Kne optimists could have speculated on a purely German semi-final at the Bad Homburg Open: Angelique Kerber against Sabine Lisicki, two women over 30 who caused quite a sensation in German tennis for a while and want to do it again. But by early Thursday afternoon it was already clear that this encounter would not happen in the Kurpark. The fact that 32-year-old Lisicki, who only returned to the professional tour two months ago after a long injury break and was only allowed to compete in the main draw thanks to a wildcard from the organizer, defeated French Caroline Garcia 3: 6 and 6: 7 (7: 9) in the first quarterfinals. was unsurprising. The defeat of the 34-year-old Kerber, who lost 4: 6, 6: 2 and 1: 6 to Alizé Cornet, was less expected. Instead of a German semi-final, there is now a semi-final encounter between two French friends in the Kurpark this Friday.
“Unfortunately, today wasn’t my day,” said Kerber, who was dethroned as the defending champion but will remain a tournament ambassador. The Kiel native left open whether she would return to Bad Homburg as a playing participant next year. Now Kerber is going to Wimbledon, where she reached the semi-finals last year. In Bad Homburg, Germany’s best tennis lady had to realize that Cornet fought stubbornly for every ball on Thursday and seemed safer in the rallies. “She played an unbelievable match for her standards,” said the 18th in the world rankings about the Frenchwoman, who was 26 places lower.
Despite her defeat, Lisicki was not dissatisfied: “I think I’m playing at the top 100 level again.” For the first time in four and a half years, she reached the quarter-finals of a WTA tournament and indicated that she was on the right track after a 19-month injury break is to make her comeback successful: “I’ve gained good match practice and self-confidence.”
Many a spectator, who apparently follows the professional tour less than the league in the local region, apparently missed Lisicki’s return after a cruciate ligament rupture. “I didn’t even know that Lisicki was still playing,” said a woman while waiting to be admitted to Center Court. Her companion informed her that the 2013 Wimbledon finalist was back in world ranking 804. “That would make her fit into our Hessen League team,” the woman replied. With all due respect to the top tennis in the region: Sabine Lisicki usually plays in a different class.
She could soon be back there if she expands her game on her beloved lawn to other surfaces. She successfully used the wildcards from the German tournament organizers – in Berlin for the qualification and in Bad Homburg for the main draw. If Lisicki had moved up 184 places in the previous week, she will make a bigger leap thanks to reaching the quarter-finals in Bad Homburg. The Berliner takes 60 world ranking points with her, around twice as many as she has collected since her return two months ago. The 32-year-old will probably be ranked 499th in the world next Monday. “Collecting points is the top priority,” said Lisicki, who took the Bad Homburg prize of 5,000 euros with her rather casually.
More was possible against Garcia, himself plagued by foot problems for months. But with Lisicki, strong blows and mistakes changed. Lisicki explained that she couldn’t convert any of her twelve breakballs with Garcia’s strength: “Her serves were incredibly good.”