Sabine Katharina Lisicki (German pronunciation: [zaˈbiːnə lɪˈzɪki]; born 22 September 1989) is a German tennis player who turned professional in 2006. Her breakthrough was in 2009 when she reached the quarterfinals of the Wimbledon Championships, and also won her first WTA Tour title, the Family Circle Cup.
Lisicki at the 2019 Wimbledon qualifying
|Full name||Sabine Katharina Lisicki|
|Residence||Bradenton, Florida, U.S.|
|Born||22 September 1989|
Troisdorf, West Germany
|Height||1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)|
|Plays||Right-handed (two-handed backhand)|
|Career record||330–251 (56.8%)|
|Highest ranking||No. 12 (21 May 2012)|
|Current ranking||No. 689 (19 October 2020)|
|Grand Slam Singles results|
|Australian Open||4R (2012)|
|French Open||3R (2013, 2015)|
|US Open||4R (2011, 2015)|
|Olympic Games||3R (2012)|
|Career record||81–57 (58.7%)|
|Highest ranking||No. 35 (9 April 2012)|
|Grand Slam Doubles results|
|Australian Open||2R (2016)|
|French Open||3R (2013)|
|US Open||QF (2012)|
|Other doubles tournaments|
|Olympic Games||2R (2012)|
|Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results|
|Australian Open||1R (2013)|
|Other mixed doubles tournaments|
|Olympic Games||SF – 4th place (2012)|
|Fed Cup||F (2014), record 10–7|
|Hopman Cup||RR (2009, 2010)|
|Last updated on: 23 October 2020.|
In March 2010, she suffered an ankle injury at the Indian Wells Masters that kept her out of competition for five months and saw her fall out of the top 200.
Lisicki rebounded in 2011 and won the Aegon Classic before entering the Wimbledon Championships as a wildcard and going on to reach the semifinals, where she lost to Maria Sharapova. In doing so she became only the second woman in Wimbledon history to make it to the semifinals while entering the tournament as a wildcard. She followed that two months later by winning her third WTA tournament, the Texas Open. In 2012, she achieved her highest career world ranking, 12th, and again reached the quarterfinals of Wimbledon. Again, in 2012 she suffered from another ankle injury that prevented her from having better results on tour. Lisicki reached the final of the 2013 Wimbledon Championships, losing to Marion Bartoli. The following year, she reached another quarterfinal at the 2014 Wimbledon Championships and won her first title in three years when she won the 2014 Hong Kong Tennis Open.
In doubles, Lisicki won the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in 2011 with Samantha Stosur and in 2013 with Mona Barthel and the 2014 Miami Masters with coach Martina Hingis. She also reached the doubles final at Wimbledon in 2011 with Stosur and came fourth in the mixed-doubles event at the 2012 London Olympics with Christopher Kas.
Between 2014 and 2018, Lisicki held the world record for the fastest serve by a female tennis player. A 131.0 mph (210.8 km/h) serve was measured during her first-round encounter against Ana Ivanovic at the 2014 Bank of the West Classic. She also held the record for the most aces in a singles match, hitting 27 aces during her second-round encounter against Belinda Bencic at the 2015 Aegon Classic, until it was surpassed by Kristýna Plíšková at the 2016 Australian Open.
Lisicki's parents emigrated to West Germany from Poland in 1979; her father, Dr. Richard Lisicki, is of German and Polish descent and her mother, Elisabeth, of Polish. They came to Germany as "Spätaussiedler", descended from German citizens who lived in the former eastern territories of Germany which had become part of Poland after World War II. In a 2009 interview with the German newspaper Die Welt, her father put emphasis on Lisicki being German: "Sabine is a German – not only because of her birth here [in Germany]." Lisicki was born in Troisdorf, North Rhine-Westphalia, in 1989. Her father, who introduced her to the sport at the age of seven, has a doctorate in sport science and is her coach. Her mother is a painter specialising in ceramics.
Since 2004, Lisicki has trained at the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Bradenton, Florida, where she is sponsored and managed by IMG. She is coached by her father, who studied sport science in Wrocław and Cologne. Early in her career, Lisicki could not fly to tournaments because of a lack of funding. She had to be driven across Europe in a car by her parents so that she could attend tournaments. Lisicki said: "My parents did everything possible to let me play tennis. That's what I appreciated so much. My dad has worked from 8 in the morning til 9 in the evening to make it possible so I can play tennis. We had to cancel tournaments because we couldn't afford to go there."
In 2006, Lisicki competed at the Sunfeast Open in Kolkata, where she defeated Ragini Vimal in the first, but lost in the final qualifying round to Sanaa Bhambri. She competed in her first WTA Tour main-draw match when she was given a wildcard to play at the Berlin Open. She lost in the first round to Mara Santangelo, in three sets.
Lisicki had a successful year in 2007 on the ITF Circuit and climbed from world No. 497 to No. 198 in the WTA rankings. She won two titles, one in Jersey and the other in Toronto. She defeated top-seed Katie O'Brien at the Odlum Brown Vancouver Open.
2008: Start of the journeyEdit
At the Australian Open, her first Grand Slam tournament, she defeated the No. 16-seeded player, Dinara Safina, as well as Mariya Koryttseva to reach the third round as a qualifier. She lost her third round match to Caroline Wozniacki. In the first round of the Fed Cup against the United States, Lisicki defeated Lindsay Davenport in straight sets. Lisicki next reached the fourth round of the Miami Sony Ericsson Open, a Tier I event, where she defeated sixth seeded Anna Chakvetadze in straight sets, but was defeated in the next round by Elena Dementieva.
At Wimbledon, Lisicki lost in the first round to the 2007 runner-up, 11th seed Marion Bartoli. In October, Lisicki reached her first WTA Tour final at the Tashkent Open, where she lost in three sets to fellow teenager Sorana Cîrstea.
