Sabine Lisicki battled her way through to the final at Wimbledon this summer...
Sabine Lisicki battled her way through to the final at Wimbledon this summer...

Lisicki: "Bayern have to be the odds-on favourites"

Munich - Having taken a five-week break on the back of her run to the final of Wimbledon, Sabine Lisicki returned to the tennis court this week with a three-set first round loss to Jelena Jankovic at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati.

After next week's tournament in New Haven, it will be all systems go for the current world no. 18 at the US Open, which gets underway on 26 August. Ahead of all that, however, Lisicki took time out to speak with about her interest in football, the Bundesliga and one team in particular, as well as her own prospects and ambitions. Sabine Lisicki, with a bit of distance now, what do you feel when you think back to Wimbledon?

Sabine Lisicki: It was just an incredible tournament, full of memories that will last a lifetime. It was really great to see German tennis back in the spotlight again. A lot of German sports stars had their fingers crossed for you in the final, including footballers like FC Bayern Munich skipper . How does it feel to have that kind of support from fellow athletes in different sports?

Lisicki: It's fantastic to be supported like that by other sportspeople, and especially by football stars. I've a lot of respect for their achievements and I'm really happy to have them in my corner like that. How closely do you follow German football?

Lisicki: The Champions League final was compulsory viewing, and that was great. The standard of football from both teams was very impressive. Obviously, it would have been even better to have been there at the stadium for it. I'm a passionate follower of Germany at the World Cup and the Euros as well. Who's your favourite Bundesliga club?

Lisicki: Bayern Munich. The best thing of all, I thought, was the way they came back even stronger after losing the Champions League final the year before. They used that experience to help them win the title second time around. What do you make of all the hype surrounding new coach Pep Guardiola and FC Bayern at the moment?

Lisicki: He achieved a lot with FC Barcelona and seems to be a great coach. But I think he's got a hard act to follow, with Bayern having won the treble under Jupp Heynckes last season. What do you think the current season has in store - will Bayern march through to another Bundesliga title?

Lisicki: Bayern certainly have to be the odds-on favourites again. But Dortmund have shown already in the Supercup that they'll be doing everything in their power to make life tough for the champions. And some other team might spring a surprise as well, that would be interesting. With your connection to your home town Berlin, what about Hertha being back in the top flight?

Lisicki: I'm really happy they're back in the Bundesliga. A great city like that really needs a team in the top flight. Hopefully Hertha can be very successful this season. What childhood memories of the Bundesliga do you have?

Lisicki: I was a very active child and always played outdoors, so I hardly ever watched television. Do you have a favourite player?

Lisicki: There are so many really good players, it's difficult to pick one out. But I have to say that Manuel Neuer's absolutely top-class, both for FC Bayern and for Germany. Back to tennis, finally. What's next on the cards?

Lisicki: At the moment I'm training in the United States, getting acclimatised and playing a couple of warm-up tournaments to get in good shape for the US Open. My next target is to make the top ten!

Interview: Markus Hoffmann