Sabine Lisicki

Sabine Lisicki

Sabine Lisicki
Sabine Lisicki at the 2014 Rome Masters
Full name Sabine Katharina Lisicki
Country (sports)  Germany
Residence Bradenton, Florida, United States
Born (1989-09-22) 22 September 1989
Troisdorf, West Germany
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Turned pro 2006
Plays Right-handed (two-handed backhand)
Coach(es) Christopher Kas
Prize money $6,102,523
Career record 286–189 (60.21%)
Career titles 4 WTA, 2 ITF
Highest ranking No. 12 (21 May 2012)
Current ranking No. 30 (5 October 2015)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open 4R (2012)
French Open 3R (2013, 2015)
Wimbledon F (2013)
US Open 4R (2011, 2015)
Other tournaments
Olympic Games 3R (2012)
Career record 73–44
Career titles 4 WTA, 0 ITF
Highest ranking No. 35 (9 April 2012)
Current ranking No. 84 (5 October 2015)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian Open 1R (2010)
French Open 3R (2013)
Wimbledon F (2011)
US Open QF (2012)
Other doubles tournaments
Olympic Games 2R (2012)
Mixed doubles
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
Australian Open 1R (2013)
Other mixed doubles tournaments
Olympic Games SF – 4th place (2012)
Team competitions
Fed Cup F (2014), Record 10–7
Hopman Cup RR (2009, 2010)
Last updated on: 5 October 2015.

Sabine Katharina Lisicki (German pronunciation: ); born 22 September 1989) is a German professional tennis player who is currently ranked world no. 30 by the WTA. She turned professional in 2006 and her breakthrough came in 2009 when she reached the quarterfinals of the Wimbledon Championships and won her first WTA title, the Family Circle Cup, against Caroline Wozniacki. 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.[1] 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 3 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 Sony Open 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.

Lisicki currently holds the world record for the fastest serve by a female tennis player. She clocked a 131.0 mph (210.8 km/h) serve during her first-round encounter against Ana Ivanovic at the 2014 Bank of the West Classic.[2] She also holds 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.


  • Early life 1
  • Career 2
    • Early career 2.1
    • 2008 2.2
    • 2009: Breakthrough year 2.3
    • 2010: Injuries and struggles 2.4
    • 2011: Return to form 2.5
    • 2012: Continued success and injuries 2.6
    • 2013: First Grand Slam singles final 2.7
    • 2014: Illness and injuries, fastest-serve record and 4th WTA title 2.8
    • 2015: First Premier Mandatory semifinal and most aces record 2.9
    • 2016 2.10
  • Playing style 3
    • Serve 3.1
    • Surfaces 3.2
  • Personal life 4
  • Career statistics and major finals 5
    • Singles performance timeline 5.1
    • Grand Slam finals 5.2
      • Singles (0–1) 5.2.1
      • Doubles (0–1) 5.2.2
    • Olympics finals 5.3
      • Mixed Doubles: 1 Bronze Medal match (0–1) 5.3.1
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Early life

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.[3] 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]."[4] 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.


Early career

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.[4] 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."[5]

Lisicki competed in her first WTA Main Draw match when she was given a wildcard to play in the 2006 Berlin Open. She played Mara Santangelo in the first round and lost in three sets, 6-3 2-6 1-6.

Lisicki had a successful year in 2007 on the ITF circuit and climbed from world number 497 to number 198 in the WTA rankings. She won two titles, one in Jersey and the other in Toronto. She defeated top-seed Katie O'Brien on 2 August 2007 at the Odlum Brown Vancouver Open.[6]

In 2006, Lisicki competed at the 2006 Sunfeast Open – Singles Qualifying in Kolkata, where she defeated Ragini Vimal in the first round, but lost in the final qualifying round to Sanaa Bhambri.


At the 2008 Australian Open, Lisicki's first Grand Slam tournament, she defeated the number 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 2008 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 the 2008 Wimbledon Championships, Lisicki lost in the first round to the 2007 runner-up, number 11 seed Marion Bartoli. In October, Lisicki reached her first WTA final at the Tashkent Open, where she lost in three sets to fellow teenager Sorana Cîrstea of Romania.

2009: Breakthrough year

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 number 3 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, California, 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.

Lisicki at the 2009 Toray Pan Pacific Open.