2009: Breakthrough yearEdit
Lisicki started her year at the Hopman Cup in Perth where she advanced to the third round before losing to Dominika Cibulková in straight sets. At the Australian Open, Lisicki defeated the 30th seed Aleksandra Wozniak in the opening round before losing to Samantha Stosur in straight sets. She then took part in Germany's 3–2 win over Switzerland in their Fed Cup World Group II tie, defeating Timea Bacsinszky but losing to Patty Schnyder.
At the Cellular South Cup in Memphis, Lisicki reached the semifinals, defeating third seed Lucie Šafářová on the way before losing to eventual winner Victoria Azarenka. Lisicki then took part in the first Premier Mandatory tournament of the year in North America. At the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, she lost in the first round to Elena Vesnina. At the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami, she lost in the second round to 26th seed Iveta Benešová.
During the clay-court season, Lisicki lost in the second round of the MPS Group Championships in Ponte Vedra Beach to eventual finalist and fifth seed Aleksandra Wozniak. On the green clay at the Family Circle Cup in Charleston, Lisicki won her first WTA Tour title without dropping a set, defeating the fifth seed Caroline Wozniacki in the final. She had previously defeated second seeded Venus Williams in the third round and No. 6 seed Marion Bartoli in the semifinals. She then took part in Germany's Fed Cup World Group play-off win against China. She defeated world No. 16 Zheng Jie in the first singles match, and partnered with Anna-Lena Grönefeld to win the decisive doubles match.
Lisicki advanced to the second round of the Porsche Grand Prix in Stuttgart before losing to third-seeded Jelena Janković in straight sets. She then advanced to the quarterfinals at the Portugal Open where she lost to compatriot Anna-Lena Grönefeld, retiring when 6–2 down. At the French Open, Lisicki lost to Lucie Šafářová in the first round.
On her first match on grass at the Aegon International in Eastbourne, Lisicki lost to Samantha Stosur in the first round. In doubles, Lisicki and her partner Ana Ivanovic lost in the first round to Cara Black and Liezel Huber.
Lisicki played her first Grand Slam quarterfinal at Wimbledon, where she was beaten by world No. 1, Dinara Safina. On her way to the quarterfinal, she had defeated Anna Chakvetadze in the first round, Patricia Mayr in the second, the 2009 French Open champion and fifth seed Svetlana Kuznetsova in the third round, and ninth seed Caroline Wozniacki in the fourth.
Seeded 23rd, Lisicki advanced to the second round at the 2009 US Open, but lost to qualifier Anastasia Rodionova. On 3 September 2009, daytime, Rodionova's match point, Lisicki slipped while going to return a backhand and injured her left ankle. She left the court in a wheelchair as Rodionova advanced to the third round. Lisicki later reported that an MRI showed no tears. The injury was a sprain, and Lisicki returned to her base in Florida for rehabilitation.
She returned to the tour at the Pan Pacific Open at the end of September, where she reached the second round, but lost in three sets to seventh seed Jelena Janković.
2010: Injuries and strugglesEdit
Lisicki started the season by playing at the Hopman Cup for Germany. She won her singles ties against Elena Dementieva and Laura Robson but lost to Yaroslava Shvedova. Partnering with Philipp Kohlschreiber, they lost all their doubles matches, so Germany did not proceed to the finals.
Lisicki then travelled to Melbourne to compete at the Australian Open where she was the 21st seed. However, she was defeated in the second round by Alberta Brianti, in three sets. Her first tournament after the Australian Open was the Pattaya Open in Bangkok where she was the second seed. She lost her second-round match to home player Tamarine Tanasugarn. At the Dubai Championships, she lost her second-round match against Venus Williams. Her next two tournaments were at Indian Wells and Miami. In both tournaments, Lisicki retired in the second round because of an ankle injury. The injury sidelined her for five months, and she withdrew from tournaments at Ponte Vedra and Charleston. She also missed The French Open and Wimbledon. Lisicki had to learn how to walk again and faced suggestions that she should retire rather than risk further injury. She later said: "I always believed. Always. No matter what happened. I can still remember when the doctor told me that I have to be on crutches the next six weeks. That period made me such a much stronger person and player. I know anything is possible after learning how to walk again. I love the sport so much and I miss it when I cannot be out there on the court. It just gives me the belief to overcome anything."
Coming into the US Open ranked world No. 96, Lisicki advanced to the second round before losing to seventh seed and eventual finalist Vera Zvonareva. After the US Open, Lisicki failed to qualify for the Luxembourg Open causing her ranking to fall to No. 179 in the WTA rankings.
2011: Return to formEdit
Lisicki started the season at the ASB Classic in Auckland. She lost to Yanina Wickmayer in three sets in the second round. At the Australian Open, Lisicki played the qualifying tournament and lost in the second round to Vesna Manasieva. After losing at the BNP Paribas Open to Sorana Cîrstea in the qualifying rounds in March, Lisicki fell down the rankings to No. 218. She lifted her form and reached the third round at the Sony Ericsson Open, where she was defeated by Maria Sharapova.
At the Family Circle Cup, Lisicki reached the third round, but lost to Sania Mirza in two sets. At the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, Lisicki lost in the quarterfinals against her compatriot Julia Görges, eventual champion of the tournament. In doubles, Lisicki partnered with former world No. 1 doubles player Samantha Stosur to win her first ever career doubles title. At the French Open, Lisicki advanced to the second round against the number three seed, Vera Zvonareva. Lisicki had a match point at 5–2 of the third set, but she lost the point and eventually the match. Afterwards, she lay on the court, sobbing, and was taken off on a stretcher due to injury.
