15th seed Marion Bartoli and 23rd seed Sabine Lisicki went onto Centre Court to play in the 2013 Wimbledon final and, whoever won, there would be a new name on the Venus Rosewater Dish – the greatest accolade of women’s tennis. Bartoli has been in this position once before, when she lost to Venus Williams in 2007; while this was Lisicki’s first ever grand slam final. The players have met four times in the past, with Lisicki leading the head to head 3-1, including a three set win at Wimbledon in 2011. Bartoli has not dropped a set, nor faced a seed on her route to the final; while Lisicki has played three three setters, including her momentous defeat of Serena Williams. In total, the Frenchwoman has spent eight hours and five minutes on court, while her opponent’s tally was nine hours and twelve minutes. This was either player’s match and an exciting final was expected by the full house of 15,000 fans waiting in warm and sunny conditions.
Bartoli won the toss and chose to serve. After a long game which included two double faults, Lisicki broke on her third break point. However, Bartoli managed to break straight back and then went on to take the next five games to take the set 6-1 with a great display of power tennis, whereas her opponent seemed overawed by her first Grand Slam appearance and made far too many errors.
After going off court, Lisicki started the second set with fire in her belly and held her first game. Bartoli served two doubles and faced four break points before holding to level in a ten minute game. She then won the next four games to lead 5-1 and, with Lisicki in tears at the changeover, the German came back on court and saved two championship points to hold her serve for 2-5. With Bartoli serving for the championship, Lisicki suddenly found her range and broke to trail 3-5. She then held with some fine play to get to 4-5 and make something of a match of this final but, after her run of three games in a row, she had no answer to Bartoli in the 10th game, who showed no nerves and took the title with an ace on her first championship point.
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