Someone will win a first Slam title


Who will win the Wimbledon ladies' final?


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Experience will propel Bartoli

Garber By Greg Garber

LONDON -- OK, Melissa, I am the first to admit that Marion Bartoli does not possess anything approaching the Beautiful Game. (No, that two-handed forehand is not easy to watch.)

She does not move with exceptional grace around the court. Nor does she do much of anything easily. But, here at Wimbledon, she is in sync with the lush lawns. Something about this place speaks to her.

Bartoli has been to two Grand Slam singles finals -- both of them at the All England Club.

Her coach, Amelie Mauresmo, whose free-flowing game was lovely to behold, won the title here at Wimbledon in 2006. Im guessing she can get Bartoli across the finish line on Saturday against Sabine Lisicki.

I am aware that history does not support this notion.

Bartoli has played the German four times and lost three. But it could have been worse, much worse, because thats better than her 0-7 record against Agnieszka Radwanska.

Against Flipkens, Bartoli came out flying and never stopped. She lost all of three games in 62 minutes. On the last point of the first set, Flipkens didnt even know the set was over.

Bartoli has a huge advantage over Lisicki. She has been here before. Six years ago, she took down Serena Williams in the quarterfinals and Justine Henin in the semifinals, with both matches going three sets. She lost to Venus Williams in the final, but the experience gained is invaluable. Lisicki is into her first major final, and Im betting the nerves will be in play.

And Lisicki doesnt have Mauresmo. Bartoli says she keeps her loose. This will prove to be the deal-maker.

It says here, Melissa, that Bartoli will win this championship on Saturday afternoon.

Lisicki has too much firepower

Isaacson By Melissa Isaacson

LONDON -- Greg, come on.

We all like Marion Bartoli's spunk, her aggressiveness, her crush on Pierce Brosnan. But a Grand Slam champion that does not make.

Sabine Lisicki has played Bartoli four times and beaten her on three of those occasions. Why? Because Lisicki, like Serena Williams (who, let us not forget, Lisicki sent home in the fourth round) has an overpowering serve and a forehand that was timed at 89 mph in the third set of her semifinal victory over Agnieszka Radwanska.

Sure, Lisicki has to overcome the nerves, which seemed to lead to the temporary meltdown she exhibited in the second set against Radwanska, but all she has to do to get over it is unleash that 125 mph serve of hers and all is well in Germany.

Something about this place may speak to Bartoli, but it seems to be a religion for Lisicki, who has just the game for Centre Court and appears to be destined to follow Steffi Graf, the last German to win the women's title when she defeated Lindsay Davenport in 1999.

If that's not good enough, she has a better backstory. After Lisicki's semifinal victory, she said she was inspired by biographies of men overcoming physical hardship, much like Lisicki, the No. 23 seed here, did after a serious ankle injury in 2010 required five months of rehab and caused her ranking to sink to 218th from 23rd less than a year later.

One of those men was quarterback Drew Brees. Nobody believed he could come back, she said, after he has torn everything there was in the shoulder and he still came back and was one of the best, so ... 

Come on, how do you argue with that?