At the Aegon Classic, Lisicki reached the final where she defeated Daniela Hantuchová to win her second WTA Tour title. At Wimbledon, she received a wild card to enter the tournament, advancing to the semifinals of a major for the first time, and beating third seed and recent French Open champion Li Na in the second round. She was eliminated by Maria Sharapova in straight sets after leading the first set 3–0. This was the first time in 12 years that a German woman (since Steffi Graf reached the Wimbledon finals in 1999) had reached the semifinal stage of a Grand Slam. Lisicki was the second wild-card entry to reach the women's semifinals in Wimbledon history. In doubles, Lisicki partnered with Samantha Stosur and lost in the final.
At the Bank of the West Classic, Lisicki beat fourth seed and doubles partner Samantha Stosur and fifth seed Agnieszka Radwańska, but fell to Serena Williams in the semifinals. At Western & Southern Open Lisicki lost to Shahar Pe'er in the first round. Lisicki then traveled to Dallas to compete in the inaugural Texas Tennis Open as the fifth seed. After advancing to the semifinals with an easy win over qualifier Kateryna Bondarenko, she crushed eighth seed Irina-Camelia Begu to advance to the final. Lisicki won her third title, defeating qualifier Aravane Rezaï, having dropped no more than three games each match of the way to her victory. She moved to a new career-high rank of world No. 18 on 29 August. Seeded 22nd at the US Open, she easily advanced to the second round with a straight-sets win over Alona Bondarenko. She was scheduled to play Venus Williams in the second round, but Williams withdrew before it started due to her recent diagnosis of Sjögren's syndrome. Lisicki dispatched Irina Falconi to advance to the fourth round for the first time, before ultimately being defeated by second seed Vera Zvonareva. At the China Open Lisicki defeated Zheng Saisai in straight sets but withdrew from her second round match against Kaia Kanepi.
Lisicki was named the WTA Comeback Player of the Year in November.
2012: Continued success and injuriesEdit
Lisicki's first tournament in 2012 was the ASB Classic where she was the No. 1 seed. In the first round, she defeated Virginie Razzano. In the second round, she defeated Mona Barthel. In the quarterfinal, she faced Angelique Kerber, the 2011 US Open semifinalist, and was losing 4–6, before retiring, due to a back injury, in the second set at a score of 3–4. In doubles, she entered with Chinese player Peng Shuai and they won their first round match against Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci. Both the Italians would go on to the Australian Open in four weeks time. In the second round, they pulled out due to the injury picked up by Lisicki in the quarterfinal of the singles tournament against Angelique Kerber.
Lisicki next entered the Sydney International where she was unseeded. Before the first round of the tournament began, she pulled out with her recent back injury and gave her place to lucky loser Alexandra Dulgheru.
Lisicki next competed in the Australian Open where she was the 14th seed. In the first round, she faced Stefanie Vögele and beat her in three sets. In the second round, she defeated Shahar Pe'er. In the third round, she beat 18th seed Svetlana Kuznetsova. She was defeated by Maria Sharapova. Lisicki took the first set, winning six consecutive games after being down 0–3, but was unable to match Sharapova in the following two sets.
At the 2012 Fed Cup, Lisicki played for Germany alongside Julia Görges, Anna-Lena Grönefeld and Angelique Kerber. She started off the meeting between Germany and the Czech Republic by facing Iveta Benešová, a match in which she lost. In her second match, she faced Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitová and also lost. Germany lost the meeting by a score of 1–4.
Lisicki's next tournament was supposed to be the Open GDF Suez where she was to be the fifth seed. She pulled out before the tournament began with a viral illness.
Lisicki then competed at the Qatar Open where she was the ninth seed. In the first round she met compatriot Angelique Kerber and lost in three sets to continue a losing streak dating back to the fourth round of the Australian Open. In doubles, she was the fourth seed along with Russian Maria Kirilenko. They received a bye into the second round where they met Andreja Klepač and Alicja Rosolska, beating them in a third set tie-break. In the third round they met fifth seeds Nuria Llagostera Vives and Anastasia Rodionova. They lost the first set 4–6, and in the second set, Llagostera Vives and Rodionova took an early 3–1 lead, but Lisicki and Kirilenko were able to even the score by winning the following two games. The two teams swapped a break of serve to bring the score to 4–4. The teams held serve and brought the set to a tiebreak. Lisicki and Kirilenko won 7–3 to level the score at one set each. They lost the third set, and with it, ultimately, the match.
Lisicki's next tournament was at Dubai, where she was supposed to face fifth seed Agnieszka Radwańska in the first round. However, after second seed Petra Kvitová withdrew, she became the ninth seed and received Kvitová's bye into the second round. There she met Iveta Benešová, defeating her in two sets. In the quarterfinals she was knocked out by Radwańska.
Lisicki's next competition was the Indian Wells tournament, where she was the eleventh seed. She received a bye into the second round, where she faced Spaniard Lourdes Domínguez Lino, losing in two sets. In doubles, she competed with compatriot Julia Görges. They beat Americans Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears. The two Germans next faced Czech pair and French Open champions, Lucie Hradecká and Andrea Hlaváčková, losing in straight sets.
Lisicki next went to the Sony Ericsson Open, where she was the 12th seed. She got a bye to the second round where she faced Sofia Arvidsson. Victorious, she then faced Peng Shuai in the third round. She won this match too and then faced Li Na in the fourth round. Li defeated Lisicki in three sets.
At the Family Circle Cup, Lisicki was the sixth seed. She received a bye into the second round. There she faced lucky loser Andrea Hlaváčková, winning in three. She faced qualifier Yaroslava Shvedova in the third round and won in straight sets. In the quarterfinals, she faced Serena Williams. Behind 1–4 to her opponent, Lisicki fell and injured her left ankle. She retired from the match in tears, sending Serena into the semis. In doubles, she paired with Australian Open women's doubles champion Vera Zvonareva. They lost to top seeds Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond.