During the clay-court season, Lisicki lost in the second round of the MPS Group Championships in Ponte Vedra Beach to eventual finalist and number 5 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 5th seed Caroline Wozniacki in the final. She had previously defeated 2nd seeded Venus Williams in the third round and number 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 number 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 Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart before losing to third-seeded Jelena Janković in straight sets. She then advanced to the quarterfinals at the Estoril Open in Portugal 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 the 2009 Wimbledon Championships, where she was beaten by world number 1 Dinara Safina.[7] To reach the quarterfinal, she had defeated Anna Chakvetadze in the first round, Patricia Mayr in the second, the 2009 French Open champion and number 5 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 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.

Lisicki returned to the tour at the Toray Pan Pacific Open at the end of September, where she reached the second round, but lost in three sets to seventh seed Jelena Janković.

In October, Lisicki reached the final of the Luxembourg Open, but lost to Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland. On her way to the final she beat Iveta Benešová, Polona Hercog, Patty Schnyder and Shahar Pe'er.

Lisicki qualified for the Commonwealth Bank Tournament of Champions. She lost her first round robin match to Aravane Rezaï, but won her second round robin match against Melinda Czink.

2010: Injuries and struggles

Lisicki started the 2010 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 at the 2010 US Open

Lisicki then travelled to Melbourne to compete in 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. However, she lost her second round match to home player Tamarine Tanasugarn. She then went to Dubai to compete in the Dubai Tennis 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."[8][9]

Coming into the 2010 US Open ranked world number 96, Lisicki advanced to the second round before losing to 7th seed and eventual finalist Vera Zvonareva. After the US Open, Lisicki failed to qualify for the Luxembourg Open causing her ranking to fall to number 179 in the world rankings.[8]

2011: Return to form

Lisicki started the 2011 season at the ASB Classic in Auckland. She lost to Yanina Wickmayer in three sets in the second round. In the Australian Open, Lisicki played the qualifying tournament and lost in the second round to Vesna Manasieva. After losing at the 2011 BNP Paribas Open to Sorana Cîrstea in the qualifying rounds in March, Lisicki fell down the world rankings to number 218.[8] She lifted her form and reached the third round at the 2011 Sony Ericsson Open, where she was defeated by Maria Sharapova.

At the 2011 Family Circle Cup, Lisicki reached the third round, but lost to Sania Mirza in two sets. At the 2011 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 2011 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.[10]

At the 2011 Aegon Classic, Lisicki reached the final where she defeated Daniela Hantuchová to win her second WTA Tour title. At the 2011 Wimbledon Championships, Lisicki received a wildcard 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.[11] 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.[12] In doubles, Lisicki partnered with Samantha Stosur and lost in the final.[13]

At the 2011 Bank of the West Classic, Lisicki beat 4th seed and doubles partner Samantha Stosur and 5th seed Agnieszka Radwańska, but fell to Serena Williams in the semifinals. At 2011 Western & Southern Open Lisicki lost to Shahar Pe'er in the first round.[14] Lisicki then traveled to Dallas to compete in the inaugural 2011 Texas Tennis Open as the 5th seed. After advancing to the semifinals with an easy win over qualifier Kateryna Bondarenko, she crushed 8th 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 number 18 on 29 August. Seeded 22nd at the 2011 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 Liscki 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.[15]

2012: Continued success and injuries

Lisicki's first tournament in 2012 was the 2012 ASB Classic Tournament where she was the number 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 2012 Apia International Sydney 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 fourteenth 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 eighteenth seed Svetlana Kuznetsova.[16] She was defeated by Russian 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 at the 2012 BNP Paribas Open.

Lisicki's next tournament was supposed to be the 2012 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 in the 2012 Qatar Ladies 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 the 2012 Dubai Tennis Championships, 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 Poland's Radwańska.

Lisicki's next competition was the 2012 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 2011 French Open champions Lucie Hradecká and Andrea Hlaváčková, losing in straight sets.

Lisicki next went to the 2012 Sony Ericsson Open, where she was the twelfth 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 2012 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 2012 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 2012 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, from which she was defending a quarterfinal spot in singles and the doubles title which she won with Samantha Stosur. Lisicki also missed the 2012 Mutua Madrid Open, a Premier Mandatory tournament.

