roland Garros and Wimbledon. Coming into the 2010 US Open ranked world number 96, Lisicki advanced to the second round before losing to 7th seeded Vera Zvonareva. But after the US Open, Lisicki failed to qualify for the Luxembourg Open leading to her dropping out of the top 100.

Sabine LisickiLisicki started the 2011 season at the ASB Classic in Auckland. She lost to Yanina Wickmayer in three sets in the second round. In the Australian Open, Lisicki played the qualifying tournament and lost in the second round to Vesna Manasieva. After losing at the 2011 BNP Paribas Open to Sorana Cîrstea in the qualifying rounds, Lisicki lifted her form and reached the third round at the 2011 Sony Ericsson Open, where she was defeated by Maria Sharapova. At the 2011 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, Lisicki lost in the third round against her compatriot Julia Görges, eventual champion of the tournament. In doubles, Lisicki partnered with former world no. 1 doubles player Samantha Stosur to win her first ever career doubles title. At the 2011 French Open, Lisicki advanced to the second round against the number three seed, Vera Zvonareva.

Lisicki had a match point at 5–2 of the third set, but she lost the point and eventually the match. Afterwards, she lay on the court, sobbing, and was taken off on a stretcher due to injury. At the 2011 Aegon Classic, Lisicki reached the final where she defeated Daniela Hantuchová to win her second WTA Tour title. At the 2011 Wimbledon Championships, Lisicki received a wildcard to enter the tournament, advancing to the semifinals of a major for the first time, and beating third seed and recent French Open champion Li Na in the second round. She was eliminated by Maria Sharapova in straight sets after leading the first set 3–0. This was the first time in 12 years that a German woman, since Steffi Graf reached the Wimbledon finals in 1999, had reached the semifinal stage of a Grand Slam. Lisicki was the second wild-card entry to reach the women's semifinals in Wimbledon history. In doubles, Lisicki partnered with Samantha Stosur and lost in the final.

Sabine LisickiLisicki then traveled to Dallas to compete in the inaugural 2011 Texas Tennis Open as the 5th seed. After advancing to the semifinals with an easy win over qualifier Kateryna Bondarenko, she crushed 8th seed Irina-Camelia Begu to advance to the final. Lisicki won her third title, defeating qualifier Aravane Rezaï, having dropped no more than three games each match of the way to her victory. She moved to a new career-high rank of world number 18 on the 29th of August. Seeded 22nd at the 2011 US Open, she easily advanced to the second round with a straight-sets win over Alona Bondarenko. She was scheduled to play Venus Williams in the second round, but Williams withdrew before it started due to her recent diagnosis of Sjögren's syndrome. Lisicki dispatched Irina Falconi to advance to the fourth round for the first time, before ultimately being defeated by second seed Vera Zvonareva. At the China Open Liscki defeated Zheng Saisai in straight sets but withdrew from her second round match against Kaia Kanepi.

That year Lisicki was named the Womens Tennis Association comeback player of the year in November. Lisicki's first tournament in 2012 was the 2012 ASB Classic Tournament where she was the number 1 seed. In the first round, she defeated Virginie Razzano. In the second round, she defeated Mona Barthel. In the quarterfinal, she faced Angelique Kerber, the 2011 US Open semifinalist, and was losing 4–6, before retiring, due to a back injury, in the second set at a score of 3–4. In doubles, she entered with Chinese player Peng Shuai and they won their first round match against Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci. Both the Italians would go on to the Australian Open in four weeks time. In the second round, they pulled out due to the injury picked up by Lisicki in the quarterfinal of the singles tournament against Angelique Kerber.

Sabine LisickiLisicki next entered the 2012 Apia International Sydney where she was unseeded. Before the first round of the tournament began, she pulled out with her recent back injury and gave her place to Lucky Loser, Alexandra Dulgheru. Lisicki next competed in the Australian Open where she was the fourteenth seed. In the first round, she faced Stefanie Vögele and beat her in three sets. In the second round, she defeated Shahar Pe'er. In the third round, she beat eighteenth seed Svetlana Kuznetsova. She was defeated by Russian Maria Sharapova. Lisicki took the first set, winning six consecutive games after being down 0–3, but was unable to match Sharapova in the following two sets. At the 2012 Fed Cup, Lisicki played for Germany alongside Julia Görges, Anna-Lena Grönefeld and Angelique Kerber. She started off the meeting between Germany and the Czech Republic by facing Iveta Benešová, a match in which she lost.

