With her stunning upset of Serena Williams on Monday and her dominating performance against Kaia Kanepi on Tuesday to reach the semifinals, Sabine Lisicki has become the face of the women’s competition at the 2013 Wimbledon Championships.
But it’s her opponent who has the higher seed and the stronger resume coming into their semifinal battle on Thursday.
Fourth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska outlasted Li Na in a terrific three-set battle Tuesday to become the next roadblock in Lisicki’s stunning run toward her first-ever Wimbledon title.
The matchup pits the hard-hitting, power-serving Lisicki against the athletic and consistent Radwanska in what is the marquee semifinal of a completely bizarre Wimbledon fortnight in the women’s draw.
For Radwanska, it’s a second straight trip to the Wimbledon semifinals, and a win Thursday over her German opponent would send her to a second consecutive Wimbledon final. The Polish star fell to Serena in last year's final.
For Lisicki, her second semifinal appearance at the All England Club in the past three years justifies her amazing three-set win over Williams and gives her a second shot at the finals. The 23-year-old lost to Maria Sharapova in the 2011 semifinals.
For one player, the semifinal battle will bring an opportunity for a first Grand Slam crown. For the other, it will prove a bitter end to a strong but expected run.
It’s not a semifinal anyone expected, but it will likely be an enjoyable one all the same.