Coming out of the French Open, the always brief grass court season was set to be headlined by the return of Grand Slam champions Roger Federer, Victoria Azarenka, and Maria Sharapova. Sharapova’s returns continues to have false starts and the other two are back, but it was the return of a slightly less accomplished player that caught my eye when scanning this week’s draws.
Germany’s Sabine Lisicki made her season debut in Spain this week after battling injuries for the better part of the year and is still alive in the quarterfinals. Here are a couple reasons why Lisicki’s return on the grass is noteworthy.
Past Wimbledon success:
The big hitting German’s game is tailor made for the speed of grass courts. She holds the record for the fastest serve ever recorded by a female. Generally speaking, grass caters to power. Lisicki has a lot of that in all facets of her game.
Despite never being consistent enough for a top ten ranking, Wimbledon has always turned her into a different player. The 2013 runner up has knocked off Li Na, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Maria Sharapova, and Serena Williams in past years at the All England Club. That list speaks for itself. However, it becomes even more impressive when you consider that all of those ladies were reigning Grand Slam champions when the former World No. 12 upset them.
As much as players say they are unaware of other players, most of them are lying. Yes, Lisicki is still trying to find her sea legs after the injuries. Even so, with the track record above, no one wants to run into Lisicki at Wimbledon. You can watch her knack for the most famous courts in tennis below on the Bine Tuzki YouTube channel.
The Grand Slam scene is still wide open for the women:
We just watched Jelena Ostapenko win the French Open after being ranked outside the top 30 at the start of the event. Apart from the serve, Lisicki is a very similar player to the Latvian. Also clay does not reward power the way grass does, yet Ostapenko still completed her fairytale.
Lisicki hoisting the trophy at Wimbledon is far less of a pre event stretch than Ostapenko doing so in Paris. The French Open drove home a single point loud and clear.
As long as Serena, Sharapova, and Azarenka are out of the picture or knocking off rust, Grand Slams are about whoever can catch lightning in a bottle for two weeks. Even with Lisicki knocking off rust of her own, she is very capable of doing just that at Wimbledon.