Simona Halep and Sabine Lisicki will open proceedings on Centre Court on Wednesday as they battle for a place in the Wimbledon semi-finals. Check out the Halep vs Lisicki Head to Head.
Has a third seed ever enjoyed such a low-key path to the last eight of a Grand Slam? In four matches, Halep hasn’t played anyone ranked inside the top 70. (Even on the way to her first International title in Nürnberg last year, she had to get past 30th ranked Lucie Safarova.)
Yet although the draw gods have been kind to the Romanian, she deserves credit for living up to her billing while so many other seeds have tumbled. Apart from a second set blip against Lesia Tsurenko in the second round, Halep has looked comfortable and confident in SW19. She has won over 75% of first serve points and kept her winner-unforced error ratio in the black.
While Halep has glided under the radar at this year’s Championships, Sabine Lisicki’s progress has been anything but drama-free. She was the controversial choice to play the opening Centre Court match last Tuesday, and had to complete a topsy-turvy third round win over Ana Ivanovic two days after it started. In the last 16, she was criticised by many for taking a medical time-out when break point down in the final set to Yaroslava Shvedova.
However, in spite of all the brouhaha, Lisicki has done what she does best at Wimbledon: win. She did nothing after reaching last year’s final and came to the All England Club in 2014 with no momentum, but she has put together four impressive victories and is once again contesting the latter stages of the tournament.
Can she keep the magic going? Lisicki has played Halep three times before and lost twice. Both of the defeats were tough three-setters, so there isn’t a major problem in terms of match-up. Unlike Halep, she has the experience of winning a Wimbledon quarter-final, and her sevre, if it is firing, will be the best shot on court.
On the other hand, we know that Halep has one of the most varied games on tour. If something isn’t working, she can adjust – she wouldn’t have risen to third in the world otherwise. Lisicki will come out blazing and attempt to overpower her 5’6” opponent, but Halep will use an array of slices and spins to stop her.
Prediciton: Halep in three sets.