Reuters : Favourite Maria Sharapova served 13 double faults in just 87 minutes yet still set up a Wimbledon final against Petra Kvitova after beating Sabine Lisicki 6-4 6-3 in an error-strewn semi-final on Thursday.
The Russian fifth seed, who won the grasscourt grand slam in 2004, slipped 3-0 down to the German wildcard in the first set but found her groove as her opponent battled with nerves.
“She played really well and I did quite the opposite,” the Russian said in a televised interview.
In truth neither player ever really got going, a combined count of 32 unforced errors telling the tale of a match that barely captivated a far from full Centre Court as mobile phones went off towards the end.
Sharapova will not care given she had not reached the final since her 2004 triumph.
“To be in the final again is a great achievement for me. I haven’t got past the fourth round in quite a few years,” she said. Several spots of rain fell in the second set, Lisicki pausing briefly to enquire whether it was safe to continue, but the showers stayed away and play continued.
The 24-year-old Sharapova will need a better performance to prevail against Kvitova but will fancy her chances against the Czech eighth seed in Saturday’s showpiece.