After nearly a month off the tour, Lisicki returned as the twelfth seed in the 2012 Internazionali BNL d'Italia. She faced Marina Erakovic in the first round, where she lost. Traveling next to her home country for the 2012 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 twelfth seed. On the red clay of Roland Garros, Lisicki lost to American Bethanie Mattek-Sands.

Lisicki knocked out former world no. 1 and French Open champion Maria Sharapova in the 4th round of the 2012 Wimbledon Championships.

Lisicki started her summer grass court season by defending her title in the 2012 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 2012 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,[17] dropping Lisicki back down to a world ranking of 18.

Lisicki entered the 2012 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 2012 Rogers Cup in Montreal. She was fifteenth 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 2012 US Open as the 16th seed, but she was upset in the first round by Romania's 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 Andrea Hlaváčková and Lucie Hradecká in the quarterfinals.

Lisicki's next tournament was in Japan at the 2012 Toray Pan Pacific Open. In singles, she started with a first round loss against British qualifier Heather Watson. In doubles, she partnered with world number 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 2012 Luxembourg Open to Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium.

2013: First Grand Slam singles final

Lisicki started 2013 with the 2013 Brisbane International. She beat Lucie Šafářová in the first round. She lost in the second round to world number 1, Victoria Azarenka. She pulled out of the qualifying draw for the 2013 Apia International Sydney with a virus.

Lisicki then competed in the 2013 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 and Husarova during the 2013 French Open.

Lisicki then moved onto the 2013 PTT 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 missed the 2013 BNP Paribas Open with the same illness. She returned in time to play at the 2013 Sony Open Tennis in Miami but lost in the first round to Simona Halep of Romania.

Lisicki started her clay court season on the Green clay at the 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 2 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 in the 2013 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix. In Singles, she beat qualifier Italian Nastassja Burnett. In the second round, she beat Serbian Jelena Janković. She lost in the quarterfinals to American qualifier Bethanie Mattek-Sands. In Doubles, she and compatriot Mona Barthel received a wild card to play in the main draw. They were scheduled to play world number ones Roberta Vinci and Sara 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 Bethanie 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 at the 2013 French Open.

Lisicki continued her clay season in Madrid. In the first round, she beat Sofia Arvidsson of Sweden. In the second round, she defeated fifteenth seed Dominika Cibulková. In the third round she played world number 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 Slovak 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 Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci in the third round, losing in straight sets.

Lisicki started her grass court season by playing in the 2013 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.[18][19] At the Wimbledon Championships, Lisicki was seeded 23rd. She beat Francesca Schiavone in the first round, Elena Vesnina in the second round and fourteenth 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.[20] 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 France's Marion Bartoli in straight sets.

Her next tournament was the 2013 Western & Southern Open, however she lost in her opening match in a tight three-setter against Jelena Janković. She then played the 2013 New Haven Open at Yale, beating Kristina Mladenovic in the first round before losing to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the second.

She then played the 2013 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 2013 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 2013 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 semi-finals, 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 title

It was confirmed in October 2013 that Lisicki would begin her 2014 season alongside Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka at the 2014 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 2014 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.[21]

Lisicki and Hingis at the 2014 Internazionali BNL d'Italia.

Lisicki then endured a poor run across the North American swing, losing in her first match in Indian Wells to Aleksandra Wozniak of Canada. In Indian Wells, Lisicki also competed in the doubles draw playing alongside coach Martina Hingis. After getting a wildcard 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 wildcards 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 the 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 in 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.[22]

Lisicki then competed at the 2014 Mutua 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 Australian 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.[23] 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.

Lisicki at the 2014 US Open.

In July, Lisicki slipped down to 30 in the world rankings. In her first round match at the 2014 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).[2] However, Lisicki lost the match in straight sets to her Serbian opponent.[2] At the Rogers Cup in Montreal the following week, Lisicki defeated former world number five 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 2014 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 qurterfinals. Then, she defeated Zheng Saisai and Francesca Schiavone to reach her first final of 2014. She won her 4th WTA title after defeating Karolína Plíšková, her first singles title in more than 3 years. Lisicki received a wildcard at the 2014 Toray Pan Pacific Open but lost to Aussie Casey Dellacqua in the first round. At the 2014 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 after defeating Xu Shilin and Eugenie Bouchard. She then lost to Ivanovic in straight sets. Lisicki then played in Linz as the 5th seed. She accepted a wildcard 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 2014 BGL Luxembourg Open having overcame 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 record

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 in 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 Mutua 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 Nürnberger Versicherungscup 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 Mónica 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.[24] 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 years 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 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.[25]


Lisicki will represent Germany in the Hopman Cup at the start of 2016 with Alexander Zverev.

