23-year old Sabine Lisicki, who has trained with the IMG Academy Bollettieri Tennis program since the age of 13, made her career-best Grand Slam appearance at Wimbledon, reaching the final in singles competition. However, it was not meant to be for the intrepid Lisicki, who fell to France’s Marion Bartoli in straight sets on Saturday. 6-1, 6-4.
It was a magnificent run for the German tennis wonder, as Lisicki, put the world on notice when she upset World No. 1 Serena Williams in the Round of 16 on Monday, July 1. She followed her stunning upset of Williams by cruising through the quarterfinals over Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi in straight sets. Heading into Saturday’s final, Lisicki dispatched Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska, 6-4, 2-6, 9-7, notching her seventh Wimbledon victory over a top-10 ranked opponent. Lisicki was named the 2011 WTA Comeback Player of the Year, and when Monday’s rankings were revealed, she was elevated five spots to No. 18, inching closer to matching her career-high of No. 12 (May 2012).
"It was such an amazing time and jouney! The experience will help me in the future!," Lisicki said via Facebook. Always upbeat, she added, "Next year I will be back, and I can't wait to see my fans again!"
Lisicki’s previous best at Wimbledon came in 2011 when she reached the singles semifinal, and took runner-up honors in doubles, partnering with Australia’s Samantha Stosur.
According to Nick Bollettieri, who has had a hand in Lisicki’s development over the past decade, all the pieces are coming together for the Troisdorf, Germany native as her mental game is more in synch with her physical talents than ever before.
However, Lisicki was not the only IMG Academy trainee and IMG Tennis client to see success at Wimbledon. In the Wimbledon boy's championship, IMG Academy's Gianluigi Quinzi of Italy took top honors when he defeated fellow IMG Academy trainee Hyeon Chung of Korea.
In its 30+ year history, IMG Academy Bollettieri Tennis program trainees have brought home 87 Grand Slam singles titles (ATP, WTA and ITF events). More importantly, 98% of IMG Academy student-athletes have gone on to play collegiately, with more than 60% earning scholarships to Division-I programs since 2009.