Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Wimbledon 2013: Petra Kvitova shock defeat to Kirsten Flipkens

Belgium's Kirsten Flipkens celebrates defeating Czech Republic's Petra Kvitova during day eight of the Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon
Belgium's Kirsten Flipkens celebrates defeating Czech Republic's Petra Kvitova during day eight of the Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon
Belgium's Kirsten Flipkens (right) shakes hands with Czech Republic's Petra Kvitova following her win in their match during day eight of the Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon
Belgium's Kirsten Flipkens (right) shakes hands with Czech Republic's Petra Kvitova following her win in their match during day eight of the Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday July 2, 2013. See PA story TENNIS Wimbledon
Belgium's Kirsten Flipkens celebrates defeating Czech Republic's Petra Kvitova during day eight of the Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon
Belgium's Kirsten Flipkens celebrates defeating Czech Republic's Petra Kvitova during day eight of the Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon

Belgian Kirsten Flipkens caused a Centre Court sensation as she dumped the 2011 champion Petra Kvitova out of Wimbledon to reach the semi-finals.

Flipkens, who started the tournament as a 325-1 shot, beat Kvitova 4-6 6-3 6-4 under the famous arena's roof tonight.

Kvitova was hoping to lift the Venus Rosewater Dish after Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova all suffered shock defeats earlier in the tournament.

But Flipkens prevailed to record a win that she found hard to take in.

"It's amazing, it's more than a dream come true to be in the semi-finals of a grand slam, it's ridiculous," the stunned 20th seed said.

"Last year I did not even get into the qualifying at Wimbledon. I was 260th in the world and today I am in the semi-finals of Wimbledon. It cannot be better.

"I still cannot believe it. I am so happy I cannot imagine myself waking up. It's unbelievable."

Flipkens' progression to the last four is even more remarkable given that she had to put away her rackets for a while last year when she was diagnosed with four blood clots in her calf.

The 27-year-old lost her funding from the Belgian tennis federation and she ended up travelling to tournaments without a coach or physio.

Kim Clijsters stepped in to help her compatriot get back on her feet and Flipkens paid tribute to the four-time major winner this evening.

"Kim was one of the few who believed in me," Flipkens said.

"I can count on one hand how many people still believed in me and she and my sponsors are included in that."

Flipkens will play Marion Bartoli in the semi-finals after the Frenchwoman beat American rising star Sloane Stephens 6-4 7-5.

Sabine Lisicki, who knocked Williams out of the draw yesterday, continued her progression through the tournament by beating Estonia's Kaia Kanepi 6-3 6-3.

The last time Lisicki made the semi-finals of Wimbledon two years ago she led Maria Sharapova 3-0 in the first set, but ended up losing.

"I feel much fresher, fitter, and better than I did two years ago," Lisicki said.

"I'm glad that I had that experience before. I don't really remember much about it. I just know that Maria played an unbelievable match.

"It was the first or second time I played her. I think this time I'm more ready."

Lisicki will play the highest remaining seed, number four Agnieszka Radwanska, in the semi-finals after the Pole defeated China's Li Na in three sets.

The fourth seed, who almost missed the final last year due to a cold, suffered a scare today when she picked up a thigh injury towards the end of her 7-6 (7/5) 4-6 6-2 win on Centre Court.

"I've played a lot of tennis in the last couple of days so it's been really tough, but I'll do everything in my power today and tomorrow to rest and put everything together to be ready for the next one," said Radwanska, who is bidding to become the first Pole to win a grand slam.

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