German Sabine Lisicki lived up to her status as the new Wimbledon favourite with a clinical 6-3 6-3 demolition of Kaia Kanepi in the quarter-finals on Tuesday.
Lisicki, who knocked out defending champion and top seed Serena Williams in the fourth round, broke Kanepi’s serve in the opening game of the match on Court One and wrapped up the first set in 33 minutes.
Estonian Kanepi, who beat Britain’s Laura Robson on Monday, took advantage of three Lisicki double faults to break serve for a 2-1 lead in the second set but the German 23rd seed reeled off four games in a row to stand on the brink of the last four.
Kanepi held serve to stop the rot but Lisicki sealed victory in just 65 minutes with a forehand volley on her third match point.
Lisicki will now play play Agnieszka Radwanska, last year’s runner up and the highest ranked player left in the women’s draw, after the Pole beat China’s Li Na 7-6(5) 4-6 6-2 in an epic last eight duel. The fourth seed, seeking her first grand slam title after losing in three sets to Serena Williams last year, set up a semi-final showdown with Lisicki having staved off a Li fightback, the distraction of two rain interruptions and then squandering seven match points. Former French Open champion Li wasted chances to take the opening set and then after a short rain break, the sixth seed hit back to take the second from 4-2 down as her aggressive strokes to the corners of the court began to penetrate. But Radwanska, who had her right thigh heavily strapped up before the start of the decider, regrouped under the now-closed roof following a second rain delay. She secured a double break but having spurned two match points at 5-1 up, and then, astonishingly another five in the next game. With nerves frayed, she could finally lift her arms to the skies as the never-say-die Li went long. Top seed and five-time champions Williams was beaten by Lisicki in the fourth round on Monday, following chief rivals Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova out of the tournament.
Results from the Wimbledon Women’s Singles Quarterfinal matches on Tuesday
20-Kirsten Flipkens (Belgium) beat 8-Petra Kvitova (Czech Republic) 4-6 6-3 6-4
15-Marion Bartoli (France) beat 17-Sloane Stephens (U.S.) 6-4 7-5
4-Agnieszka Radwanska (Poland) beat 6-Li Na (China) 7-6(5) 4-6 6-2
23-Sabine Lisicki (Germany) beat Kaia Kanepi (Estonia) 6-3 6-3