Friday, 5 July 2013

Wimbledon Womens Final, Sabine Lisicki v Marion Bartoli: Preview and Predictions

Marion Bartoli
Thursday's semi-finals could not have been any different from each other, but it was Marion Bartoli and Sabine Lisicki who came through to set up a fascinating final showpiece for Wimbledon 2013.  Lisicki played out the match of the women's tournament so far in a gripping semi-final where she beat Agnieszka Radwanska, 6-4 2-6 9-7.  After a tightly contested opening set, which Lisicki won, she went completely off her game and lost all rhythm on her booming serve.  Radwanska raced into a third set lead and looked to be easing into her second consecutive final.  

However, just like in her incredible win against Serena Williams on Monday, Lisicki managed to summon her best tennis from 0-3 down in the decider and get right back in the match.  Lisicki failed to serve out the match at 5-4, but earnt her second chance at 8-7, having twice had to serve to stay in the match.  This time round, she served it out with aplomb to complete a magical victory in 2 hours and 18 minutes.  Lisicki finished with stats of 60 winners to 46 unforced errors (compared to Radwanska, who hit 21 winners to 10 unforced errors).

Bartoli completed her route into the final with a quick and efficient 6-1 6-2 victory against an injury affected, Kirsten Flipkens.  It was so sad to see Flipkens obviously impaired by a knee injury and I think that explains all those advances into the net to try and finish the point quickly.  Bartoli though was absolutely terrific; she hit her groundstrokes with an unnerving consistency and accuracy, and produced some marvellous lobs.  Bartoli and Flipkens embraced at the net and it was a really sweet touch from Marion, who came across wonderfully in the BBC interview afterwards.  Unfortunately, the second semi didn't finish with the same kind of embrace as Aga gave a cold handshake and stormed off the court.  It was a tough match and a tough loss, so it's understandable although disappointing too.

In my semi-final post, I predicted a Lisicki-Bartoli final and its the defiintely the final (based on the last four) that I wanted to see.  Lisicki leads the head-to-head by 3 wins to 1.  The last time they played was at Wimbledon in 2011 in an absorbing quarter-final, which Lisicki won, 6-4 6-7(7) 6-1.  Sabine recovered from a horrible choke when serving for the second set, but managed to close out the match against a physically exhausted Bartoli in a clean third set.  I have really distinct memories from that match because I ended up listening to the end of the match on the radio after my first ever job interview. 

Remember this?

There will be lots of different variables going into this final.  Bartoli has been in the Wimbledon final before, but Lisicki will be experiencing it for the first time.  Lisicki though, has shown incredible nerve to dig out of 0-3 third set deficits against two of the top four this week, Serena Williams and Agnieszka Radwanska.  Yes, she has had some horrible sets (the first set against Stosur in R3 and the second set against Radwanska in the SF), but she has managed to find her best tennis when it really mattered.  

Sabine Lisicki and Marion Bartoli's route through the draw.  Note - the number in the brackets refers to the player's world ranking.

Bartoli has yet to drop a set, but you could also put forward that she has yet to be tested this tournament.  Lisicki has had a stinker of a draw though (see graphic above) which has included passing three Grand Slam champions, this year's Eastbourne champion, a former Wimbledon quarter-finalist and last year's Wimbledon finalist! Once again, I am so excited by this final.  I think its great for the womens game to have players who have never won a Grand Slam before instead of having to watch Serena Williams destroy someone in the final.  I think it will be a three setter, fitting of the occasion.  The way that this crazy, crazy tournament has gone... I have to go for Sabine.

Moo's Final Prediction - Lisicki d. Bartoli in 3 sets

I think this has been such a refreshing Grand Slam and I think most dedicated tennis fans seem to appreciate the change up.  I would really welcome your comments as to your feelings about this final and who YOU think is going to win it :-)


  1. I'm also going for Lisicki and I would like her to win because her run to the final was much more difficult than Bartoli's, with higher-profile opponents, including the mighty Serena.

  2. My 2 favourite players, and just about the 2 nicest. Bartoli, if she can avoid her nerve problems and double faultathons, when she is in the zone she plays at a higher level than I've seen from Lisicki, can't trust her though, she's so wound up she can burst a spring at any moment.

