Lisicki wins inaugural Hong Kong Open

By AFP
Published: September 15, 2014
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Sabine Lisicki of Germany reacts after winning against Czech Republic's Karolina Pliskova after their women's final singles tennis match at the Hong Kong Open on September 14, 2014. PHOTO: AFP

Sabine Lisicki of Germany reacts after winning against Czech Republic's Karolina Pliskova after their women's final singles tennis match at the Hong Kong Open on September 14, 2014. PHOTO: AFP

HONG KONG: Sabine Lisicki justified her top seeding by winning the inaugural WTA Hong Kong Open 7-5, 6-3 against Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic on Sunday.

The German had endured a lean time on tour since losing the Wimbledon final to Marion Bartoli last year, tumbling out of the world’s top 30.

Lisicki only accepted a wildcard into the Hong Kong tournament at the last minute after US Open semi-finalist Peng Shuai and world number seven Eugenie Bouchard pulled out. It proved to be a move that paid off handsomely.

“I’m very happy,” said Lisicki. “Especially because it was such a spontaneous decision. We literally decided [to play] three or four days before the tournament started.”

The scoreline may say it was a straight-sets victory, but it was far from straightforward in an error-strewn match at the Victoria Park centre court.

The Czech third seed had seemed destined to avenge her second-round defeat to the German at Wimbledon this year when she raced into a 5-1 lead in the first set, breaking Lisicki’s serve twice.

But Lisicki, who at that point was managing to put only a woeful 40% of her first serves into play, slowly got into her stride to spark a remarkable run in which she broke back twice to level at 5-5.

Asked by reporters if she had thought about letting the set slip away at 1-5, Lisicki gave a robust response

“No. Never. I always fight for every single point no matter what the score is.”

Published in The Express Tribune, September 15th, 2014.

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