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Lisicki dismantles Kanepi to justify favorite tag

Sabine Lisicki of Germany reacts during her women's singles tennis match against Serena Williams of the U.S. at the Wimbledon Tennis Champio
Sabine Lisicki of Germany reacts during her women's singles tennis match against Serena Williams of the U.S. at the Wimbledon Tennis Champio

By Ed Osmond

LONDON (Reuters) - Sabine Lisicki lived up to her status as the new Wimbledon favorite with a clinical 6-3 6-3 demolition of Kaia Kanepi in the quarter-finals on Tuesday.

The conquerors of Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal and Maria Sharapova all failed to back up their shock wins but Lisicki followed her stunning victory over defending champion Serena Williams with another impressive display.

The smiling German broke Estonian Kanepi's serve in the opening game of the match and produced a barrage of fizzing groundstrokes and subtle drop shots to reach her second Wimbledon semi-final in just 65 minutes.

"There was for me no pressure at all after yesterday's win," Lisicki told a news conference.

"I needed to make the switch quickly and focus on today's match and that's what I did. I think I did a good job today."

Lisicki made a fast start under grey skies on Court One and she broke the world number 46 in the opening game.

Bustling energetically around the court and whipping forehands crosscourt and down the line, Lisicki also tormented the ponderous Kanepi with delicate drop shots which the lanky Estonian struggled to retrieve.

Kanepi, who knocked out Briton Laura Robson in the fourth round, took advantage of three Lisicki double faults to break serve for a 2-1 lead in the second set but she looked uncomfortable whenever she was forced to leave the baseline.

Lisicki, the 23rd seed, reeled off four games in a row to stand on the brink of the last four and although Kanepi held serve to stop the rot, the German dispatched a high forehand volley on her third match point to seal victory.

Lisicki, who lost to Sharapova in the semi-finals at the All England Club two years ago, will play fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska in the semi-finals.

"I know how it is to be in the semi-final here," she said. "I am glad I had that experience before and I feel much fresher and fitter than two years ago. I am hitting the ball well and moving well.

"Agnieszka Radwanska plays a very smart game. She moves well around the court. She was in the final last year, so she has a lot of confidence with that."

Sergiy Stakhovsky and Michelle Larcher de Brito lost immediately after their stunning second-round wins over Federer and Sharapova, while Steve Darcis pulled out of the tournament due to injury after knocking out Nadal in the first round.

(Editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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