It's official: One-half of the Wimbledon women's semifinals will be an all IMG Academy Bollettieri tennis program matchup.
Maria Sharapova, ranked No. 6 in the world, will face the No. 62-ranked Sabine Lisicki for a spot in the Wimbledon finals. For Sharapova, it's a chance to win her second Wimbledon title and fourth overall Grand Slam. As for Lisicki, it's her first Grand Slam semifinal appearance, and the first by a German woman since Steffi Graf 12 years ago.
The 24-year-old Sharapova first enrolled in the IMG Academy Bollettieri tennis program in 1996 and has trained at the facility frequently since turning pro. Lisicki, now 21, came to IMG Academy Bollettieri tennis program in 2003 and also utilizes it as her training base in between tournaments.
"This is incredibly exciting for the Academy to have two students face each other at Wimbledon," said Nick Bollettieri. "It's sure to be a very interesting match, as Sabine has fought her way back up in the rankings, while Maria has overcome a very serious shoulder injury.
"I think it will come down to the mentality of Sharapova versus the big hitting of Lisicki."
Lisicki and Sharapova have faced each other one time previously, when Sharapova defeated Lisicki at the 2011 Sony Ericsson Open.
Lisicki has been on a tear, winning at Birmingham the week prior to Wimbledon to earn her second career WTA title. She also defeated reigning French Open champion Na Li in the 2nd round of this year's Wimbledon.
Lisicki is represented by IMG agent Olivier van Lindonk and Sharapova by IMG agent Max Eisenbud.