Wimbledon 2009: Dinara Safina vs. Sabine Lisicki

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Top-ranked Dinara Safina of Russia will play unseeded German Sabine Lisicki for a place in the semi-finals today on Centre Court.

Safina was just one step away from capturing her first Grand Slam last month at Roland Garros and in January’s Australian Open, and now she is just three steps away from that goal yet again.

The 23-year-old from Moscow rallied from tough deficits Monday for a three-set victory against former champion Amelie Mauresmo and advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2009 Wimbledon Championships.

In seven prior visits to SW19, Safina’s best result was a R32 in 2006 and 2008. Last year, she played a three-set thriller, losing to Shahar Peer 7-5, 6-7(4), 8-6.

Lisicki is a fast-rising tennis sensation. The 19-year-old from Berlin, ranked No. 41 in the world, mowed through #5 Svetlana Kuznetsova and #9 Caroline Wozniacki in straight sets in rounds 3 and 4. It was a huge win for her because before Wimbledon, she had not won a match on grass.

The upset of Kuznetsova really turned some heads, as she is the same woman who destroyed Safina in the French Open final.

The match starts at 13:00 London (08:00 ET).

UPDATE: Dinara Safina survived 15 double faults and shook off a slow start to beat Sabine Lisicki 6-7 (5-7), 6-4, 6-1 and advance to her first Wimbledon semifinal.