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Brilliant Bartoli blasts her way to Wimbledon glory

ESPN staff
July 6, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
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Marion Bartoli produced a brilliant display to blow away Sabine Lisicki 6-1 6-4 to secure Wimbledon glory.

The French lady was a beaten finalist at SW19 in 2007 but on that occasion she was swatted away by Venus Williams. Six years on, it was Bartoli who was the aggressor and she simply refused to take a backward step and wrapped up victory in a shade over an hour.

Bartoli was aided by a below-par display from Lisicki, who was a shadow of the player who showed such fighting spirit to topple Serena Williams. But that should not detract from the display of Bartoli who clinched her first grand slam title, and did so without dropping a set in the entire tournament.

Lisicki has been the darling of Centre Court this fortnight, but she looked nervous throughout. A complete mishit when attempting to return serve in the opening point set the tone.

Bartoli, though, was not immune to nerves and back-to-back double faults handed Lisicki the opening game of the match. That was as good as it got for Lisicki in the opening set. The German threw in 14 unforced errors in the opening set and she had no answer to the great depth Bartoli found.

Lisicki came into the game having won the last three meeting between the two - the most recent in the quarter-finals at Wimbledon in 2011 - and was the perceived power player. But it was Bartoli's crisper hitting that kept the German on the back foot.

Lisicki found an ace to stave off a break point in the sixth game, but Bartoli just kept probing and excellent depth forced a mistake from Lisicki to move the Frenchwoman 5-1 ahead. And she made it six games on the spin to take the opening set in 30 minutes.

Lisicki started second set with an ace and broke the run of Bartoli games with a solid hold. Lisicki had a fistful of break points in the second game, but Bartoli fended them all off and that appeared to deal a hammer blow to the pre-game favourite as she broke to take complete control of the contest.

The Centre Court crowd attempted to fire up Lisicki, but her serve completely fell apart - with the ball toss a massive area of concern. And the second break came as an emotional Lisicki threatened to break down.

To her credit, Lisicki saved three championship points at 1-5 and an ace forced Bartoli to serve out for the title. And for the first time in the match Bartoli showed signs of nerves. A double fault and a couple of stray groundstrokes saw Lisicki break.

Lisicki produced her most polished service game of the match to cut the gap to 4-5 and there was a buzz around Centre Court, with thoughts raised for a great comeback. But Bartoli steeled herself to craft a love service hold and sealed the title with an ace.

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