The first since…
June 28, 2011 1 Comment
(WC) Sabine Lisicki def.  Marion Bartoli – 6/4, 6/7, 6/1
– Lisicki is the first German since Steffi Graf, a dozen years ago (Wimbledon ’99) to reach a Grand Slam semifinal; Graf won that title.
– For the first time since 2008 (Zheng Jie) a WC reaches Wimbledon semifinals; Overall, last to do so was Kimmie, ’09 US Open. She won the title, invited and rank-less.
– For the second consecutive year, the WTA #62 makes it to the final four at SW19. Last year, it was Kvitova.
– Lisicki claims her 11th consecutive win – she won Birmingham, her last event prior to Wimbledon. That’s the biggest winning streak of her career. Sabine also sealed her way back to the top-30, could tie or set a new career best if she beats Shara.
– The lowest ranked semifinalist this year, Sabine Lisicki proves she is FOR REAL. Game and grit. Amusing to watch. And I could beat a fair amount of money she’s no fluke.
 Maria Sharapova def.  Dominika Cibulkova – 6/1, 6/1
– Sharapova reaches consecutive Major finals for the first time since the ’06 Wimbledon-’07 Roland Garros span; Maria is now 4-0 in Wimbledon quarterfinals. In fact, her Slam campaigns were only halted in the quarterfinals at the French Open.
– Maria has more titles (23) than the other three semifinalists combined (7 + 4 + 2); She is also the older of them (24) and the only remaining player to have already won a Grand Slam.
– Last time she won a Major – ’08 Australian Open – Maria was also the 5th seed; If she wins the title, she will become number three in next rankings.
– Maria Sharapova also shows the world she is back. The fighting spirit – and more than that, maybe, her game – is back. She is in theory the most favored player to prevail on Saturday, and is already in the top of the table. Caro, Kim, watch out.
 Victoria Azarenka def. Tamira Paszek – 6/3, 6/1
– Highest ranked and seed still alive in the draw, Victoria Azarenka goes one step further than last year: she reaches a Grand Slam final four for the first time in her career, after four QF losses – including at this year’s Roland Garros.
– Azarenka is the first player from Belarus to reach a GS SF since Natasha Zvereva, at ’98 Wimbledon; Zvereva also reached a singles final, ’88 Roland Garros, but lost to Graf in the fastest major final ever: a 35-minute double-bagel.
– She could rise to a new career high of #3, depending on whether Sharapova and her win their respective matches.
– A hard-hitter by nature, Azarenka always had the game to inflict damage on grass. I’m glad she is finally living up the potential – despite abandoning the White Dress.
 Petra Kvitova def.  Tsvetana Pironkova – 6/3, 6/7, 6/2
– Petra Kvitova is the first player not called Williams to reach consecutive Wimbledon semifinals since the lovely and awesome Elena Dementieva, in 2008 and 2009.
– Kvitova, the youngest player left, at the age of 21 (b. 1990), tries to put the Czech flag in Wimbledon final for the second consecutive year – Tomas Berdych was the runner-up last year; Last Czech to win a Grand Slam is Jana Novotna, at the very same Wimbledon, in 1998. Novotna is also the last Czech player to reach a Grand Slam final.
– Kvits attended the same school as Vika. Today I saw a commie calling her the female version of Juan Martin Del Potro. I still haven’t decided if I agree with that or not, but her left-handed forehand is massive – and wreaks havoc on all surfaces. This is one girl who could be a perennial favorite real soon.
– This Wimbledon is the first Grand Slam to feature a finalist under-25 years since ’09 US Open. Wozniacki then had only 19 when she lost the final to Clijsters. Last woman to win a Grand Slam before her 25th birthday, though, is Svetlana Kuznetsova, who was one month away from celebrating 24 years, at the ’09 French Open. When you put in perspective, it took so long – not so many years back, WTA was full of teenage wonders. And the older woman alive now – Sharapova – was the youngest last month, in Paris.