WIMBLEDON, England -- Maria Sharapova looked like a champion under the Centre Court roof at Wimbledon today, advancing to the semifinals at the All England Club four the fourth time with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Dominika Cibulkova.
Up next is fellow Manatee County resident Sabine Lisicki, a wild-card entry who reached her first Grand Slam semifinal by beating 2007 finalist Marion Bartoli 6-4, 6-7 (4), 6-1 earlier today.
Both players train at the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy at IMG in Bradenton. Sharapova defeated Lisicki 6-2, 6-0 on March 26 on a hard court in the third round of the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami in their only meeting.
Sharapova, the only Wimbledon champion remaining in the women’s draw after the Williams sisters were eliminated a day earlier, won eight straight games to win the first set and take control of the second.
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The fifth-seeded Russian has not lost a set at this year’s tournament, and she was nowhere near losing one.
Lisicki is only the second wild-card entry to reach the women’s semifinals at Wimbledon.
With heavy rain pelting the retractable white roof, Lisicki used her drop shot to perfection in the first two sets. The German served for the match at 5-4 in the second and held three match points, but Bartoli saved them all. On the second, Lisicki went to her go-to drop shot but put it into the net.
Read more about the two matches in Wednesday’s editions of the Bradenton Herald.