New Haven Flavor in Wimbledon Semifinals

By Nicholas McCarvel

There is a little New Haven flavor in the semifinals at Wimbledon on Thursday. New Haven Open regular Marion Bartoli qualified for her second-ever semis at the All England Club on Tuesday, joining the No. 4 seed and past NHO competitor Agnieszka Radwanska as well as Sabine Lisicki and Kirsten Flipkens.

Bartoli battled past American star Sloane Stephens 6-4, 7-5 in a hard-hitting affair that was their first meeting since the Frenchwoman had beaten Sloane in New Haven last year in a tight three-set affair.

Bartoli was a surprise finalist at Wimbledon in 2007, losing to Venus Williams in the final.

Flipkens is the surprise this time around, taking out defending New Have Open champion Petra Kvitova under a closed roof on Centre Court, the Belgian winning 4-6, 6-2, 6-4. A year ago, Flipkens was ranked No.262 in the world, but has worked her way into the top 20 with the help of on-and-off coach Kim Clijsters, who twice played in New Haven.

Lisicki backed up her win over Serena Williams in the fourth round by taking out Kaia Kanepi in her quarterfinal. Radwanska, who has played in New Haven four times in the past beat Li Na, a semifinalist at the NHO in 2011, in a rain-delayed quarterfinal.

All four women are chasing after their first major. Should Bartoli win, it would be a first for France since Amelie Mauresmo, another New Haven regular, who won in London over Justine Henin in 2006.

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