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U.S. Open: Sabine Lisicki wins way to play Venus Williams

August 30, 2011 | 11:51 am

Sabine Lisicki, the 21-year-old German who made it to the Wimbledon semifinals this year, almost didn't make it to the U.S. Open. Lisicki, seeded 22nd, won her second title of the year in Dallas over the weekend and couldn't get into New York until 4 p.m. Monday afternoon because of lingering flight delays in the wake of Hurricane Irene.

But Lisicki, playing on the new Court 17, an intimate show court with great noise potential and right in the middle of U.S. Open hubbub, adapted to the circumstances of her late arrival and new surroundings and easily beat 125th-ranked Alona Bondarenko, a 27-year-old from Ukraine, 6-3, 6-3.

Next up for Lisicki is Venus Williams, a two-time champion here. Williams had a straight-set victory Monday night in her first match since losing in the fourth round at Wimbledon. Williams, 31, is unseeded.

Lisicki enjoys crushing big serves, same as Williams. And the two have played only twice. Lisicki beat Williams, 6-4, 7-6 (5), on clay in 2009 and Williams beat Lisicki on hard courts in Dubai in 2010, 6-2, 6-3.

"We played twice and twice we had a very, very good match," Lisicki said. "I think it depends who's better that given day and that person will win, I think. That's how it was the last two times. I played better the first time and she played a little bit better the second time."


Mardy Fish wins, Ryan Harrison loses

Serena Williams on '09 blowup: 'I don't think about'

Wimbledon champ Petra Kvitova loses in first round

-- Diane Pucin, reporting from New York

Photo: Sabine Lisicki. Credit: Paul J. Bereswill / Associated Press.