As a result of the fall in her quarterfinal match, Lisicki was forced to the sideline at the Fed Cup World Group Play-off tie against Australia. She was also forced to pull out of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, from which she was defending a quarterfinal spot in singles and the doubles title which she won with Sam Stosur. Lisicki also missed the Madrid Open, a Premier Mandatory tournament.
After nearly a month off the tour, Lisicki returned as the 12th seed at the Italian Open. She faced Marina Erakovic in the first round, where she lost. Traveling next to her home country for the Internationaux de Strasbourg, where she was the top seed, Lisicki again experienced a first round upset, losing to Pauline Parmentier.
Lisicki then traveled to Paris to play the second Grand Slam of the year, the French Open, where she was the 12th seed. On the red clay of Roland Garros, Lisicki lost to American Bethanie Mattek-Sands.
Lisicki started her summer grass court season by defending her title at the Aegon Classic. As the second seed she received a bye into the second round, where she lost to Urszula Radwańska. This set Lisicki up with a five-match losing streak going into the Wimbledon Championships. In the first round she beat unseeded Petra Martić, breaking her losing streak and putting her into the second round, where she faced Serbian qualifier Bojana Jovanovski. Lisicki won the match in three sets to set up a third round tie with Sloane Stephens, where she again faced a tight match, pulling through in the third set. In the fourth round she beat top seed Maria Sharapova, to whom she had lost in the semifinals the previous year. This marked the third year that Lisicki had beaten the reigning French Open champion in Wimbledon, having also beaten Li Na in 2011 and Svetlana Kuznetsova in 2009. In the subsequent quarterfinals, Lisicki once again met fellow German Angelique Kerber. Having lost the previous four meetings, Lisicki proceeded to lose the first set 3–6. Lisicki rallied in the second set to take it in a tiebreak; in this second set Lisicki saved two match points. Some observers felt Kerber was visibly frustrated during the start of the third set, but Lisicki proved ultimately unable to take the match. At one point Lisicki was serving for the match at 5–3, but Kerber went on the take the third set, and the match, dropping Lisicki back down to a world ranking of 18.
Lisicki entered the Mercury Insurance Open as the fifth seed but pulled out with an abdominal injury. She went straight back to London to prepare for the 2012 Summer Olympics. She entered singles where she was seeded fifteenth, the doubles with Angelique Kerber where they were seeded fifth and the mixed doubles with Christopher Kas where they were unseeded. In the singles, she beat Ons Jabeur and Yaroslava Shvedova in the first and second rounds respectively. She lost to Maria Sharapova in the third round despite winning the first set and leading 4–2 in the second. In doubles, Lisicki and Kerber beat British pair Laura Robson and Heather Watson in the first round after losing the first set whilst taking only eleven points and going 4–2 down in the second set. In the second round they lost to Venus and Serena Williams. In mixed doubles, Lisicki and Kas beat second seeds Bob Bryan and Liezel Huber in the first round, and Daniele Bracciali and Roberta Vinci in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals, they lost to Andy Murray and Laura Robson. In the bronze medal match, they lost to third seeds Mike Bryan and Lisa Raymond.
Lisicki moved on to the Rogers Cup in Montreal. She was 15th seed in singles falling in her opening match to Carla Suárez Navarro. In doubles she made it to the quarterfinals, partnering with Peng Shuai. They beat sixth seeds Iveta Benešová and Barbora Záhlavová-Strýcová and Natalie Grandin and Vladimíra Uhlířová in the first and second rounds respectively. They were forced to pull out of the competition against top seeds Lisa Raymond and Liezel Huber as a result of Lisicki suffering an abdominal injury.
Lisicki entered the US Open as the 16th seed, but she was upset in the first round by Sorana Cîrstea. In doubles, Lisicki again partnered with Peng Shuai. They beat Laura Robson and Shahar Pe'er in the first round, twelfth seeds Anastasia Rodionova and Galina Voskoboeva in the second and sixth seeds Elena Vesnina and Ekaterina Makarova in the third. They lost to eventual finalists Hlaváčková and Hradecká in the quarterfinals.
Lisicki's next tournament was in Japan at the Toray Pan Pacific Open. In singles, she started with a first round loss against British qualifier Heather Watson. In doubles, she partnered with world No. 3, Lisa Raymond. They faced Monica Niculescu and Alicja Rosolska, both of whom had recently lost in WTA doubles finals. Lisicki and Raymond won the match and defeated Darija Jurak and Katalin Marosi in the quarterfinals.
Lisicki next participated at the China Open, but she was defeated in the second round by the eventual champion Victoria Azarenka. She next moved to Linz where she lost in the first round to Patricia Mayr-Achleitner. Lisicki finished her season losing in the first round of the Luxembourg Open to Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium.
2013: First Grand Slam singles finalEdit
Lisicki started 2013 with the Brisbane International. She beat Lucie Šafářová in the first round. She lost in the second round to world No. 1, Victoria Azarenka. She pulled out of the qualifying draw at Sydney with a virus.
Lisicki then competed at the Australian Open. In the first round she faced Caroline Wozniacki and was defeated. She also competed in the mixed doubles with Frederik Nielsen. They were knocked out in the first round by the home favorites and eventual champions, Jarmila Gajdošová and Matthew Ebden.
Lisicki then moved onto the Pattaya Open. In the first round she beat fellow German Tatjana Malek. She downed Alexandra Panova in the second round and came back from a set down in the quarterfinals to beat Marina Erakovic. In her first semifinal since 2011, she beat Nina Bratchikova. In the final, she faced Maria Kirilenko, but lost in three sets.
