Nothing To Sneeze At

It’s like a pastry chef who can’t enjoy icing or a sommelier who can’t drink white wine.

Sabine Lisicki, the young lady who knocked off No. 1 seed Serena Williams in the shocker of the most unpredictable Wimbledon in recent memory, has an unusual secret that almost seems comical at first blush.

She’s allergic to grass. Really.

In a 2012 interview with The Tennis Space, Lisicki says she used to hate playing on her most successful surface.

“I have strong grass allergies and everything was against me liking grass, but at some point I just turned it around and I love it now,” the 23rd seed said about playing at the All-England Club.

The three main surfaces in tennis are hard court, clay and grass. They play the third major of the season on grass courts. So, as Lisicki sneezes and wheezes past opponents, she’s now within two victories of something better than a Zyrtec.

The 23-year-old German still waits for her breakout tournament. She’s won three WTA tour events, but never made the final round of a major in singles play. Regardless of the enormity of the moment, Lisicki’s cool with taking it one set at a time.

“Match by match,” she said after knocking off Kaia Kanepi on Tuesday. “Did that from the start and will continue to do that.”

Two more wins and she’s the Wimbledon champ. That’s nothing to sneeze at in the tennis world.


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