  3. AAHhhhhhhhh Refreshing yes!! that is the word!
    Bartoli's A game IS better than Sabine's at least at the baseline. Sabine should be careful-this is a tactical game of cat and mouse. She will come out fearless which she should do vs Bartoli but she should still be weary otherwise Bartoli might stuff a breadstick in her mouth faster than she could swallow and than she might not have time in the 2nd set and choke. But there is something epic about Sabine-and this time she really wants and believes in her winning this match. I think luck will go her way and there will be plenty of netcords to talk about-the last one belonging to Sabine! But kudos to Bartoli too! it will be a great match no matter what!!

  4. Sabine is the form choice and irresistible pick and that is why I am going with Bartoli. Regardless of the H2H which is in favor of Lisicki, everything else favors Bartoli, especially the occasion. We have to remember that tournament mode Bartoli is a hyper active adrenaline player that can just get locked in the zone. Lisicki could find the game far beyond recall before she gets her smile together. I heard something disturbing on the BBC during Lisicki's semi-final with A. Rad. The commentator mentioned that Lisicki had talked about ultra confident she was of beating Radwanska and further more she felt that she was the star attraction that every one was coming to see. hmmmm! I hate bloated egos!!! I see Bartoli rushing her and taking everything on the rise in viscious swipe stylie. Lisicki has drifted a point from 4/9 -1/2 as I write. good luck all!!!

  5. Yeah Bartoli zoning in is more than formidable-she will go on a rampage while Lisicki can resign herself to the inevitable. Also Lisicki likes to play agressively in a happy-go-lucky way that my play right into Bartoli's game. But Lisicki should realize this early on in the match maybe at the cost of a break or even the first set. She won't accept Bartoli's superiority though and will evolve and adapt throughout the match meanwhile Bartoli's game is pretty much transparent to the spectators and hopefully to Lisicki as well. Moreover Bartoli will come up with no surprises-her first card is her last pretty much. Lisicki doesn't adapt as much as she can because playing this ultra agressive game gives her a 'high' but she can't be that dumb to not realize that she will have to search for solutions within the match. Not when so much is at stake. Also she won't be as intimidated by Bartoli as she was with the other players with a higher pedigree-esp Serena and Radwanska who jsut happened to be 2 very different players. She does have a danger for vanity but its also a source for her inspiration as well-lets not forget who she's had to knock out arriving to the final-as Moo pointed out a more nightmarish draw couldn't have been handed out to anyone. And the variety of the draw proves that she has what it takes...will she adapt or will she go in blind agressive mode which never was a great gamble for her in a tough game? The way I see Bartoli winning is if
    Lisicki comes out in the first set expecting her A game to do all the talking=1st set for Bartoli and then she goes into a more desperate agressive mode which would give an easier second set to Bartoli as well. Somewher along the timeline of the first 2 sets Lisicki has to figure something out and the 3rd should favor Lisicki
    being the more adaptable. So either Bartoli wins in 2 or Lisicki wins in 3-for me:)

  6. Bloated premature egos are a turn-off for me too and might be Lisicki's undoing we shall see!

  7. Lisicki will be crushed if she doesn't win tomorrow. She would be wise to respect Bartoli's game since stardom doesn't necessarily win you a WTA grand slam.

  8. The win for the best player

  9. well its been a great tennis tournament with memorable upsets as well as some real disappointments and signs Wimbledon needs to upgrade its lawns! Azarenka was badly injured. Wimbledon execs going into damage control mode.

    But its good to see Sabine step up and finally show she is as Serena told the media a great player esp on grass.
    who will win? The woman who beat Serena deserves it; but Marion has her chance.

  10. Bravo to Anonymous for picking Bartoli-didn't see this coming. Bartoli just too good and Sabine full of nerves.


  12. So good to finally back a winner at this years tournament, and one without an ego problem, lovely woman.

  13. Wimbledon 2013 booked full of surprise.

    Very very disappointed in the game final Women.

    Bartoli came into the final without playing against a player in the Top 10 ... and that's winning?

    The God of the sport would it British humor

  14. Thanks for all the comments!

    Amazing from Bartoli, I am really happy for her, she deserved to win today :-)

    I feel flat after the match though, I really thought it was going to be a good one, but Sabine really struggled with the situation and that is completely understandable.

    Well done to those who went for Bartoli :-)