In her second match, she faced Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitová and also lost. Germany lost the meeting by a score of 1–4. Lisicki's next tournament was the 2012 Dubai Tennis Championships, where she was supposed to face fifth seed Agnieszka Radwańska in the first round. However, after second seed Petra Kvitová withdrew, she became the ninth seed and received Kvitová's bye into the second round. There she met Iveta Benešová, defeating her in two sets. In the quarterfinals she was knocked out by Agnieszka Radwańska of Poland. Lisicki's next competition was the 2012 Indian Wells tournament, where she was the eleventh seed. She received a bye into the second round, where she faced Spaniard Lourdes Domínguez Lino, losing in two sets. In doubles, she competed with compatriot Julia Görges. They beat Americans Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears. The two Germans next faced Czech pair and 2011 French Open champions Lucie Hradecká and Andrea Hlaváčková, losing in straight sets. Lisicki next went to the 2012 Sony Ericsson Open, where she was the twelfth seed. She got a bye to the second round where she faced Sofia Arvidsson. Victorious, she then faced Peng Shuai in the third round. She won this match too and then faced Li Na in the fourth round, where she was defeated in three sets.

Sabine LisickiAt the 2012 Family Circle Cup, Lisicki was the sixth seed. She received a bye into the second round. There she faced lucky loser Andrea Hlaváčková, winning in three. She faced qualifier Yaroslava Shvedova in the third round and won in straight sets. In the quarterfinals, she faced Serena Williams. Behind 1–4 to her opponent, Lisicki fell and injured her left ankle. She retired from the match in tears, sending Serena into the semis. In doubles, she paired with 2012 Australian Open women's doubles champion Vera Zvonareva. They lost to top seeds Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond. fter nearly a month off the tour, Lisicki returned as the twelfth seed in the 2012 Internazionali BNL d'Italia. She faced Marina Erakovic in the first round, where she lost. Traveling next to her home country for the 2012 Internationaux de Strasbourg, where she was the top seed, Lisicki again experienced a first round upset, losing to Pauline Parmentier.

Lisicki then traveled to Paris to play the second Grand Slam of the year, the French Open, where she was the twelfth seed. On the red clay of Roland Garros, Lisicki lost to American Bethanie Mattek-Sands. Lisicki started her summer grass court season by defending her title in the 2012 Aegon Classic. As the second seed she received a bye into the second round, where she lost to Urszula Radwańska. This set Lisicki up with a five-match losing streak going into the 2012 Wimbledon Championships. In the first round she beat unseeded Petra Martić, breaking her losing streak and putting her into the second round, where she faced Serbian qualifier Bojana Jovanovski. Lisicki won the match to set up a third round tie with Sloane Stephens, where she again faced a tight match, pulling through in the third set.

In the fourth round she beat top seed Maria Sharapova, to whom she had lost in the semi-finals the previous year. This marked the third year that Lisicki had beaten the reigning French Open champion in Wimbledon, having also beaten Li Na in 2011 and Svetlana Kuznetsova in 2009. In the subsequent quarterfinals, Lisicki once again met fellow German Angelique Kerber. Having lost the previous four meetings, she proceeded to lose the first set 3–6. Lisicki rallied in the second set to take it in a tiebreak. Some observers felt Kerber was visibly frustrated during the start of the third set, but Lisicki proved ultimately unable to take the match. At one point Lisicki was serving for the match, but Kerber went on the take the third set, and the match, dropping Lisicki back down to a world ranking of 18.

Sabine LisickiLisicki started 2013 with the 2013 Brisbane International. She beat Lucie Šafářová in the first round. She lost in the second round to world number 1, Victoria Azarenka. She pulled out of the qualifying draw for the 2013 Apia International Sydney with a virus. Lisicki then competed in the 2013 Australian Open. In the first round she faced Caroline Wozniacki and was defeated. She also competed in the mixed doubles with Frederik Nielsen. They were knocked out in the first round by the home favorites and eventual champions, Jarmila Gajdošová and Matthew Ebden.Lisicki then moved onto the 2013 PTT Pattaya Open. In the first round she beat fellow German Tatjana Malek. She downed Alexandra Panova in the second round and came back from a set down in the quarterfinals to beat Marina Erakovic. In her first semi-final since 2011, she beat Nina Bratchikova 7–5 6–3. In the final, she faced Maria Kirilenko and lost in three sets 7–5 1–6 6–7. Her next tournament was in Memphis. As the third seed, she beat qualifier Madison Keys in the first round and Melinda Czink in the second. In the quarter-final, she beat eighth seed Kristina Mladenovic 6–3 6–3 and and beat seventh seed Magdaléna Rybáriková, 7–5 7–5, in the semi-final.

In Lisicki's second final of the year, she faced Marina Erakovic from New Zealand. Erakovic ran away with the first set taking it 6–1. After the first set, Lisicki retired from the final with illness. This was Erakovic's first Womens Tennis Association title. Lisicki missed the 2013 BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells with the same illness. She returned in time to play at the 2013 Sony Open Tennis in Miami but lost in the first round to Simona Halep of Romania 2–6, 6–3, 5–7. Later in the year, Lisicki then went to Paris for the second Grand Slam of the year. In Singles, she was the 32nd seed. She defeated Sofia Arvidsson of Sweden 6–3 6–4 in the first round and pulled off a 6–4 6–0 win against Spaniard María Teresa Torró Flor in the second round to reach the third round of the French Open for the first time in her career. There she was defeated by fifth seed and defending finalist Sara Errani 6–0, 6–4. In Doubles, Lisicki partnered with Slovakian Janette Husárová. They came from a set down to beat Serbia's Bojana Jovanovski and Czech Eva Hrdinová 4–6, 6–1, 6–4 in the first round. In the second round, they upset fifteenth seeds Chan Hao-ching of Taipei and Darija Jurak of Croatia 6–0, 5–7, 6–1. They faced defending Champions Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci in the third round and lost 3–6, 1–6.

