Five thoughts on Sabine Lisicki’s fourth-round victory over Maria Sharapova:
Even in a post-Rosol grass-court world in which anything goes and anything can happen, and even noting that Sabine Lisicki was a semi-finalist last summer, this was still unexpected (while still short of shocking). You would have laid good money on Maria Sharapova being the one to blow kisses to all sides of Court One after this fourth-round match. “Laughing or crying? I think I was doing both afterwards,” said Lisicki, who has come a long way from the days when she hated grass. It still makes her sneeze (because of allergies), but she can certainly play on it. So Serena Williams, who was the French Open and Wimbledon champion in 2002, remains the last woman to have completed the cross-Channel double.
Being a career grand-slammer – it was just three weeks ago that the Siberian completed her collection by winning the French Open for the first time – gives you no protection in your next major. Clearly, the conditions didn’t help – no one likes playing in a cold, thin mist and a gusting wind, but Sharapova probably disliked the weather more than anyone. Sharapova had won the three previous meetings with Lisicki, including in the semi-finals of last year’s Championships, but this match was beyond her.
With Sharapova out, whoever wins the Serena Williams-Petra Kvitova quarter-final will be expected to go on to win the Venus Rosewater Dish.
Sharapova will lose the post-Wimbledon No 1 ranking to Victoria Azarenka or Agnieszka Radwanska.
Lisicki is about the closest you will get to a grass-court specialist. She is also quite the expert at playing new French Open champions. On her last three visits to the All England Club – 2009, 2011 and this summer- she has made the quarter-finals or better. On each of those occasions she has beaten the new French Open champion – in 2009, it was Svetlana Kuznetsova, and last summer it was Li Na.
A German semi-finalist is now guaranteed, with Lisicki to play Angelique Kerber (a winner over Kim Clijsters, so ending the Belgian’s last Wimbledon).