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Lisicki brushes Kanepi aside, faces Radwanska in SFs

ESPN staff
July 2, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Sabine Lisicki came through in straight sets to reach a second semi-final © Getty Images
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Sabine Lisicki sealed her place in the semi-finals of Wimbledon for the second time after the German followed up her stunning victory over Serena Williams by seeing off Kaia Kanepi in straight sets - and will face Agnieszka Radwanska for a place in the final.

The 23-year-old caused the biggest upset at the Championships by snapping the 34-match win streak of world No. 1 and overwhelming favourite Williams on Monday, and her love affair with the grass courts of SW19 continued after a 6-3 6-3 win over Laura Robson's conqueror Kanepi.

Despite not being seeded, on paper Kanepi was potentially a dangerous opponent, having won four WTA titles in her career and playing in her fifth grand slam quarter-final.

However, with one semi-final and three last-eight appearances at Wimbledon, Lisicki always had the edge over her opponent.

On a high from her marvellous victory over Williams on Centre Court, Lisicki immediately secured the break and moved 2-0 in front - delighting with a forehand down the line in the opening game.

While Kanepi was able to halve the deficit, solid serving from Lisicki enabled the German to restore her two-game advantage.

An ace bailed Kanepi out of trouble at 30-30 in the fifth game, but the Estonian threatened to break back in the following. However, Lisicki held on, and with the aid of a second serve ace down the middle at 93mph closed in on the first set.

The drop shot was proving to be an effective way for Lisicki to quickly end the rallies, and the latest handed her two set points, before a wild forehand saw the set go the way of the tournament favourite at 6-3.

Agnieszka Radwanska reached a second consecutive semi-final © PA Photos
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Lisicki was flying and caressed a wonderful volley winner beyond Kanepi to clinch the first game of the second set, but she fell apart in the third to hand Kanepi the break with three double faults.

Kanepi returned the favour in kind with a double fault to gift the break back, and it proved to be the catalyst for Lisicki as the German stormed to the following three games to go 5-2 in front.

Lisicki blew a couple of match points after Kanepi closed the gap to two, but at the third time of asking she sealed the win by taking the ball on the rise to reach another semi-final at SW19.

Agnieszka Radwanska, the highest seed remaining, progressed with a tough 7-6(5) 4-6 6-2 victory over former French Open champion Li Na.

Both players appeared to be nervous at the start of the encounter as they were each broken to love, but once settled, it was Li who began to fire as she edged out her opponent on the crucial points.

However, fourth seed Radwanska demonstrated her fighting spirit to prevent Li from taking the first set when she was broken for a second time at 5-4, fending off four set points to make it 5-5.

A tight first set was decided on a close tiebreak, which went the way of last year's runner-up Radwanska when she secured two consecutive points from five-all.

Rain briefly interrupted play once the tiebreak concluded, and Radwanska was homing in on a semi-final spot at 4-2 up.

But, Li hit back to stun the Pole by clinching four games on the spin to claim the set at 6-4 and force a decider.

The momentum of Li was halted heading into the final set as Radwanska received lengthy treatment on her thigh, and the injury did nothing to hamper the latter as she swept to the third set 6-2, although she required eight match points to fend off the challenge of Li.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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