German Sabine Lisicki and Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland met in the Wimbledon women's semifinals today at the All England Club, and the finish was as dramatic as hoped for in this tournament chock-full of bizarre upsets and unfortunate injuries. Much ado was made ahead of the match about Radwanska's heavily taped legs, practically mummified above the knees due to repeated three-set bouts and her penchant for practically kneeling down when hitting some shots. That was the price she paid this near-fortnight, though she did not yet know the full cost.
Much ado has also been made of Radwanska's allegedly cursory handshake granted to Lisicki at the end of this match, which ended 9-7 in the third and final set, in "overtime" as they say. Judge for yourself here whether Radwanska was rudely dismissive or understandably upset and wishing to scurry away—as she had scurried all match long—after match point, which ended with another forehand missile off the German's racquet.
Understandably, as Steve Tignor noted in his typically excellent post-match write-up, both players saw an opportunity the size of a planet here—with Radwanska coming in 7-0 versus final foe Marion Bartoli and Lisicki owning a 3-1 record against the Frenchwoman. What's more, Tignor reports, "There’s been talk this week that the German has irritated some of her fellow players with her celebratory waterworks, but there’s no doubt this was the toughest of tough losses for Radwanska." Indubitably so, as this is what the Pole had to say after the encounter, her face recovered from near-tears, if not very real tears:
"When you went that far to the semifinal, no Serena, Maria, Vika..." he voice trailed off. "Yeah, definitely am disappointed."
What's the verdict, Spin readers? If asked, your faithful Spin keeper would say Radwanska's handshake in the wake of crushing defeat was adequate at the least, and that—in the heat of such a moment—little else should be expected of her. She had already waited near the net for some time due to Lisicki's post-match celebration.
Now Lisicki goes into the final against Bartoli, herself the 2007 Wimbledon finalist to Venus Williams. Who's your pick in that title round? Says here, Bartoli in three sets. Three eventful sets. It should prove an encounter similar to this one, doused in dramatica and ripe for waterworks even before it ends.
With the way this Wimbledon has transpired to date, it would only be fitting.
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