One of the more compelling second round matches taking place on Monday afternoon in Wuhan is that between Czech Republic’s Lucie Safarova and Germany’s Sabine Lisicki. Their last meeting took place at the start of 2013 and Lisicki leads their head-to-head series 2-1.
After reaching the fourth round of the US Open, where she lost to semi-finalist Shuai Peng, world No. 15 Lucie Safarova arrived in Tokyo, where she defeated two of the WTA’s rising stars in Madison Keys and Belinda Bencic before losing out to eventual champion Ana Ivanovic.
Lisicki completed arguably her best week on the WTA tour this season when she won the Hong Kong Open as a wildcard last week. It was her fourth career WTA title and her first since Dallas in 2011. Since then, she has reached three finals, including the Wimbledon Championships in 2013, yet has been unsuccessful in each of those attempts. Lisicki has now won 15 of 20 matches since arriving at SW19 this year. She also won the Guniess World Record for the fastest serve in WTA history (131mph).
This marks the fourth time that Lisicki and Safarova will cross paths on the WTA tour. Lisicki won both their hard court meetings, while Safarova managed a first round win over the German at the 2009 French Open. Considering it has been five years since Safarova’s last win over Lisicki, it will be interesting to see how she handles this encounter. While she is capable of the victory, she will have to topple a confident Lisicki to earn the victory this time around.
Prediction: Sabine Lisicki in Three Sets