LONDON, July 2 (Reuters) - The leading ladies had already departed the stage but the under-studies kept the most unpredictable Wimbledon script bubbling along on Tuesday with Sabine Lisicki proving she is no one-hit wonder by reaching the semi-finals.
A day after producing the shock of shocks at a tournament that has seen upsets galore by beating red-hot favourite Serena Williams, the smiling German overwhelmed Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi to reach her second semi-final at Wimbledon.
So far giant-slayers have had short shelf lives at Wimbledon with Steve Darcis, Sergiy Stakhovsky and Michelle Larcher de Brito - who took out Rafa Nadal, Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova respectively - all failing to last another round.
Not so the grasscourt-loving Lisicki, who needed only 65 minutes to win 6-3 6-3 against 46th-ranked Kanepi.
A semi-finalist in 2011 and a quarter-finalist last year, the 23rd seed, who broke down in floods of tears after beating Williams, is now only two wins away from becoming Germany’s first grand slam champion since Steffi Graf triumphed at Wimbledon in 1996.
“I feel much fresher, fitter, better than two years ago,” Lisicki, who lost to Sharapova in the 2011 semis, said.
”I was just as focused as yesterday because ... I knew it’s going to be tough after yesterday’s match to just keep the level up.
“But I think I did a very good job to go for my shots and play smart. It had to be a different game today.”
A quarter-final line-up featuring eight players from eight nations and only two grand slam titles between them had prompted some scornful morning headlines.
However, the opening match on Centre Court featured two players with genuine pedigree between fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska, runner-up two years ago, and former French Open champion Li Na of China.
An absorbing contest was still in the balance at one set all when light rain forced a stoppage and the roof was closed.
Lisicki is awaiting the winner.
In the other two quarter-finals American Sloane Stephens was up against former finalist Marion Bartoli of France while Petra Kvitova, the champion two years ago, faced Belgian outsider Kirsten Flipkens. (Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Pritha Sarkar)