Playing style

"Lisicki is a big, strong, hard-hitting player who reminds me of a boxer throwing punches from every single direction. The problem is some of the punches land in the right spot and some don't. But she's got great power, a strong serve, she works very hard and has a big-match mentality you can't always teach."

Lisicki is well known for her powerful, aggressive game. An aggressive baseliner, she hits "heavy balls" with topspin and pace.[27] She has a strong forehand and backhand, hitting balls with power, depth and angles.[28] She is nicknamed "Boom Boom" for her "huge serve and thumping groundstrokes".[5][29][30] 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.[4]


Lisicki has among the most powerful serves on the WTA Tour. Described variously as a "cannon" and a "howitzer",[31] she is known to hit serves at speeds of over 120 mph.[32][33] Her fastest official serve on the WTA Tour was recorded at 210.8 km/h (131.0 mph).[2]

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%.[34] Her serve also produces a very high number of aces, currently 297 for the year up to November 2013 and second only behind Serena Williams.[34] She was also ranked second in the aces count in 2013, only behind Serena Williams, and was ranked fifth in 2014. Lisicki also holds 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.[24][35]

Lisicki is, however, sometimes hindered by her inconsistent second serve, which is usually around 70 to 80 mph, and an occasionally high double-fault count.[34]


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.[9][36]

Personal life

Lisicki lives in Bradenton, Florida. She is fluent in German, English and Polish. Her off-court interests include reading, music, and athletics. Lisicki is a fan of the German national football team and of Bundesliga club Bayern Munich.[37] She is gluten-intolerant.[38] Since 2013 she has been in a relationship with TV host Oliver Pocher.

Career statistics and major finals

Singles performance timeline

Only main draw results on the WTA Tour are considered. This table is current through the 2015 Australian Open.
Tournament 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 SR W–L
Grand Slam tournaments
Australian Open 3R 2R 2R Q2 4R 1R 2R 1R 0 / 7 8–7
French Open 2R 1R A 2R 1R 3R 2R 3R 0 / 7 7–7
Wimbledon 1R QF A SF QF F QF 3R 0 / 7 25–7
US Open 2R 2R 2R 4R 1R 3R 3R 4R 0 / 8 12–8
Win–Loss 4–4 6–4 2–2 8–3 7–4 10–4 8–4 7–4 0 / 29 52–29
Year-end championships
WTA Tour Championships Did Not Qualify 0 / 0 0–0

Grand Slam finals

Singles (0–1)

Outcome Year Championship Surface Opponent Score
Runner-up 2013 Wimbledon Grass Marion Bartoli 1–6, 4–6

Doubles (0–1)

Outcome Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Runner-up 2011 Wimbledon Grass Samantha Stosur Květa Peschke
Katarina Srebotnik
3–6, 1–6

Olympics finals

Mixed Doubles: 1 Bronze Medal match (0–1)

Outcome Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
4th place 2012 London Olympics Grass Christopher Kas Lisa Raymond
Mike Bryan
3–6, 6–4, [4–10]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c d
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  4. ^ a b c
  5. ^ a b
  6. ^ Discontented top women's seed out; Katie O'Brien seen off by Germany's hard-hitting Sabine Lisicki, 17, The Province, 3 August 2007, p. A51.
  7. ^
  8. ^ a b c
  9. ^ a b
  10. ^ Chase, Chris. "After blowing 5–2 lead in final set, Lisicki taken off on stretcher"., 25 May 2011. Retrieved 25 May 2011.
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Maria Sharapova to face Sabine Lisicki"., 28 June 2011. Retrieved 28 June 2011.
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  15. ^ "Petra Kvitova named WTA player of year". 14 November 2011. Retrieved 4 December 2011.
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  20. ^ Lisicki ends Serena's 34-match winning streak at Wimbledon
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External links

Preceded by
Justine Henin
WTA Comeback Player of the Year
Succeeded by
Yaroslava Shvedova
Preceded by
Venus Williams
Fastest serve world record holder
July 29, 2014 –
Succeeded by