6 Jul 2013

Lisicki and Bartoli prepare for Wimbledon final

4:41 pm on 6 July 2013

Wimbledon finalist Sabine Lisicki says she won't turn off the waterworks despite locker room resentment over her reputation as a drama queen.

The permanently smiling German takes on France's Marion Bartoli in the championship match.

The 23-year-old is reportedly unpopular with many women players on the tour who feel she exaggerates her back story which includes five painful months on the sidelines after suffering a potentially career-ending ankle injury.

Some rivals are weary of Lisicki's "having to learn to walk again" summary of her return to action.

Lisicki is the first German woman in a Grand Slam final since Steffi Graf in 1999 and is bidding to become the first from her country to win Wimbledon since 1996 when Graf also triumphed, has her compatriots on her side.

Meanwhile, Bartoli admits her run to the final has put a smile back on her face just months after hitting rock-bottom when she sacked her father from his role as her coach.

Bartoli has played some of the best tennis of her life over the past two weeks at the All England Club as she swept into the title match without dropping a set.

The French 15th seed, a Wimbledon runner-up in 2007, is relishing her return to the spotlight so soon after a dark period when she struggled with the emotional decision to move on from her dad Walter, who had coached her since childhood.

Bartoli found it hard to strike up a rapport with a succession of replacement coaches, working for three matches with Jana Novotna and Iwona Kuczynska before being tutored by Gerald Bremond who quit after two weeks.

Bartoli has always played with remarkable enthusiasm and intensity, but she concedes that attitude sometimes worked against her, making her unable to switch off away from the court and mentally drained before matches had even started

She finally appears to have found a way to harness that energy after hiring 2006 Wimbledon champion Amelie Mauresmo.

Mauresmo has brought a calmer approach to Bartoli's preparations, to the extent that the 28-year-old was even willing to sleep up to 30 minutes before her semi-final win over Kirsten Flipkens.