Sabine Lisicki continued her rich vein of form with a hard fought 7-6 2-6 6-2 victory over the number 5 seed, Agnieszka Radwanska. It was the first match of the hard court season I have managed to watch (well only the first set!) and it was of a pretty high standard. Lisicki was kept in the first set by her serve, which is easily one of the best serves on the tour and is such a huge weapon at her disposal. She made quite a lot of errors in the first set including several mistakes in her judgement by trying to play drop shots against the agile Radwanska. I was impressed by Radwanska who exhibited a touch more aggression than usual and played some lovely stuff at the net. She was much more comfortable at the net than Lisicki who often looked awkward and made some poor errors.
The problem with Radwanska is her mentality and “choking” capabilities as she could not close out the first set whilst serving at 5-4. It is becoming an all to familiar problem for both Radwanska’s and is something that has to change if Agnieszka is going to climb back into the top 10. By all accounts, Lisicki’s serve went walkabouts in the second set but she regained it to comfortably close out the match in the third set. You always got the sense that Lisicki would control the final outcome of the match because of her powerful, yet irratic game against the more consistent and grinding nature of Radwanska; this time she managed to do it in her favour.
Lisicki will now play Serena Williams, who produced a superb performance to silence the screams of Maria Sharapova in a disappointing and anticlimatic, 6-1 6-3 drubbing. I was really disappointed I couldn’t watch the match but from reading on the forums, I didn’t seem to miss much! Sharapova continues to struggle with the serve and in her post match interview she claimed that she was late on the ball and was out with her timing. Serena looks in devastating form and will now face the in-form Lisicki in what is an interesting semi-final.
In the other semi-final, Marion Bartoli will take on Dominika Cibulkova. Bartoli only had to play one set as Morita had to retire with a worrying ankle injury after losing the first set by six games to one. Cibulkova progressed with a thumping 6-1 6-1 victory over Marina Erakovic, which was all the more impressive considering Erakovic had defeated the number 1 seed, Victoria Azarenka in the previous round. I am now predicting a Williams v Bartoli final after my previous predictions have been completely blown out the water! However I will be cheering on Sabine and hope she can give Serena a better contest than Sharapova managed last night…