Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sabine Lisicki Wins Family Circle Cup For First WTA Title

A pictureCHARLESTON, S.C. -- Sabine Lisicki jumped in the air, then fell on her back on the green clay to celebrate winning her first tour title with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Caroline Wozniacki on Sunday in the Family Circle Cup.

As she did to opponents all week, the 19-year-old Lisicki overpowered Wozniacki with her serve, often launching serves of over 120 mph as she scattered nine aces during the match. The last came on a 122 mph serve that gave her the advantage in the final game.

Lisicki, the 16th seed who beat second-seed Venus Williams in the third round, began her celebration after the next point when Wozniacki couldn't get a backhand on a ball at the baseline.

"I couldn't believe that I won, because I didn't use my match points," Lisicki said. "Then I finally won. I don't know which match point it was -- seventh, eighth -- it felt like 30th. But I was just so happy I won."

"I knew that she was going to be a little bit nervous. I knew that she was maybe going to have some trouble closing it out," Wozniacki said. "She came up with some good serves."

In reality, Wozniacki, of Denmark, fought off five match points in that final game before Lisicki prevailed.

During that final game, which went to deuce five times, Lisicki had two serves of 122 mph as well as a 120-mph serve.

"She's a player that can play really well, hit the ball really hard and, yeah, if it goes in, it's really tough," Wozniacki said.

Lisicki won $188,000 and a crystal cup for her first tour victory. She also becomes the first player to win the Family Circle Cup who has never won a tournament title previously. Ranked No. 63, she is expected to climb to No. 43 with the victory.

"I told my mom before the tournament that I really want to play Venus and that I think I have the game to beat her," Lisicki said. "So when I got into the match against Venus, I really thought I could win and then I just kept rolling."

Wozniacki, 18, ranked No. 12 and seeded fifth, was looking for her second straight tour victory after winning last week on clay at Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. She eliminated top seed Elena Dementieva in a semifinal match that lasted almost three hours on Saturday and said she felt tired going into the finals.

"I don't think it was from yesterday. I just think it's in general, you know, from playing a lot of matches," she said. "I started feeling it a little bit today but she also didn't give me a chance to come back in the match."

But Wozniacki was pleased after winning at Ponte Vedra Beach and making the Charleston final.

"I thought clay was the surface I liked the least. But after these two weeks I really proved myself wrong," she said.

The players are 1-1 in two meetings. Wozniacki won in three sets at last year's Australian Open.


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