HONG KONG—Drafted into the tournament at the last minute Sabine Lisicki of Germany, world ranked No.31 won the Inaugural Prudential Hong Kong Tennis Open 2014 at the Hong Kong Tennis Stadium, Victoria Park on Sunday Sept 14 beating Karolina Pliskova of Czech Republic 7-5, 6-3.
“It is unbelievable, especially as this was a last-minute decision to play in Hong Kong. It was a spontaneous decision and I’m grateful to Kenneth (Low, tournament director) for giving me a wild card,” Lisicki told a cheering crowd at Victoria Park after the match.
Lisicki started the match badly. She went 1-5 down before settling into the match, but then won the next 6-games to take the first set 7-5. Lisicki continued her good play at the start of the second set playing with great timing and hitting many shots with weight, deep into the Pliskova court put her opponent under considerable pressure.
Lisicki moved quickly into a 4-1 lead in the second set before faltering a little, allowing Pliskova to hold her own serve and then break Lisicki to bring the score back to 4-3. But after a change of ends break and a chat with her coach, Lisicki with great determination, broke back to move into a 5-3 lead. She then served out the match to win 7-5, 6-3.
On her way to the Final, Lisicki had a tough first round match against Monica Niculescu of Romania which she won 3-6, 7-6, 6-1. She then beat Sai Sai Zheng of China 6-1, 6-1, but had another tough 3-set Semi-final match against Francesca Schiavone of Italy winning 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 to reach the Final. Schiavone still has the grit and determination to put up great performances against good opposition and proved that again in this tournament beating the 4th and 7th Seeds on the way to her Semi-final clash with Lisicki.
Losing singles finalist, No.3 Seed, Pliskova always looks calm and collected on court even under pressure also reached the final of the Doubles competition with her twin sister Kristyna to play Patricia Mayr-Achleitner of Austria and Arina Rodionova of Australia.
After winning the first set 6-2 the Czech pair looked well on the way to winning in straight sets, but Mayr-Achleitner and Ridionova hit back taking the second set 6-2 to level the match. The third set was long and close going to 12-10 with the Czech twins coming away with the win.