The dream of the first german wimbledon victory since steffi graf is over! Sabine lisicki clearly missed out on the title at the world’s most important tennis tournament. She had to give in to marion bartoli from france in the final match after an unusually weak performance 1:6, 4:6.
When sabine lisicki answered the journalists’ questions two hours after her tearful speech at the center court, even the winning smile gradually returned to her face. "It was disappointing, really disappointing," she said when asked why she seemed so tense and paralyzed with nerves in the final match at wimbledon, of all places, her first grand slam final with the prospect of historic tennis glory.
"The whole way there has cost more strength than i thought, also mentally," said the 23-year-old berlin native after the clear defeat against marion bartoli from france. "But it was still an unbelievable tournament. I hope that the experience of the last two weeks and today will help me to do better next time."When she was asked if she had yelled at herself in the mirror after the bad first set in the dressing room, she said, "no, i didn’t do that. I don’t yell at myself."And had to laugh.
The sovereignty and charm with which the player, who had just been humiliated in the final of her favorite tournament, mastered the subsequent procedure earned almost as much respect on this saturday evening at the all england lawn tennis and croquet club as her previous miraculous journey through the tournament events.
Already on the court, she had first printed bartoli on her for a long time and then, to the applause of the visibly moved audience, declared: "marion was too good. She deserved it." Later lisicki said: "i am happy for you. I hope i will get another chance to be in the final here."
Earlier on the court, she had watched marion bartoli climb up to her players’ box in a daring climb to receive congratulations, hugs and kisses for the new wimbledon champion. It was supposed to be her moment. The moment of sabine katharina lisicki.
As the first german tennis player since steffi graf 17 years ago, she wanted to enter the winner’s list of the oldest and most important tournament in the world. "I was so happy to win and hope I get a second chance," said lisicki at the award ceremony, bursting into tears. Already during the second sentence she got moist eyes. "I was sad that i couldn’t perform at my best," she said later.
In her first final at a grand slam tournament, lisicki appeared hypernervous for a long time and was unable to match her previous brilliant performances on the hallowed turf. "I was overwhelmed by the situation," she said. The 1.78 meter tall right-hander was the first german in the wimbledon final since steffi graf in 1999.
Graf later congratulated lisicki on her facebook page "for an outstanding performance over the past two weeks, it has been great fun to watch and root for her!" The victory for bartoli was "deserved", found graf. "Not an easy day for sabine after her victories over williams and radwanska, understandably she seemed a bit nervous in her first grand slam final and had problems to find her usual game."
National coach barbara rittner believes her protege has a lot of potential in the future: "if she continues on this path, she will be in the finals here again. I am proud of sabine."There were also immediate words of encouragement from other quarters for the crestfallen loser.
"Head up sabine….Insanely great fight but respect for bartoli!!!"Tweeted boris becker. National football player lukas podolski wrote in the short news service: "sad to see bine lose. But thanks for all the rough moments at wimbledon. You have brought tennis back to life in germany."
Lisicki will move up in the world rankings from number 24 to 18, with one win she had approached the top ten as number eleven in the world. "I understand exactly how sabine feels," said bartoli, who lost the 2007 final to venus williams and was now even congratulated by france’s president francois hollande: "this title is a credit to french tennis, to women’s sport and to french sport as a whole."
In front of the grand old ladies of tennis such as martina navratilova, martina hingis, virginia wade, margaret court, jana novotna and billie jean king, lisicki, of all people, seemed to tense up in the face of the historic significance of the moment. A tournament full of emotion and tears, two weeks of passion and seemingly hopeless chases failed to come to fruition.
No other player had such difficult opponents as she did. One after the other, she eliminated the unpleasant francesca schiavone, jelena wesnina, who is excellent on grass, former u.S. Open winner samantha stosur, five-time wimbledon winner and world number one serena williams, kerber conqueror kaia kanepi and world number four agnieszka radwanska.
But against the unorthodox bartoli with her two-handed forehand and backhand the journey came to an end. Although she started in the second set to catch up from 1:5 to 4:5 and fended off three match balls. But this time it did not manage a turnaround. Steffi graf’s victory in 1996 remains the last german wimbledon triumph for the time being.