Her next tournament was in Memphis. As the third seed, she beat qualifier Madison Keys in the first round and Melinda Czink in the second. In the quarterfinal, she beat eighth seed Kristina Mladenovic and beat seventh seed Magdaléna Rybáriková in the semifinal. In Lisicki's second final of the year, she faced Marina Erakovic from New Zealand. Erakovic ran away with the first set and Lisicki retired from the final with illness. This was Erakovic's first WTA title.
Lisicki started her clay-court season on the green clay at the Family Circle Cup in Charleston. Lisicki claimed the title here in 2009. In the first round she recorded her first ever double bagel (not losing any games) in beating Anna Tatishvili of Georgia. In the second round, she lost from a set up against Mallory Burdette.
Her next tournament was on the red clay in Katowice, Poland. As the seventh seed, she lost in the first round to Alexandra Cadanțu of Romania. She then travelled to Stuttgart for Germany's Fed Cup World Group Play-off tie against Serbia. Angelique Kerber and Mona Barthel were picked for singles against Ana Ivanovic and Bojana Jovanovski. After the four singles matches, the score was tied at two all. Lisicki was picked to play the doubles rubber with Anna-Lena Grönefeld against Vesna Dolonc and Aleksandra Krunić. The German pairing easily won to secure Germany its place in the 2014 Fed Cup World Group. Lisicki stayed in Stuttgart to compete at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix. In singles, she beat qualifier Italian Nastassja Burnett. In the second round, she beat Jelena Janković. She lost in the quarterfinals to qualifier Bethanie Mattek-Sands. In doubles, she and compatriot Mona Barthel received a wildcard to play in the main draw. They were scheduled to play world number ones Vinci and Errani but they pulled out before the tournament began. Instead, they were drawn against alternates Jill Craybas and Megan Moulton-Levy. Lisicki and Barthel easily won, with the loss of just two games. They then faced Jelena Janković and Mirjana Lučić-Baroni, a match in which they won in three sets. In the semifinals, the German pairing faced Darija Jurak and Katalin Marosi, defeating them in straight sets. In the final, Lisicki got revenge for her singles loss by beating Mattek-Sands and her partner Sania Mirza. This was Lisicki's second WTA doubles title, the first coming in Stuttgart in 2011. Lisicki and Barthel became the first all-German pairing to lift the trophy in Stuttgart.
Lisicki continued her clay season in Madrid. In the first round, she beat Sofia Arvidsson of Sweden. In the second round, she defeated 15th seed Dominika Cibulková. In the third round, she played world No. 2, Maria Sharapova. Sharapova ultimately won in straight sets, with Lisicki putting up a fight in the second set. From Madrid, Lisicki went to Rome to play at the Italian Open. In the first round, she defeated American qualifier Mallory Burdette, but lost to eighth seed Petra Kvitová in the second round.
Lisicki then went to Paris for the second Grand Slam of the year. In singles, she was the 32nd seed. She defeated Sofia Arvidsson in the first round and pulled off a straight sets win against Spaniard María Teresa Torró Flor in the second round, reaching the third round of the French Open for the first time in her career. There she was defeated by fifth seed and defending finalist Sara Errani. In doubles, Lisicki partnered with Janette Husárová. They came from a set down to beat Bojana Jovanovski and Eva Hrdinová in the first round. In the second round, they upset fifteenth seeds Chan Hao-ching of Taipei and Darija Jurak of Croatia. They faced defending Champions Errani and Vinci in the third round, losing in straight sets.
Lisicki started her grass court season by playing at the Aegon Classic. As the fifth seed, she received a bye into the second round where she defeated Kristýna Plíšková. In the third round, she beat Mirjana Lučić-Baroni. She lost to Alison Riske in the quarterfinals. In the final set, Lisicki was 4–5 down and serving at 15–0 when Riske shouted "come on!" during a rally before Lisicki had returned the ball. Lisicki was unhappy and wanted the umpire to make a hindrance call, which would have given her the point and put her 30–0 up. The umpire did not agree with her and neither did the tournament referee. Riske took the point and broke Lisicki to win the match.
At the Wimbledon Championships, Lisicki was seeded 23rd. She beat Francesca Schiavone in the first round, Elena Vesnina in the second round and 14th seed Samantha Stosur in the third round. In the fourth round she faced first seed and reigning Wimbledon, US Open, and French Open champion Serena Williams. Lisicki won in three sets, marking the fourth time in her last four participations that she knocked out the reigning French Open champion at Wimbledon. Williams had been on a 34-match winning streak coming into the match. Lisicki defeated Kaia Kanepi of Estonia, reaching the Wimbledon semifinals for the second time in her career. She beat Agnieszka Radwańska in a three set semifinal in two hours and eighteen minutes to advance to her first Grand Slam final, thereby becoming the first German woman to reach a major final since Steffi Graf at Wimbledon in 1999, and the first German player of either gender to reach a Grand Slam singles final since Rainer Schüttler at the 2003 Australian Open. However, she lost in the final to Marion Bartoli in straight sets.
Her next tournament was the Western & Southern Open, however she lost in her opening match in a tight three-setter against Jelena Janković. She then played at New Haven, beating Kristina Mladenovic in the first round before losing to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the second.
She then played the US Open as the 16th seed, where she defeated qualifier Vera Dushevina in the first round. She then won her second match against Paula Ormaechea before losing to Ekaterina Makarova in round three.
Lisicki missed most of the Asian swing, but competed at the China Open as the 13th seed. She advanced to the third round after beating Chanelle Scheepers and Venus Williams, before losing to home favourite Li Na. She then played the HP Open in Osaka, again beating Scheepers in the first round, but was forced to withdraw from the tournament with a left hip injury before her second round match.
