Marion Bartoli, Sabine Lisicki to meet in Wimbledon final
Winner will be 1st-time Wimbledon champ
Marion Bartoli of France reached the second Wimbledon final of her career with a dominating win, while Sabine Lisicki will play for the championship after a tough three-set affair.
Bartoli, the No. 15 seed from France, won on Centre Court by scores of 6-1, 6-2 over Belgium's Kirsten Flipkens in a match that lasted 62 minutes.
Bartoli, who's won 12 consecutive sets en route to the final, reached the 2007 championship but lost in straight sets to Venus Williams.
"I was hitting the ball very cleanly from the start, right away," said Bartoli. "I had some great passing shots and some great lobs. Everything was working so perfectly.
"To do that in the semifinals of Wimbledon was an amazing feeling."
She'll meet Lisicki, the German who makes her first appearance in a Slam final in her 20th appearance at a major.
The No. 20 seed defeated No. 4 Agnieszka Radwanska 6-4, 2-6, 9-7, breaking her Polish foe's serve in the 15th game of the final set.
Saturday's final will be the second at Wimbledon in the 45-year Open era between two women who have never won a Grand Slam title. Lisicki may have the edge in that match with a 3-1 record against Bartoli, including a quarter-final win at Wimbledon in 2011 in their last meeting.
As with her upset win earlier in the week over Serena Williams, Lisicki trailed 3-0 in the third set on Thursday before fighting back.
"I just fought with all my heart," Lisicki said. "I believed that I could still win no matter what the score was."
Lisicki dictated play in the first set by winning 22 of her 30 points on serve and breaking once. But her serve deserted her after that.
Once the second set started, Radwanska came alive and Lisicki crumpled.
Lisicki lost all four of her service games, with the lowlight coming in the final game of the second set. Leading 30-0, Lisicki lost four straight points, including two double-faults.
In the third, Lisicki was again broken early but finally held to make it 3-1 and then broke to get back on serve.
Both players held serve until Lisicki got the deciding break in the 15th game when Radwanska hit a volley long.
A few minutes earlier, Radwanska had been two points from victory. The two were tied at 30-30 and later at deuce in the 12th game with Radwanska leading 6-5.
"I thought, 'I've done it against Serena so you can do it today as well, just hang in there,"' Lisicki said. "It gave me so much confidence and I'm just so, so happy I was able to finish it."
Bartoli was pumped up from the start on Centre Court, mixing her two-handed backhands and forehands with little hops between points — as she usually does.
In the first set, she faced only one break point, nearly putting Flipkens back on serve in the third game. But despite a double-fault and a backhand into the net to eventually get behind 30-40, Bartoli dug herself out of the hole and finished off the game with the first of her five aces.
Flipkens, who again came out on court with her right knee taped up, called for a trainer after being broken for the second straight time at the start of the second set.
"I think maybe she was a bit injured today," Bartoli said. "It must be hard for her to be injured in the semifinal of Wimbledon, but she deserved a lot of respect."
The Belgian Flipkens came in seeded 20th and was a surprise first-time Grand Slam semifinalist after upsetting Petra Kvitova. Flipkens was ranked as low as 262nd in 2012 after a layoff due to blood clots in her leg.
"I tried my slices. She didn't have any problem with that," Flipkens said. "I tried the dropshot. She got it. I played a passing, she came to the net. I tried a lob. I tried everything, actually."
With files from CBCSports.ca