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Sports

Germany's Sabine Lisicki into Wimbledon final

After beating the favorite, Serena Williams, earlier in the week, Germany's Sabine Lisicki has reached her first ever Wimbledon final. A big fan of the grass courts, Lisicki was the favorite going into the match.

Sabine Lisicki of Germany wins her semi final at Wimbledon. Photo: EPA

Sabine Lisicki Wimbledon

Germany's Sabine Lisicki took on Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska on Thursday for a place in the women's final at the Wimbledon tennis championships in London.

Lisicki's opponent Radwanska came on to the court with both thighs heavily strapped to protect muscles which had been working hard in her previous matches. The match went to three, highly competitive sets with Lisicki taking the first 6-3 before Radwanska came back to win the second by 6-2.

Then, in the third set, Lisicki broke her opponent's serve to go up 8-7 before serving out for the victory at 9-7.

After the match, Lisicki explained how she fought back after losing the second set: "OK, you've done it against Serena so you can do it today as well. The crowd was really super. Wimbledon is my favorite tournament, I love it so much, I love being in England, I can't believe I'm in the final." Lisicki also said she got a good luck text from former star player Steffi Graf before the semifinal.

Lisicki, the 23-year-old from Troisdorf in North Rhine-Westphalia has trained in the United States since 2004. She suffered a bad ankle injury in 2010 which kept her out of the game for five months and led to her dropping out of the top 100 rankings.

At Wimbledon in 2011, Lisicki received a wildcard to enter the tournament, advancing to the semifinals of a grand slam tournament for the first time. She beat third seed and recent French Open champion Li Na from China in the second round before being eliminated by Russia's Maria Sharapova. In 2012 she reached the quarter finals, losing to fellow German Angelique Kerber.

Lisicki will play Marion Bartoli of France in Saturday's final. She beat Belgium's Kirsten Flipkens in two sets in Thursday's other semifinal. After the match Bartoli said: "I just really can't believe it right now. I played so well today."

Beating Williams

Lisicki's win over five times champion Serena Williams on Monday has remained the talk of the championship. The 31-year-old Williams was on a winning streak of 34 matches and the overwhelming favorite to take the title. But, despite leading 3-0 and 4-2 in the final set, Williams went out 6-2, 1-6, 6-4 to Lisicki.

After the match, Williams paid credit to the German's game: "She plays really good on grass. She has a massive, massive serve. Going in there, you have to know that it's definitely not going to be an easy match at Wimbledon."

jm/rc (Reuters, AP)