Lisicki ended her 2013 season on a high by reaching the semi-finals of the Luxembourg Open. She beat Donna Vekić, Tereza Smitková and Karin Knapp in her opening three matches. She won the last set to love (6–0) in all three of these matches. In the semifinals, she succumbed to top seed and eventual champion Caroline Wozniacki in straight sets. She finished her year ranked as world number 15.
2014: Illness and injuries, fastest-serve record and 4th WTA titleEdit
It was confirmed in October 2013 that Lisicki would begin her 2014 season alongside Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka at the Brisbane International. She advanced to the second round with a win over Magdaléna Rybáriková, but then withdrew from the tournament due to illness.
At the Australian Open it was announced that Lisicki would bring in Martina Hingis as a coach. Lisicki was seeded 15th and began with a confident straight-sets victory over Mirjana Lučić-Baroni, but was upset in the second round by Monica Niculescu. At the PTT Pattaya Open, Lisicki struggled to overcome Donna Vekić in the first round in three sets. After the match, she admitted that it had been almost impossible for her to serve effectively due to a right shoulder injury. She later withdrew from the tournament.
Lisicki then endured a poor run across the North American swing, losing in her first match in Indian Wells to Aleksandra Wozniak. In Indian Wells, Lisicki also competed in the doubles draw playing alongside coach Martina Hingis. After getting a wild card into the main draw, they played seventh seeds Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua. At the Sony Open in Miami, Lisicki beat Nadia Petrova in her opening match. However, she was forced to pull out before her third round match against Kirsten Flipkens citing a bad flu. Despite pulling out of the singles draw, Lisicki was able to take a few days off to recover before she and Hingis started their campaign for the title. In the first round, they claimed their first win together by beating sixth seeds Andrea Hlaváčková and Lucie Šafářová. In the second round, Lisicki and Hingis convincingly defeated wild cards Sorana Cîrstea and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in straight sets. In their quarterfinal match, the pair pulled off an impressive comeback win beating Anabel Medina Garrigues and Yaroslava Shvedova despite losing the first set and facing match points against them in the second. In the semifinals, they played fifth seeds and Indian Wells finalists Cara Black and Sania Mirza and beat them in straight sets. In their first final in only their second tournament together, Lisicki and Hingis played second seeds Elena Vesnina and Ekaterina Makarova. Despite being the heavy favourites for the title, Vesnina and Makrarova would go on to lose the match in three sets. The win was Lisicki's third doubles title and her first off the indoor clay of Stuttgart and Hingis' 38th doubles title and first since 2007.
Lisicki looked to carry momentum from the Miami title by going to Charleston and playing at the Family Circle Cup. She entered the tournament as the fourth seed and received a bye in the first round of play. In the second round she played Vania King and beat her in three sets. In the third round, she played compatriot Andrea Petkovic for the first time in her career. Lisicki lost to the eventual champion Petkovic, managing to score only one game in the whole match. Lisicki did not participate in Germany's Fed Cup semifinal victory over Australia, moving from the outdoor green clay of Charleston to the indoor red clay of Stuttgart. She lost in the opening round to ninth seed Ana Ivanovic.
Lisicki then competed at the Madrid Open where she was the 15th seed. She fell in the third round to Simona Halep in three sets. At Rome, she fell in her opening match to Samantha Stosur in straight sets. Lisicki reached the second round at Roland Garros where she retired against compatriot Mona Barthel after injuring her wrist.
In June, Lisicki split with coach Hingis, citing "different concepts" as the reason. Lisicki was the 19th seed at Wimbledon, but could not repeat her feat from the previous year, only managing to reach the quarterfinals where she lost to Simona Halep. Along the way, she defeated Julia Glushko, Karolína Plíšková, Ana Ivanovic and Yaroslava Shvedova, fighting through a shoulder injury against the Kazakh.
In July, Lisicki slipped down to 30 in the world rankings. In her first round match at the Bank of the West Classic against Ana Ivanovic, Lisicki set a world record serve for a female tennis player, clocked at 210.8 km/h (131.0 mph). However, Lisicki lost the match in straight sets to her Serbian opponent. At the Rogers Cup in Montreal the following week, Lisicki defeated former world No. 5 Sara Errani in the first round in straight sets. After coming from a set down to defeat Madison Keys in the next round, she lost to Agnieszka Radwańska in three sets. The following week in Cincinnati was almost a repeat. In the second round, Lisicki defeated Sara Errani once more in a match that lasted three hours before being beaten by Radwańska, only managing to win two games. Lisicki, the 26th seed, reached the third round at the US Open where she lost to Maria Sharapova. In September, Lisicki participated in Hong Kong as the top seed after receiving a wildcard. She defeated Monica Niculescu and Grace Min to reach the quarterfinals. Then, she defeated Zheng Saisai and Francesca Schiavone to reach her first final of 2014. She won her fourth WTA title after defeating Karolína Plíšková, her first singles title in more than three years. Lisicki received a wild card at the Pan Pacific Open but lost to Casey Dellacqua in the first round. At the Wuhan Open, Lisicki upset Lucie Šafářová in the first round before falling to Elina Svitolina in the second round despite leading 5–0 in the first set. At the China Open, she reached the third round for the second straight year by defeating Xu Shilin and Eugenie Bouchard. She then lost to Ivanovic in straight sets. Lisicki then played in Linz as the fifth seed. She accepted a wild card into the event. She lost to Karin Knapp in three sets in the first round. The following week, Lisicki was upset by Denisa Allertová in the second round at the Luxembourg Open having overcome Daniela Hantuchová in her opening match. Lisicki's last match of 2014 was at the Fed Cup where Germany faced Czech Republic. She was selected to play the doubles tie alongside Anna-Lena Grönefeld. They defeated the pair of Andrea Hlaváčková and Lucie Hradecká. Lisicki ended the year at No. 27.
