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June 28, 2011

Sabine Lisicki


S. LISICKI/M. Bartoli
6-4, 6-7, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. That was a powerful performance. You must have felt like all the pieces came together today.
SABINE LISICKI: Yeah, it was definitely a really tough match against Marion. She really likes to play on grass and she plays well.
Yeah, but I really wanted to win, you know. I gave it all I had. I was fighting for each point. Didn't want to let it slip away.

Q. What were you feeling at the end of the second set? Did you feel like maybe you had missed your chance?
SABINE LISICKI: No. I was just, uhm, a little disappointed that I wasn't going for my shots. I started to get tentative. But, you know, there was no point where I said, No, I'm losing it or anything. I was going to fight, for sure, you know. There was nothing else that I was thinking of.

Q. Were you getting any problems from your leg or ankle? The TV mentioned it looked like you were tightening up a bit.
SABINE LISICKI: Yeah, I mean, I was getting a little bit tired, but, you know, it's been a tough match. You know, I fought till the end and finished it well.

Q. What did you tell yourself at the end of the second? You hit a rough patch. Are you thinking you really have to go after her aggressively? Did you expect her level to drop a little? She must have felt pretty elevated after winning the second.
SABINE LISICKI: No, I should she has saved match points in the previous rounds, I think in two matches. I knew I have to play well from start to finish.
So, uhm, you know, credit to her; she played very well on my match points. You know, but I felt comfortable out there. I knew, you know, I felt confident going into the third set, as well.

Q. You're the first German player in the semis since 1999. Any sense of national pride for you?
SABINE LISICKI: Uhm, yeah, Steffi was the last one, right?

Q. Yes.
SABINE LISICKI: So, you know, uhm, I was in the quarters once here two years ago. I didn't make it further. It just feels amazing to be in the semifinals, especially after all I went through.
I think it's also great for the German tennis, uhm, to have great girls. It's not only me, the other girls, as well. You know, I'm just happy and looking forward to the semis.

Q. Do you know Steffi?
SABINE LISICKI: Yes. I met her. I met her in Las Vegas, and Andre, as well. We went for dinner at their place. They're really nice people. That's what I like about them. They were so successful, legends. To meet them and just to see how great people they are, it's just nice.

Q. Julia was telling me she is very interested in this kind of renaissance of German women's tennis, as well?
SABINE LISICKI: You mean Steffi?

Q. Yes.
SABINE LISICKI: Yeah, I heard that she's in contact with Barbara Rittner, our Fed Cup coach. Yeah, I mean, that's nice. That's nice to hear.

Q. How did the dinner come about with Andre and Steffi?
SABINE LISICKI: Uhm, well, I was with adidas back then. Through the adidas development program, that's how I met them. You know, obviously it was really nice and an honor to meet Andre and Steffi. It was just amazing to see how nice and down-to-earth people they are.

Q. What is their house like?
SABINE LISICKI: Nice (laughter).

Q. Were you nervous around the table with two such illustrious figures?
SABINE LISICKI: No, not really. I met them before. When I met Andre in the gym I was a little bit nervous, and Steffi, as well. I met them before they invited us for dinner.
It was just nice. Nice, relaxed dinner.

Q. Was she your heroine when you were a girl?
SABINE LISICKI: I kind of missed her play. I started watching a little bit later. Uhm, I've heard all about her. I've seen some matches. It's just unbelievable what she did. Also what she did for German tennis, it's incredible.
Uhm, yeah, but unfortunately I didn't get to see a lot when I was a child.

Q. Did she talk about Wimbledon?
SABINE LISICKI: No, we didn't really talk about tennis.

Q. I just wondered if she reminisced on some of her championship victories.
SABINE LISICKI: We didn't talk a lot about tennis.

Q. What did you talk about then?
SABINE LISICKI: Different stuff. Just not tennis.

Q. When you first got your ankle injury and went to the doctors, was it misdiagnosed?
SABINE LISICKI: In March, yes, they did.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about that, what it actually was, what you were told it was. Did that set you back?
SABINE LISICKI: No, I don't really want to talk about it because it's private, I think.
But, yeah, I was very disappointed to find out that it was a bad diagnosis because it cost me a lot of time. So I went to the German doctors much later. I should have done that earlier.
I know that for the future I'll be going on the first plane back to Germany to see my doctors if I have something.
Yeah, it was tough, but, you know, it happened. Nothing I can change. You know, I was fighting to get back, working very, very hard, and, uhm, that's all I could do.
And now I'm back.

Q. How many months do you think it set you back?
SABINE LISICKI: Well, after a normal ankle sprain it usually takes six weeks, so I was out for five months.

