Sabine Lisicki (GER)(23) v Marion Bartoli (FRA)(15) – 2pm on Centre Court
Marion Bartoli has had the easy run coming into today’s final. In six matches, she is still yet to drop a set and hasn’t had to face an opponent ranked higher than 17th seed, Sloane Stephens. Conversely, Lisicki has taken down some giants, including 14th seed Samantha Stosur, 4th seed Agnieszka Radwanska and, most memorably, hot favourite and world number one, Serena Williams. She’s battled through a trio of three-set matches but has won over the SW19 crowds in the process, while Bartoli was subjected to boos during her quarter-final against Stephens after kicking up a fuss over the conditions out on No.1 court.
There is no doubt about who the fans out on Centre will be backing, but Lisicki will need her wits about her to battle through Bartoli’s stolid defence. Her powerful serve and strong returning stand her in good stead and she has always shone on the courts of The All England Club. But so has Bartoli, reaching the Wimbledon final in 2007 where she was soundly beaten by five-time champion Venus Williams. Her performance against Kirsten Flipkens in Thursday’s semi was relentless, chasing down everything her Belgian opponent could throw at her, eventually breezing through 6-1 6-2. She’ll certainly have more gas in the tank than her battle-weary rival.
Today will be a baseline tussle with both players favouring flat groundstrokes, bidding to out-power one another. Lisicki’s huge service will come into play – if she can hit her mark Bartoli will be hard-pushed to break ahead but the Frenchwoman’s experience will be to her advantage against an opponent playing her maiden Grand Slam final.
If Lisicki can produce some of the tennis we’ve seen she’s capable of in the last two weeks, this title is hers for the taking. But Bartoli is certainly capable of stealing it from under her nose if given the opportunity…
Coverage of the women’s final begins at 1:30pm on BBC1