2015: First Premier Mandatory semifinal and most aces recordEdit
Lisicki had a rough start to the year, losing in the first rounds at the Brisbane International (champion in doubles with Hingis), the Apia International Sydney and the Australian Open, losing to Yaroslava Shvedova, Carla Suárez Navarro, and Kristina Mladenovic respectively. She finally picked up her first win of the year in Dubai beating Monica Niculescu before bowing out to Ana Ivanovic. Lisicki would then suffer more first round losses in Doha to Barbora Záhlavová-Strýcová and in Kuala Lumpur to eventual finalist Alexandra Dulgheru.
Lisicki rediscovered her form during the North American swing. At Indian Wells, she beat Roberta Vinci to record her first ever win at the tournament. She continued winning by beating Sara Errani and Caroline Garcia to advance to the quarterfinals. In the quarterfinals she beat the defending champion Flavia Pennetta in a three set thriller, saving three match points to advance to the semifinals for the first time at a Premier Mandatory event. She lost to Jelena Janković in the semifinals in three sets despite leading by a set and a break. Lisicki carried her good form over to Miami where she beat fellow countrywoman Julia Görges, Ana Ivanovic, and Sara Errani to advance to her second Premier Mandatory quarterfinal in a row. She lost to eventual champion Serena Williams in the quarterfinals in three sets.
Lisicki then played for Germany in the semifinals against Russia at the Fed Cup where she lost to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in three sets despite having a match point in the second set. She also played in the doubles with Andrea Petkovic but the pair lost to Pavlyuchenkova and Elena Vesnina to give Russia the win and a place in the final.
Lisicki began her clay season in Stuttgart and was handed her first career double bagel loss to Zarina Diyas in the first round. This followed with another first round exit at the Madrid Open to CoCo Vandeweghe. Lisicki then played at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia and picked up her first clay win by beating Sloane Stephens before losing to Timea Bacsinszky in straight sets. She then played at the Nuremberg Cup and lost in the second round to Lara Arruabarrena in three sets despite having a match point in the third set. Lisicki then played at the French Open as the 20th seed. She beat Monica Puig in the first round in straight sets. In the second round, after winning the first set, her opponent Daria Gavrilova retired, allowing Lisicki to advance to the third round, where she was defeated by eventual finalist, Lucie Šafářová in straight sets.
Lisicki started her grass season at the Aegon Classic. In her second round win over Belinda Bencic, Lisicki broke the record for the most aces in a singles match, hitting a total of 27 aces. She then beat 2009 champion Magdaléna Rybáriková and 2013 champion Daniela Hantuchová to advance to the semifinals. She lost to fellow countrywoman and eventual champion Angelique Kerber in straight sets. Lisicki then played at Wimbledon as the 18th seed. She beat Jarmila Gajdošová and Christina McHale to advance to the third round. She lost to Timea Bacsinszky in straight sets ending a streak of making the quarterfinals or better which she had done in her five previous appearances.
Lisicki began her summer hard court season at the Bank of the West Classic. She lost to Kimiko Date-Krumm in the first round in three sets after being up a set and 4–1. Lisicki then played at the Rogers Cup, beating last year's finalist, Venus Williams and Barbora Strýcová to advance to the third round where she lost to eventual champion, Belinda Bencic in three sets despite having a match point in the third set. She then played at the Western & Southern Open and lost in the first round to Caroline Garcia in three sets. Lisicki then played at the US Open as the 24th seed. She beat qualifier Aliaksandra Sasnovich and Camila Giorgi in the first two rounds. In the third round she beat Barbora Strýcová in three tight sets, coming from 1–5 down in the third set to advance to the fourth round for the first time at the tournament since 2011. It was the final singles match ever played on the Grandstand court. She lost to Simona Halep in three sets, in a match that had a combined 105 unforced errors and 17 breaks of serve.
After the completion of the US Open, Lisicki reported that she would not compete for the rest of the season due to a knee injury. Lisicki ended the year at no. 32.
2016: Struggles, in and out of top 100Edit
Lisicki began her 2016 season at the Hopman Cup representing Germany with Alexander Zverev. They were eliminated in the group stage with a 1–2 win-loss record, with their only victory coming against France. Lisicki's next tournament was the Sydney International. She beat lucky loser Polona Hercog in the first round; she lost in the second round to eventual champion Svetlana Kuznetsova. Seeded thirtieth at the Australian Open, Lisicki beat Petra Cetkovská in the first round. She was stunned in the second round by Denisa Allertová.
In Doha at the Qatar Open, Lisicki lost in the first round to Monica Niculescu. Lisicki then played at Indian Wells and Miami. In both tournaments she received a bye in the first round and lost in the second round. At Indian Wells she lost to Johanna Larsson and in Miami she lost to Irina-Camelia Begu, despite having a 5–0 lead and one match point in the third set.
She then started her clay season at the Volvo Car Open (formerly called Family Circle Cup). She defeated Irina Falconi in straight sets in the first round, but lost to Yulia Putintseva in three sets in the following round. At the Porsche Grand Prix, Lisicki lost in the first round to Timea Babos. Next, she played at the Madrid Open. She won the first round match against Monica Puig before losing in the second round to Carla Suárez Navarro. At the Italian Open, she was ousted in the first round by Daria Gavrilova. At the Nuremberg Cup, Lisicki avenged her loss to Lara Arruabarrena the previous year before losing to Varvara Lepchenko in straight sets. At the French Open, Lisicki lost to qualifier Verónica Cepede Royg in the first round in straight sets.
