Photo: Paul ZimmerMarion Bartoli (FRA)
On Saturday afternoon a new women’s singles Grand Slam champion will be crowned. Marion Bartoli and Sabine Lisicki are both vying to win their first major after surviving what has been a turbulent two weeks at the All England Lawn Tennis Club.
If Thursday’s semifinals are anything to go by then Bartoli goes into the final as the form horse. The Frenchwoman destroyed Belgium’s Kirsten Flipkens 61 62 in a match that lasted just over an hour to secure her place in a Grand Slam final for the second time.
Lisicki, meanwhile, came through a gripping encounter against No. 4 seed Agnieszka Radwanska, winning 64 26 97 in a match that ebbed and flowed and kept the Centre Court crowd on the edge of its seat.
The German might have had to endure a tougher match in the semifinal, but she has enjoyed a wonderful Wimbledon so far, defeating two of the top four seeds (Serena Williams and Radwanska) and two former Grand Slam champions (Francesca Schiavone and Sam Stosur) en route to the last two.
The 23-year-old will be contesting her first major showpiece on Saturday so question marks remain over how she will cope with the occasion. For Bartoli, it’s a second Wimbledon final and an opportunity to make amends for losing to Venus Williams in 2007.
The Frenchwoman, who returned to the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas fold earlier this year, has had an easier path to the final than her opponent. The highest-ranked player she has faced is No. 17 seed Sloane Stephens and she has only had to contend with two seeds (Stephens and Flipkens).
As such she is yet to drop a set and should therefore not only be fresher than Lisicki but she will have the belief that her better ranking means she is able to win. With the men’s singles finals to be decided today we’re sure to have a thrilling weekend of tennis ahead.
The International Tennis Federation provides men's information to the media at Grand Slam events. For a full list of this year's notes click here.