From her comeback at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix to the Wimbledon semifinals
A tennis fairy-tale comes true for Sabine Lisicki
Stuttgart. Even though the dream of reaching the Wimbledon final has not yet come true, Sabine Lisicki, who, after a long injury break, celebrated a marvellous comeback at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, is back amongst the world’s best after her brilliant performance at the most important grand slam tournament.
“Whoever makes it to the Wimbledon semifinals is also ready for the really big wins,” said Markus Günthardt, the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix tournament director.
The tennis summer fairy-tale, with Sabine Lisicki in the leading role, began just before Easter when the organisers of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix handed the 21-year-old German a wild card for the tournament where, two years previously, she had been a crowd favourite,
“She’s had a terrible time,” said Anke Huber, the operating tournament director. “We’re convinced she’ll get over the setback and she’s quite capable of beating top players on her day. And we wanted to give her the chance at our tournament.”
Sabine Lisicki was world ranked 218 at the time and she took the chance by the horns. She was only beaten at the quarterfinal stage by her Fed Cup team-mate Julia Görges, who eventually went on to win the tournament.
Nevertheless she, after the initial disappointment had disappeared, appeared at the post match press conference with a big smile on her face. It was the same smile that has captivated tennis fans around the world.
“I’m a little proud of myself to have come so far at such a big tournament,” she said. “I gave it my all. I can slowly feel my confidence is returning and I’ve definitely made a massive step forward here in Stuttgart.”
But it was only the start. In Birmingham she won her second career WTA title after Charleston in 2009. And she was given a wild card for Wimbledon. Once again she justified the faith placed in her in the tennis Mecca in London SW19. In the second round, she knocked out, as she did in Stuttgart, the French Open winner Li Na. In the quarters in front of a 15,000 crowd on Centre Court, she once again showed her mettle and determination when, in spite of not being able to convert three match points, defeating.
The Frenchwoman had previously eliminated out the former world No. 1 Serena Williams. She was the first German to make it to the semifinals of a grand slam tournament since Steffi Graf in 1999. But her tennis fairy-tale did not have a happy end – superstar Maria Sharapova was (still) too strong for her.
The year’s most improved player has also delighted Markus Günthardt. However he is not surprised by her sensational Wimbledon performance.
“The way she played at our tournament and the way she won against Li Na on clay, it was obvious she was going to rise quickly up the rankings,” he said. “Her tennis is definitely at the same level as it was before her injury problems. And her road to the top is nowhere near at an end.”
In the new world rankings published, Sabine Lisicki will move up to number 27.
SOURCE: Porsche AG Media Database