German tennis star Sabine Lisicki is known for her powerful serve, but no one could have been prepared for the dazzling display she put on in Wednesday's second-round win over Belinda Bencic at the 2015 Aegon Classic.
Lisicki smashed a world-record 27 aces in the match and spoke about how comfortable she feels amid the grass-court season, per WTATennis.com:
It's nice to have another record! It's obviously a good weapon to have on grass. And I love playing on grass, so it's nice to be back at the Aegon Classic Birmingham. [...] It's always special to come back to a tournament you've won before, but it's not only that. All the memories I have playing in England, winning here and doing so well at Wimbledon - it's all so nice.
The fact that Bencic managed to make the match close in the second set of what wound up being a 6-1, 7-6 (4) loss was quite impressive considering how on Lisicki was in her service games.
Lisicki had 16 of her aces in the opening set, using the hot start to seize momentum and dominate. Then the 25-year-old's mighty serve became more of bailout weapon to close out her opponent in the end.
Tennis writer Jonathan Kelley added context relative to the men's ace record previously set by Ivo Karlovic, which only made Lisicki's accomplishment look greater:
Sabine was only 5 aces short of Karlovic's 2-set record of 32 aces set at 2010 Memphis. Ivo had 2 additional service games & 1 more tiebreak2015-6-17 18:31:04
As she mentioned after Wednesday's win, Lisicki has fared well at Wimbledon before, advancing to the 2013 final and never falling short of the quarterfinals in her most recent five appearances at the All England Club.
If she can keep applying the pressure with her serve on the fast grass surface, there's reason to believe she can walk away with a Grand Slam title at Wimbledon someday. But with just one WTA singles title since the start of 2012 and a 12-14 record to start this year, per ESPN.com, Lisicki must become more consistent.
For those seeking to wager on a potential Wimbledon dark horse, one could do worse than bet on Lisicki. It will be worth seeing how she handles her groundbreaking achievement, starting with Thursday's match against Magdalena Rybarikova, who has a strong serve in her own right.