Q. How do you see the next round, the semifinal?
SABINE LISICKI: I haven't thought about it yet, to be honest (smiling).

Q. It's a big opponent, previous winner.
SABINE LISICKI: Is it finished yet?

Q. It just finished.
SABINE LISICKI: It's a semifinal, so no match is going to be easy no matter which opponent. So I definitely have to play my best, you know, to be the winner of a match like that in the semis.
You know, I'm really looking forward to it, just to enjoy myself out there.

Q. Forgetting your opponents, what do you think you'll need to do to win here in terms of feeling comfortable, that if I do this, I've done everything I can?
SABINE LISICKI: Well, you know, I haven't -- I just got off the court so I haven't really talked about the next match yet 'cause I didn't know my opponent yet either.
So, uhm, my coach and I are going to talk about it, what tactics I'm going to play and how I have to play. So, you know, I have absolutely nothing to lose. I mean, I'm here as a wild card, so...
I'm here in the semis. I'm going to go out there and fight and give it all I have.

Q. Do you remember where you were when Maria won Wimbledon in 2004? Did you watch it?
SABINE LISICKI: No, I don't remember. (Smiling.)

Q. So can you just talk about your impressions of her as a player.
SABINE LISICKI: Well, she's a great champion. I mean, she has won Grand Slams. She's a really good player. You know, she has been playing well recently and she's been at that stage of the tournament before.
But, you know, I mean, as I said, I have absolutely nothing to lose. I just enjoy myself out there on the court so much. It's just so great, and I'm so thankful to be out there on the court again that I'm enjoying every minute of it.

Q. Has Steffi Graf offered any kind of tips or advice over the months you've known her that's helped you to get to where you are now?
SABINE LISICKI: No, it was more my team.

Q. How difficult was it to concentrate out there with all the thunder?
SABINE LISICKI: Yeah, that was a little bit different. But, you know, it was very loud. It was raining really hard. But definitely something different to play on grass indoors and have a big thunderstorm out there.
But, uhm, you know, you just have to focus on the match and on each point, so it's all right.

Q. Do you think a game like that - the crowd got involved - might mean they might be more minded to support you on Thursday as you're a new face to them, that they might have taken you to their hearts a little bit because of the way you battled away?
SABINE LISICKI: I hope so. They really have been amazing also in Birmingham already. They've been very supportive. Here throughout the tournament it was just amazing, and they really help me in the match against Na Li when I was down those two match points.
And today, as well. Every match, I mean, they've been incredible. Without all those fans it's tougher and it's not as much fun, so I really hope they'll come out and enjoy the game and support me, as well.

Q. Did you expect that from English fans, to get behind you?
SABINE LISICKI: I don't know. I didn't really think about it. I just felt the support right away in Birmingham. So, uhm, and since I won the title in Birmingham I heard a lot of comments that they're going to come to Wimbledon because of me.
It's just a nice thing to hear. You know, I just enjoy it so much.

Q. Could you talk about how it feels, the freedom of being a wild card, how that actually sort of makes your game different.
SABINE LISICKI: It doesn't really make it difference. In my opinion, uhm, I've played really well in the last three months. I was injured last year, so I had basically lost my ranking. I was 22 in the world, or 24 when I got injured. So I have the feeling that I belong there.
Uhm, you know, it's a great thing that I got the wild card. I'm very thankful for it. You know, it's just very nice because I played Birmingham. I just enjoy myself on the grass so much. And winning the title in Birmingham, you know, it didn't mean they have to give me the wild card.
So, you know, it's just very nice. Yeah, I mean, I just enjoy myself.

Q. Is there added enjoyment because you're a wild card with no expectations at all?
SABINE LISICKI: Not really, no.

Q. Do you consider yourself a much better player than the woman who was here in 2009 and reached the quarterfinals, and why?
SABINE LISICKI: I think I'm more experienced and calmer. I've been at that stage. Two years ago it was different. I was more nervous. I couldn't sleep so good. You know, all those little things. Obviously, everything is new so...
But now it's different. Also, after the injury, uhm, it's so nice to be back. I know how fast it can be gone, you know, so I just try to enjoy myself even more and just try to enjoy every minute that I'm on the court.
That's why I'm saying it's just nice to have another match to be playing here still. I think that helps me a lot. I think the experience, especially on grass, is important, and that calmness.

Q. Your dropshots really hurt Marion's game. You made her run a lot. How conscious were you that she was coming from a match with Serena?
SABINE LISICKI: Oh, I mean, she played amazingly. She loves the grass. She plays really good. Her game suits the grass very much, so I knew I have to play very well.
You know, she beat Serena; you have to play really well to beat Serena. I knew I have to play my best tennis to beat her. We always had some tough matches.
And, you know, it's never easy to play a friend of yours. So, uhm, you know, but I'm just happy to be through to my first semifinal.

Q. What was the nature of the ankle injury?
SABINE LISICKI: I twisted my ankle at Indian Wells. That's it.

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