Lisicki started her grass season at the Mallorca Open. She beat Kristina Mladenovic before losing to Mariana Duque in three sets. Lisicki then played at Wimbledon. She easily beat recent French Open quarterfinalist Shelby Rogers in straight sets and in the second round she beat 14th seed Sam Stosur in straight sets. She then fell to Yaroslava Shvedova in the third round.
Lisicki started her hard-court season at Washington D.C. where she defeated Kristína Kučová in straights before losing to Kristina Mladenovic, also in straight sets. At the Canadian Open qualifying, after receiving a walkover in the first round, she fell to Magda Linette. This loss saw her fall out of the top 100. She couldn't qualify for the 2016 Summer Olympics. She played at the Cincinnati Open qualifying stage and knocked out Anastasija Sevastova in round one, but was defeated by Zheng Saisai in round two. At the US Open, Lisicki lost to Yulia Putintseva in the first round, but in doubles, she and Alla Kudryavtseva defeated Varatchaya Wongteanchai/Yang Zhaoxuan and second seed Chan Hao-ching/Chan Yung-jan in the first two rounds, but then fell to 13th seed Andreja Klepac/Katarina Srebotnik.
In The Asian Swing, Sabine played at the Japan Open, but lost to Johanna Larsson. Then at the Guangzhou Open, Lisicki safely reached the quarterfinal by beating Kwan Yau Ng and Peng Shuai, but finally lost to Jelena Jankovic. At the Wuhan Open, Lisicki was defeated by Ekaterina Makarova and at the China Open, Lisicki beat Lucic-Baroni but lost to Svitolina. Lisicki received a wild card in both the Wuhan Open and China Open and after this, Lisicki was back in the top 100 again.
At the Luxembourg Open, Lisicki beat Viktorija Golubic but lost to second seed Caroline Wozniacki. Lisicki next played at the Hawaii Open and beat Julia Boserup and Verónica Cepede Royg, but retired injured in the third set of her quarterfinal against Jacqueline Cako. Lisicki ended the year at No. 93.
She ended the 2017 season ranked 244th in the world.
2018: Injury strugglesEdit
Skipping the Australian Open, Lisicki played at the Taiwan Open, which was her first tournament after a break caused by a knee injury. She reached her first semifinal since 2015, losing to Kateryna Kozlova.
2019: Continued strugglesEdit
In her first Australian Open appearance since 2016, Lisicki lost in the first qualifying round. That was her third straight first-round qualifying loss at a Grand Slam event.
She received a wildcard for the Wimbledon qualifying, where she lost in the final round.
A baseliner, Lisicki hits "heavy balls" with topspin and pace. She has a strong forehand and backhand, hitting balls with power, depth and angles. She is nicknamed "Boom Boom" for her "huge serve and thumping groundstrokes". Germany Fed Cup team Captain Barbara Rittner has compared her to Steffi Graf, saying that she can "impose her game" and "plays with the same force" as Graf.
Lisicki's serve is among the most powerful on the WTA Tour, having been described variously as a "cannon" and a "howitzer". She is known to hit serves at speeds of over 120 mph, and at the 2014 Bank of the West Classic she broke the WTA fastest serve record with a speed of 131 mph, a record previously held by Venus Williams at 129 mph.
Her serve is often regarded as her main weapon and with it, for the year up to November 2013, she was ranked fifth in the WTA for first service points won, 70.7%, and fifth for service games won, 73.7%. She was ranked second in the aces count in 2013, only behind Serena Williams, and was ranked fifth in 2014. Lisicki also held the record for the most aces in a singles match. She broke the record of 24, held jointly by Serena Williams and Kaia Kanepi, by hitting 27 aces during her second-round encounter against Belinda Bencic at the 2015 Aegon Classic on 17 June 2015.
Lisicki, however, can be hindered by her weak and inconsistent second serve, which is usually only around 70 to 80 mph, and an occasionally high double-fault counts.
Lisicki's favourite surface is grass and she has had the most success on that surface. She used to "hate" playing on grass because she is allergic to it and had a five-match losing streak on grass in 2009. She is now on medication for her allergy and "loves" playing on it.
Lisicki lives in Bradenton, Florida, and owns a Yorkshire Terrier named Happy. She is fluent in German, English and Polish. Her off-court interests include reading, music, and athletics. Lisicki is a fan of the Germany national football team and of Bundesliga club Bayern Munich. She is gluten-intolerant.
Grand Slam singles performance timelineEdit
|Australian Open||3R||2R||2R||Q2||4R||1R||2R||1R||2R||A||A||Q1||A||0 / 8||9–8||53%|
|French Open||2R||1R||A||2R||1R||3R||2R||3R||1R||A||A||A||A||0 / 8||7–8||47%|
|Wimbledon||1R||QF||A||SF||QF||F||QF||3R||3R||1R||Q1||Q3||NH||0 / 9||27–9||75%|
|US Open||2R||2R||2R||4R||1R||3R||3R||4R||1R||1R||Q1||A||A||0 / 10||12–10||55%|
|Win–Loss||4–4||6–4||2–2||8–3||7–4||10–4||8–4||7–4||3–4||0–2||0–0||0–0||0–0||0 / 35||55–35||61%|
Grand Slam finalsEdit
Singles: 1 (runner-up)Edit
|Runner-up||2013||Wimbledon||Grass||Marion Bartoli||1–6, 4–6|
Doubles: 1 (runner-up)Edit
|Runner-up||2011||Wimbledon||Grass||Samantha Stosur|| Květa Peschke
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sabine Lisicki.|
- Sabine Lisicki at the Women's Tennis Association
- Sabine Lisicki at the International Tennis Federation
- Sabine Lisicki at the Billie Jean King Cup
- Official website
| WTA Comeback Player of the Year
| Fastest serve world record holder
July 29, 2014 – February 19, 2018
Georgina García Pérez