July 2, 2013
Wimbledon is falling in love with Sabine Lisicki. Quite honestly, it hasn’t been very hard to do.
Powerful and vulnerable at the same time. It’s always been an attractive combination.
Shaking uncontrollably, tears spilling out of those big doe eyes. Laughing, sexy, funny, full of life, crying unashamedly, overflowing with joy. Now that, ladies and gentlemen, is what a true star is made of.
‘I’m so happy,’ she said, though she could hardly get the words out after winning 6-2, 1-6, 6-4 against the world’s greatest player. Who doesn’t love Serena’s conqueror, Wimbledon’s new darling…the impossibly wonderful and totally devastating Lisicki?
Even Williams seems to like her. She certainly paid her a lot of compliments at the end of their match.
Does it sound like I’m getting carried away? I am – and who wouldn’t be, after what we witnessed today? I’m particularly happy for Sabine, because I remember an even more wide-eyed Lisicki at Edgbaston’s Priory Club two summers ago, hoping she might just be handed a Wimbledon wild card.
Now she’s hoping they might just hand her the trophy on Saturday!
Serena the Sledgehammer, hammered at last by a young woman who keeps taking down the giants, from Sharapova to Williams. The end of Serena’s glorious unbeaten run. Can we quite believe it? Well, yes.
Regular readers of my blog will know I had a gut feeling that Sabine was capable of pulling off this upset. She warned me twice in the last fortnight the giant-killing was on – once in Birmingham a fortnight ago, then again on Saturday night. She has something you can’t buy…confidence in herself, despite the odds. She is fearless, she lives in the present, she has the belief that anything is possible. But it was hard for the rest of us to have total faith in her.
So, although I said with some confidence this would be the real final, and warned that Sabine might just pull off the biggest shock in the women’s game in recent years, I also embraced the more widely held opinion that Serena would probably come through the mother of all battles eventually. Williams had just looked too strong…until now.
Then again, as Sabine kept telling me, Serena is only human. And although it must have been like playing a computer during the second set and first three games of the third, Lisicki constantly reminded herself she wasn’t playing perfection.
A mere mortal, Williams would be sure to start making mistakes again sooner or later – especially if the German could summon her own powerful game to apply some real pressure again.
And that’s what happened. Sabine wrong-footed the favourite and even aced her four times on the second serve! But don’t forget how dignified and classy Serena was in defeat.
Well done Miss Williams, you added to the magic of the moment, you are a great champion.
Can Sabine Lisicki now go all the way to succeed her, having cone so close after previous giant-killing exploits here in the last two years? No one can say she doesn’t deserve it.
And if she takes the title, we’ll probably all love her even more.
Think I need to calm down a little now? You’re probably right. Please Wimbledon, no more surprises. Not sure we can take much more drama!
Wish you were here to see it all unfold? Don’t forget, you still can be!