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Tennis: Defiant Lisicki revels in 'drama queen' role

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Wimbledon finalist Sabine Lisicki insisted on Friday that she will not turn off the waterworks despite locker room resentment over the German's reputation as a drama queen.

The permanently smiling German, who tackles France's Marion Bartoli in Saturday's championship match, has won an army of British fans with her emotional run to a maiden Grand Slam final.

But 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.

After Thursday's semi-final, Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska only managed a cool, abrupt handshake with Lisicki with half her back turned after the German had theatrically collapsed to the Centre Court turf in celebration.

"Should I just be there and dance? What could I do?," said Radwanska

"I didn't feel like that (warmly congratulating her opponent) at that point."

But Lisicki hit back on Friday.

"That's just myself. I enjoy myself out there. Why shouldn't I show it?," she said.

"I'm an emotional person. It helps me stay relaxed and to enjoy the game and play my best tennis. I won't change anything."

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

Graf sent her a good-luck message before the semi-final, while three-time champion Boris Becker has also been passing on tips.

"I have just spoken to Boris. I asked him a couple of questions, how it was for him. He won the first final he was in so that's pretty good," she added.

Lisicki also said that her hay fever is now under control despite the grass pollen which usually makes her trips to Wimbledon a private misery.

"I have learnt how to cope with it. When I was first here, maybe five years ago, I was really struggling with my allergies. But now I know what to do, what to take to keep those allergies down. I'm on medication," she said.

If she wins on Saturday, she said she will dedicate the trophy to her mother and father, Richard and Elisabeth.

"My parents did everything possible so I could play tennis, that's what I appreciate so much. My dad worked from eight in the morning until nine in the evening to make it all possible," she explained.

"We had to cancel tournaments because we couldn't afford to go there. So to get to this point means a lot to us."

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130705/tennis-defiant-lisicki-revels-drama-queen-role