Thursday afternoon’s women’s semi final matches got underway in 21° breezy and cloudy conditions. The first semi was between 15th seeded Marion Bartoli who got to the final in 2007, where she lost to Venus Williams; and 20th seed Kirsten Flipkens, who is in her very first semi, never having got as far as the fourth round in any Slam before this year’s Australian Open. They had not met in the past and their win/loss records were 22-15 to the Belgian and 14-12 to the Frenchwoman.
Both players made nervy starts, but Bartoli’s aggressive game saw her take a 3-0 lead before Flipkens held. Bartoli then took the next three games to easily take the set 6-1 in just 27 minutes. In the second set Bartoli continued her dominance of this increasingly one sided match and again ran up a 3-0 lead when Flipkens had a medical time out for her heavily strapped knee. Back on court, Flipkens broke to trail 1-3 and held her serve to love in the 7th game before Bartoli served out the set 6-2 in a match that lasted an hour and two minutes. A step too far for Flipkens, a step into another Wimbledon final for Bartoli.
The second semi saw last year’s runner up and three time grand slam semi finalist Agnieszka Radwanska, the highest seed left in the draw at number 4, take on 23rd seed Sabine Lisicki, who got to the semis here in 2011. These two have played each other once before – both times on hard courts – and each won one. The Pole’s year to date stat was 28-9, while her opponent’s was 20-12.
In total contrast to the first semi, this match was filled with great rallies and an awesome array of shots from both sides of the net. Games went with serve until Lisicki broke in the 7th game and she held on to her lead to take the set 6-4. The second set saw Lisicki break in the first game, but Radwanska broke straight back. The 4th game was a comedy of errors and went to six deuces before the Pole broke again, only to be broken back immediately. Radwanska then took the next two games for the set at 6-2. In the decider Radwanska ran up a 3-0 lead before Lisicki took the next three games to level. Games then went with serve until Lisicki broke for 5-4 but the Pole broke back. Games then went with serve until Lisicki once again broke to lead 8-7 and served out the set at 9-7 for a great win of superb tennis.