Bartoli beats Stephens in Wimbledon quarterfinals
LONDON -- Marion Bartoli of France eliminated the last U.S. player at Wimbledon on Tuesday, reaching her third Grand Slam semifinal by beating Sloane Stephens 6-4, 7-5 in a rain-interrupted, break-filled match.
The 15th-seeded Bartoli, the 2007 runner-up at the All England Club, was leading 5-4 with Stephens serving at deuce when they resumed after a 2½-hour rain delay. Bartoli won the next two points, the latter a 27-stroke exchange, to take the opening set.
That began a stretch in which Bartoli broke Stephens five consecutive times, four at love. After Stephens broke to get within 5-4, then held to 5-all, Bartoli took the last two games, including yet another break at love to end the quarterfinal.
In Thursday's semifinals, Bartoli faces 20th-seeded Kirsten Flipkens, who defeated 2011 Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova.
If Sabine Lisicki had a letdown after defeating Serena Williams, it didn't show.
If Lisicki is penciling herself into the Wimbledon final, she isn't saying.
Showing no drop-off after her dramatic victory over Williams, the 23rd-seeded Lisicki returned Tuesday and made quick work of a much less intimidating opponent, 46th-ranked Kaia Kanepi, dispatching her 6-3, 6-3 in 65 minutes to advance to her second career Wimbledon semifinal.
"I was ready today," Lisicki said. "I knew from the past, out of experience, that I needed to make the switch quickly to be ready, and that's what I did."
Indeed. Lisicki opened the match by breaking Kanepi's serve in the first game and didn't look back in that set. In the second, she had one hiccup -- a game in which she double-faulted three times to drop a break and fall behind 2-1. She broke back right away, however, and won four of the next five games to close out the match.
Now, the 23-year-old German finds herself in the Wimbledon semifinals for the second time in three years. Her win against Williams made her the new, odds-on favorite to win the title and even pushed Britain's favorite tennis player, Andy Murray, off the back pages of a couple London tabloids.
All of which means almost nothing -- at least to hear Lisicki tell it.
"Match by match," she said. "Did that from the start and will continue to do that."
Her next opponent is No. 4 Agnieszka Radwanska, who defeated No. 6 Li Na 7-6 (5), 4-6, 6-2 in a match that took more than 3½ hours to complete and included two rain delays, an injury timeout and a final game that lasted more than 10 minutes.
Radwanska moved one win from her second straight Wimbledon final, putting Li away on the eighth match point. Radwanska called for a medical timeout after the second set so a trainer could work on her right thigh. Up 5-2 in the third set, she called for the trainer again for a quick treatment on both legs.
"Too much tennis the last few days," she said. "I was struggling with that. Otherwise, I think it's a good problem to have."
With Radwanska advancing, Poland is guaranteed a semifinalist in both the men's and women's draws. On Wednesday, Jerzy Janowicz plays Lukasz Kubot in an all-Polish men's quarterfinal.
Lisicki had the luxury of sitting back and watching all that action unfold. Her match against Kanepi was nowhere near as grueling as the emotion-packed upset over Williams the previous day.
"It was a different matchup," Lisicki said. "I was just as focused as yesterday because I knew it's going to be tough after yesterday's match 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."
Whereas Lisicki was forced to match Williams' power, she played more of a finesse game against Kanepi. Six of her 23 winners against Kanepi came off drop shots and Lisicki needed only two aces (compared with 10 against Williams in their three-set match) to defeat her Estonian opponent.
Kanepi, who advanced to the quarterfinals by defeating Britain's Laura Robson, said she couldn't match her play from that victory. She had 13 winners and 23 unforced errors against Lisicki and fell to 0-5 in Grand Slam quarterfinals.
"I thought (when) I tried to attack in previous matches, I hit winners and did well, but today I was missing a lot," Kanepi said. "But on grass there is no Plan B. I just have to go for my shots. If there is a ball, I have to hit it."