Sabine Lisicki is an incredibly talented player, coming 2nd in last year’s Wimbledon final to the fiery Marion Bartoli. Today she returned to Centre Court to defeat Julia Glushko decisively 6-2 6-1. Her powerful groundstrokes kept Glushko on the defensive for the majority of the match, showcasing some blistering return of serves. Lisicki’s two-handed backhand is particularly impressive, as she generates a lot of power combined with difficult angles, managing to wrong-foot Glushko on a number of occasions.
While Lisicki demonstrates a solid game, her attitude is also extremely refreshing in a sport often associated with McEnroe-style tempers. When Lisicki makes an unforced error it is usually greeted with a smile, laugh and shrug of the shoulders. Expressing her emotional engagement with the game without focusing on negativity makes her a fun player for the audience to root for.
It was also great to see last year’s champion Marion Bartoli open the game in support of Elena Baltacha, Britain’s former no. 1, who died of liver cancer earlier this year at the age of 30. Bartoli took part in the coin toss ceremony with nine-year-old Elle Robus-Miller; a rising star from the Elena Baltacha Academy of Tennis for underprivileged children, who I’m sure couldn’t help but feel inspired by the occasion.