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Rediff.com  » Sports » PHOTOS: Radwanska outlasts Li, to face Lisicki in quarters

PHOTOS: Radwanska outlasts Li, to face Lisicki in quarters

July 02, 2013 23:51 IST

Radwanska outlasts Li in epic quarter-final

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Last year's runner-up Agnieszka Radwanska, the highest ranked player left in the women's draw, moved closer to reaching successive Wimbledon finals after outlasting China's Li Na 7-6(5), 4-6, 6-2 in an epic last-eight duel on Tuesday.

The Polish fourth seed, seeking her first grand slam title after losing in three sets to Serena Williams 12 months ago, set up a semi-final showdown with German Sabine Lisicki having staved off a Li fightback, the distraction of two rain interruptions and then squandering seven match points.

"She was playing unbelievable tennis I had two tough matches before so I was happy to go through to the semi-finals," a relieved Radwanska told the BBC.

"It was just too much tennis in the last few days that's why I was struggling with my legs."


Image: Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland waves to the crowd as she leaves the court following her victory over Na Li of China
Photographs: Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images

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Li Na wasted chances galore

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Former French Open champion Li wasted chances to take the opening set and after a short rain break, the sixth seed hit back to take the second from 4-2 down as her aggressive strokes to the corners of the court began to penetrate.

But Radwanska, who had her right thigh heavily strapped up before the start of the decider, regrouped under the now-closed roof following a second rain delay.

 


Image: Na Li of China reacts during her quarter-final against Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland
Photographs: Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images

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Radwanska sealed victory on her eighth match point

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She secured a double break but spurned two match points at 5-1 up and another five in the next game. With nerves frayed, she finally sealed victory when the never-say-die Li, losing in a Wimbledon quarter-final for the third time, went long.

Top seed and five-times champion Williams was beaten by Lisicki in the fourth round on Monday, following chief rivals Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova out of the tournament.

Radwanska and Lisicki have met on two occasions with a victory apiece - both on a hard court. The Pole won last year in Dubai with Lisicki's success coming a year before in the United States.


Image: Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland shakes hands at the net with Na Li of China after their quarter-final
Photographs: Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images

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Lisicki dismantles Kanepi

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Sabine Lisicki proved to be no one-hit wonder to reach the semi-finals.

A day after producing the shock of shocks at a tournament that has seen upsets galore by beating red-hot favourite Serena Williams, the smiling German overwhelmed Estonia's Kaia Kanepi 6-3 6-3 to reach the last four at Wimbledon for the second time.

Not so the grasscourt-loving Lisicki, who needed only 65 minutes to beat 46th-ranked Kanepi who a day earlier had ended the hopes of British teenager Laura Robson.

A semi-finalist in 2011 and quarter-finalist last year, the 23rd seed, who broke down in floods of tears after beating Williams but was calmer on Tuesday, is now only two wins away from becoming Germany's first grand slam champion since Steffi Graf won Wimbledon in 1996.

"I feel much fresher, fitter, better than two years ago," Lisicki, who lost to Sharapova in the 2011 semis, said.

"I was just as focused as yesterday because ... I knew it's going to be tough after yesterday to just keep the level up.

"But I think I did a very good job to go for my shots and play smart. It had to be a different game today."


Image: Sabine Lisicki of Germany waves to the crowd as she leaves court following her victory over Kaia Kanepi of Estonia
Photographs: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

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Flipper Flipkens knocks out Kvitova

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Bespectacled Belgian outsider Kirsten Flipkins threw her name into the hat of Wimbledon's giant-slayers as she beat 2011 champion Petra Kvitova 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 on a floodlit Centre Court to reach the Wimbledon semi-finals on Tuesday.

Kvitova had been the last grand slam champion left in the women's draw but she joined the likes of Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova, Victoria Azarenka and Li Na on the All England Club scrapheap after being suffocated under Centre Court's closed roof.


Image: Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium celebrates a point
Photographs: Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images

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Kvitova came unstuck in the second set

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All seemed on track when eighth seed Kvitova took the first set but she came unstuck in the second and called on the trainer after falling behind 5-2.

She popped a pill and had her temperature checked and although she appeared to get a second wind after surrendering the second set, a rush of blood when she charged to the net and fired a forehand volley long at break point down in the ninth game cost her dear.

Flipkins, who is known as Flipper on the tour, kept her cool to serve out a momentous victory with an ace and will next face 2007 runner-up Marion Bartoli for a place in Saturday's final.


Image: Petra Kvitova of Czech Republic looks dejected after her loss to Flipkens
Photographs: Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images

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Bartoli outbreaks Stephens

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Marion Bartoli is within one match of a surprise second Wimbledon final appearance after beating American Sloane Stephens 6-4 7-5 in a bizarre rain-interrupted quarter-final on Tuesday that featured eight successive breaks of serve.

There was little to choose between the two players until a two and a half hour rain break late in the first set, which the hyper-active French 15th seed took immediately upon resumption.

There followed an extraordinary second set that included eight successive dropped service games, most of them to love as Stephens, the only remaining American in the either singles competition, garnered only one point in four service games.

Both women finally managed a hold each before Bartoli, who lost to Venus Williams in the 2007 final and has yet to drop a set in five matches in this tournament, broke to love again to triumph.


Image: Marion Bartoli of France celebrates a point
Photographs: Julian Finney/Getty Images

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