Sabine LisickiLisicki started her grass court season by playing in the 2013 Aegon Classic. As the fifth seed, she got a bye into the second round where she defeated Kristýna Plíšková 6–4, 6–2. In the third round, she beat Mirjana Lučić-Baroni 7–5, 2–6, 6–4. She lost to Alison Riske in the quarterfinal 6–7(2–7), 6–2, 4–6. In the final set, Lisicki was 4–5 down and serving at 15–0 when Riske shouted "come on!" during a rally before Lisicki had returned the ball. Lisicki was unhappy and wanted the umpire to make a hindrance call, which would have given her the point and put her 30–0 up. The umpire did not agree with her and neither did the tournament referee. Riske took the point and broke Lisicki to win the match. At the Wimbledon Championships, Lisicki was seeded twenty-third. She beat Francesca Schiavone 6–1, 6–2 in the first round, Elena Vesnina 6–3, 6–1 in the second round and fourteenth seed Samantha Stosur 4–6, 6–2, 6–1 in the third round. In the fourth round she faced first seed and reigning Wimbledon, US Open, and French Open champion Serena Williams.

Lisicki won in 3 sets; 6–2, 1–6, 6–4; marking the fourth time in her last four participations that she knocked out the reigning French Open champion at Wimbledon. Williams had been on a 34-match winning streak coming into the match. Lisicki defeated Kaia Kanepi of Estonia 6–3, 6–3, reaching the Wimbledon semi-finals for the second time in her career. She beat Agnieszka Radwanska in an exciting three set semi-final 6-4, 2-6, 9-7 in 2 hours 18 minutes to advance to her first Grand Slam final, where she will meet France's Marion Bartoli. She has become the first German woman to reach a major final since Steffi Graf at Wimbledon in 1999, and the first German player of either gender to reach a Grand Slam singles final since Rainer Schüttler at the 2003 Australian Open. Lisicki is well-known for her powerful, aggressive game. An aggressive baseliner, she hits heavy balls with topspin and pace. She has a strong forehand and backhand, hitting balls with power, depth and angles. She is nicknamed "Boom Boom" for her huge serve and thumping groundstrokes.

Sabine LisickiLisicki has one of the most powerful serves in the Womens Tennis Association. Described variously as a cannon and a howitzer, she regularly hits serves at speeds of over 120mph. She also holds the record for the fastest serve in women's tennis, at 130mph, which was recorded at the Womens Tennis Association Tournament of Champions in Bali on the 6th of November 2009 in a win against Melinda Czink. Her serve is often regarded as her main weapon and with it, for the year up to June 2013, she is ranked fourth in the Womens Tennis Association for first service points won, 70.2%, and for service games won, 73.9%. Her serve also produces a very high number of aces, currently 185 for the year up to June 2013 and second only behind Serena Williams. Lisicki's favourite surface is grass and she has had the most success on that surface. She used to hate playing on grass because she is allergic to it and had a five-match losing streak on grass in 2009, but now takes medicine for her allergy and now loves playing on it. Lisicki's parents emigrated to West Germany from Poland in 1979; her father, Dr. Richard Lisicki, is of German and Polish descent and her mother, Elisabeth, of Polish. She was born in Troisdorf in 1989. Her father, who introduced her to the sport at the age of 7, is her coach and her mother is a painter specialising in ceramics. Lisicki currently lives in Bradenton, Florida. She is fluent in German, English and Polish. Her off-court interests include reading, music and athletics.

Unfortunately, Sabine lost the Wimbledon final to Marion Bartoli but she has a brilliant career going for her and will be back stronger than ever next year. www.sabinelisicki.com

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Singles performance timeline

Only Main Draw results in WTA Tour are considered. This table is current through the 2013 Wimbledon Championships.

Tournament 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 SR W–L
Grand Slam Tournaments
Australian Open A A 3R 2R 2R LQ 4R 1R 0 / 5 7–5
French Open A A 2R 1R A 2R 1R 3R 0 / 5 4–5
Wimbledon A A 1R QF A SF QF F 0 / 4 19–4
US Open A A 2R 2R 2R 4R 1R 0 / 5 6–5
Win–Loss 0–0 0–0 4–4 6–4 2–2 9–3 7–4 8–2 0 / 19 36–19
Year-End Championship
WTA Tour Championships A A A A A A A 0 / 0 0–0
Tournament of Champions Not Held A A 4th A 0 / 1 1–1

ESPN Sabine Interview After Defeating Serena


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