Sabine Lisicki is through to the next round of the AEGON Classic after a 6-1 7-6 win over Belinda Bencic, helped in large part by an exceptional serving performance including a WTA record 27 aces over the two sets.
Bencic troubled Lisicki early, carving out three break points in the opening game. However, with the help of five aces she would hold on before rain struck. After a small delay, Lisicki would rush through the opening set twice breaking serve while extinguishing any small lead Bencic had on her service games with more bombing serves.
Bencic, fresh off a final in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, did make a recovery in the second set with two easy holds before yet another rain delay whilst on break point. She looked far from happy to see play delayed but would convert the break point upon resumption of play, eventually moving into a 4-1 lead.
It was soon evaporated as Lisicki reeled off three straight games, with a tiebreak eventually deciding the second set. Whilst not matching the 16 aces of set 1, the German would put up 11 more in the second set including two in the tiebreak, the latter of which delivered set point.
It will be a battle of former champions in the next round with Lisicki facing Magdalena Rybarikova to close out Thursday’s centre court order of play.
Sabine Lisicki 27 vs Belinda Bencic (Birmingham ’15)
Kaia Kanepi 24 vs Lucie Safarova (Tokyo ’08)
Serena Williams 24 vs Victoria Azarenka (Wimbledon ’12)