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Marion Bartoli crushes Kirsten Flipkens to reach Wimbledon final

Associated Press
Jul 04, 2013 at 07:17pm IST

London: Marion Bartoli wasted little time in advancing to her second Wimbledon final, dancing and grunting her way to a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Kirsten Flipkens on Thursday. The 15th-seeded Frenchwoman jumped ahead 3-0 in the first set and broke early in the second for another 3-0 lead. Flipkens, a Belgian seeded 20th, was making her first semi-final appearance at a major tournament.

"I was hitting the ball very cleanly from the start, right away," said Bartoli, who won in 62 minutes. "I had some great passing shots and some great lobs. Everything was working so perfectly. To do that in the semi-finals of Wimbledon was an amazing feeling."

Bartoli also reached the final in 2007, losing to Venus Williams in straight sets. She next faces the winner of Thursday's other semi-final between fourth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland and No. 23 Sabine Lisicki of Germany. Lisicki eliminated defending champion Serena Williams in the fourth round.

Bartoli crushes Flipkens to reach Wimbledon final

Marion Bartoli punches the air after winning a point during her semi-final victory. (Getty Images)

Bartoli was pumped from the start on Centre Court, mixing two-handed backhands and forehands with little hops between points, as she usually does.

In the first set, she faced only one break point, nearly putting Flipkens back on serve in the third game. But despite a double-fault and a backhand into the net to eventually get behind 30-40, Bartoli dug herself out of the hole and finished the game with the first of her five aces.

Flipkens, who again took the court with her right knee taped, called for a trainer after being broken for the second straight time at the start of the second set. The trainer added tape to the knee while Bartoli sat in her chair sipping water.

Whatever she needed, it briefly worked. Flipkens, after the medical timeout, broke for the first and only time, making it 3-1. But a few minutes later Bartoli broke again and held to make it 5-1.

"I think maybe she was a bit injured today," Bartoli said. "It must be hard for her to be injured in the semi-final of Wimbledon, but she deserved a lot of respect."

Bartoli is now 2-1 in Grand Slam semi-finals with both wins at Wimbledon. Six years ago, she beat another Belgian, top-seeded Justine Henin, in the semi-finals. But then she ran into Venus Williams, who that year won the fourth of her five Wimbledon titles.

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