The 2013 Wimbledon women’s singles final starts today at 2pm local time in London.
The 28-year-old Bartoli goes into the final having won all six matches without dropping a set.
The 2007 Wimbledon runner-up has a huge amount of energy on court, with her shadow swings, bouncing and unique mannerisms that are her way of dealing with anxiety and focusing on her performance.
The 1.7m Bartoli plays both her forehand and backhand ground strokes with two hands, all of her strokes including her serve look mechanical, over learned and forced. The 23-year-old Lisicki on the other hand has free flowing strokes that look natural and a joy to watch.
Bartoli has the upper hand in being disciplined with her style of play and sticking to a clear game plan. The 1.78m Lisicki is erratic due to seeming to pick what she is going to do with each ball depending on how she feels at the time.
Lisicki has a full variety of strokes and shot options that can be both an asset and problem when she struggles to pick the right shot at the right time on a consistent enough basis.
Bartoli is a powerful, aggressive player who loves to dictate the points and take the ball on the rise. The compact ground stokes swings of the French woman and frequent repetition of the her favourite patterns of play provide a high likelihood of being consistent and keeping her unforced errors under control.
Lisicki is a power player who likes to let the ball come to her, then take larger swings and force the ball pushing to her maximum power level regularly. Lisicki is a very talented player who can play brilliant tennis and blast through her opponent. Lisicki moves quite well around the court and covers quite a lot of ground.
Bartoli on the other hand definitely finds it tougher to cover the court, to get to drop shots and ground stroke power and effectiveness drops when she has to chase the wider angled ground strokes. Lisicki is inclined to try to hit through her opponent which is perfect for Bartoli who loves the pace. Lisicki will be well served to take pace off the ball and hit a lot of cross court angled ground strokes to open up the court before going for winners.
Lisicki will have to successfully overcome the mental and emotional challenges of playing in her first Grand Slam singles final and with her very emotive and fun to watch personality. Bartoli displays a stable and positive manner on court conducive to avoiding emotional turmoil under pressure and the large variations in levels of play Lisicki suffers losing a long string of games in two of her last three matches.
A sign of how well a player is coping mentally with the challenges, opponent and occasion is how smooth, rhythmical and successful their service action can be continually executed.
Lisicki’s serve will certainly be a critical factor in the outcome today given that a high percentage of first serves in at key stages will make it tough for Bartoli to break the service weapon the German possesses. If Lisicki misses too many first serves Bartoli’s return of serve strength comes into play.
Whose day will it be today? It’s ALL about who can bring out their best tennis today and perform at a higher level than their opponent, under pressure and at the critical SWING stages of each set and match.
GAME ON! Don’t miss it.
Lisicki photo credit: Robert Hensley
Bartoli photo credit: Andy2982