Lisicki draws on crowd support to beat Ivanovic

The 24-year-old German, who memorably broke down in tears after being overwhelmed by stage fright during last year’s final defeat by Marion Bartoli, kept her nerves in check despite playing over two days and with an extra stoppage for rain.


She said she enjoyed the on-again-off-again encounter because of the warmth she felt from spectators.

“The crowd knows my story here. I came here as a young girl and I came back from injury. It’s a big story with Wimbledon,” she said. “So I love the support that I’m getting here. It’s so much more enjoyable.”

Lisicki, who breaks into a broad grin when she produces a winner and even smiles, though perhaps a little ruefully, when she makes an error, has endeared herself to fans here.

The German, seeded 19, had the first set in the bag when the match was suspended after much discussion between players and officials about the gathering gloom on Saturday evening.

The players had exchanged breaks of serve in the third and fourth games of the first set, but it was the powerful Lisicki who calmed early jitters quickest, breaking again in the fifth and serving out for the set.

Former world No.1 Ivanovic came out fighting when the match resumed on a chilly Monday morning, producing some telling returns on the Lisicki serve. But the duo were again forced off court for more than an hour, this time by a rain shower, with Ivanovic leading 5-2 and deuce in the second.


The Serb kept her concentration to wrap up the set, but the ever-smiling Lisicki found range and power on her returns to break Ivanovic’s serve twice and win the match with a seventh booming ace.

“I came back and I was more focussed and I was serving better. I think that I used my chances,” she said.

“With her (Ivanovic), you have to be ready for every single point. If you have a chance, you have to use it, otherwise it can be gone in no time and you might regret not having another.”

Ivanovic, 26, said she was pleased with her grasscourt season, having won her first tournament on the surface at Birmingham two weeks ago, but she had learnt another lesson from Lisicki.

“Obviously very disappointed with the loss, but I really gave my best out there in all three times we stepped on the court. She was the better player,” Ivanovic said.

The former French Open champion added that she had tried to keep her concentration during the rain break.

“I just tried to keep in the same mindset, you know. Didn’t really happen,” she said. “But also, I felt she was a little bit more relaxed. She started swinging at the ball and it was going in and gave her confidence.”

Lisicki meets Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan in the fourth round.

(Editing by David Goodman)