Wimbledon

Wimbledon: Lisicki faces internal foe

The Associated PressJuly 5, 2013 

  • Saturday’s final

    9 a.m.: No. 15 Marion Bartoli vs.

    No. 23 Sabine Lisicki

    Head-to-head

    Lisicki leads 3-1

    2008 Wimbledon

    2009 Charleston

    2011 Charleston

    2011 Wimbledon

— Sabine Lisicki is allergic to Wimbledon, sort of.

Not the town in southwest London, and not the All England Club. But she does have hay fever, making her hypersensitive to the grass for which the tournament is so famous.

That affliction won’t stop her from playing in the Wimbledon final Saturday, when either she or Marion Bartoli will end up with a first Grand Slam title.

“I learned how to cope with that,” Lisicki said Friday. “In the beginning, the first time I was here, which was, what, five years ago, I really was struggling with the allergies. But by now I know what to do, what to take, to calm those allergies down. I’m on medication.”

On Thursday, the 23rd-seeded German rallied from a 3-0 deficit in the third set to beat Agnieszka Radwanska and reach her first major final. She did the same thing in the fourth round, when she eliminated defending champion Serena Williams.

“I had a lot of challenges on my way to the finals with players being aggressive, players who were very solid, moving very well,” Lisicki said. “So it will be another challenge.”

Saturday’s match will be the second time in the 45-year Open era that two women who have never won a Grand Slam trophy will play for the championship at the All England Club. And it’s difficult to say who has the edge.

Bartoli has been in this position before, reaching the 2007 Wimbledon final before losing to Venus Williams. And she hasn’t lost a set so far this year, winning all six of her matches in straight sets. But Lisicki is 3-1 against Bartoli, including a win at Wimbledon two years ago when the 23-year-old German reached the semifinals.

“A final of a Grand Slam is always a matter of details. Maybe a point here, a point there will make the difference,” said Bartoli, 28.

“Maybe someone who is a bit more gutsy than the other player, someone who is having a better day than the others.”

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