Sabine Lisicki the Comeback Player—Nathan’s Blog

Written by: on 28th December 2011
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WTA Commonwealth Bank Tournament of Champions in Bali
Sabine Lisicki the Comeback Player—Nathan’s Blog

Sabine Lisicki of Germany returns the ball during her match against Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia at the WTA Commonwealth Bank Tournament of Champions in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia, 04 November 2011. Lisicki won the match 7-5, 6-2. EPA/MADE NAGI  |

By: Nathan M. Cuny

With the many up and comers in women’s tennis picking just one with the characteristics required for the rise into the WTA’s top 8 ranks proves very difficult. However, I have narrowed down who of the many talented WTA players has the potential to rise to a top 8 spot in 2012. Who is she? Sabine Lisicki, the 22 year old German whose motivation and skill will help her ascend the ranks of women’s tennis.

Normally, in my books at least, an up and comer is a player outside of the top twenty,  but at No. 15 Sabine Lisicki is an exception, and here’s why. Sabine Lisicki turned professional in the year 2006. By 2008 Lisicki was the No. 54 player. In 2009 Lisicki finished the year as No. 23, on the borderline of being an up and comer or a true contender, but by the end of 2010 Lisicki finished the year as No. 179 after an ankle injury prevented her from competing for five months.

Lisicki was determined to make 2011 a better season, putting her ankle injury and recent diagnoses of gluten intolerance behind her.  Her determination proved true, by the 2011 season’s end Lisicki was awarded the Comeback Player of the Year award, after she rose from No. 218 to No.15 within 7 months.

Lisicki’s rise came after making it to the Wimbledon semifinals and winning two WTA tournaments during 2011—the Texas Tennis Open in Dallas and the AEGON Classic in the British city of Birmingham. Lisicki defeated Daniela Hantuchova, 6-2, 6-2, at the AEGON Classic, boosting her morale and ranking from No. 100 to No.62 by the tournaments end.

Lisicki has some big plans for 2012. She’ll begin the season at the opening Grand Slam, the Australian Open at Melbourne Park. The Australian Open, begins January 16th, and ends on the 29th, celebrating its centennial in 2012. When asked about her plans for 2012 Lisicki stated, “My goal is to get better each day and this way to slowly work myself towards the top 10. I had a very big change in my diet when they found out that I’m intolerant to gluten this year. I’m glad the doctors found out! Mainly I want to keep enjoying myself on the court like I did this year. It worked for me so why change something?”

Lisicki was also asked about her hopes for the 2012 Olympic Games, where she stated, “I’m simply looking forward to next season and playing in front of my fans again. They’ve supported me a lot this year! And also to the Olympic Games, which are held in London on grass!!” Lisicki will undoubtedly rise into the top 10 during 2012 as she conditions herself for the 104 degree Fahrenheit weather of the rapidly approaching Australian Open.

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