In that match, Lisicki won the first set, dropped nine games in a row to fall behind 3-0 in the third, and eventually took the last four games.
In the semifinals, Lisicki won the first set, dropped nine of 11 games to fall behind 3-0 in the third, and eventually turned it around.
“I thought, ‘I’ve done it against Serena, so you can do it today as well. Just hang in there,”’ Lisicki said. “It gave me so much confidence.”
Some of that derives from a more daunting recovery. In 2010, she badly injured her left ankle and missed five months.
Not only did she fall outside the top 150 in the rankings, but Lisicki says her rehabilitation felt like a course in how to use that leg.
“I can still remember when the doctor told me that I have to be on crutches the next six weeks. I was like, ‘OK, when can I get back?’ That was my first question,” Lisicki recalled Thursday. “That period made me such a much stronger person and ... I know anything is possible after learning how to walk again.”
She cited inspiration drawn from two injured athletes in other sports, NFL quarterback Drew Brees and Alpine ski racer Hermann Maier.
Brees tore his throwing shoulder in the last game of the 2005 regular season, and needed a complicated operation. Let go by the San Diego Chargers, he wound up signing with the New Orleans Saints. Maier, who won two Olympic gold medals and four overall World Cup titles, nearly lost his right leg — and his life — in a 2001 motorcycle accident. Sidelined for two years, he returned to win the World Cup in 2004.
Lisicki also was motivated by a text message she said she received before Thursday’s match from the last German woman to play in a Grand Slam final, back in 1999, Steffi Graf.
“She told me to go for it,” Lisicki said