Former Wimbledon finalist Sabine Lisicki celebrated a victory in her tennis comeback after a break of almost one and a half years.

The 32-year-old beat Japan’s Ena Shibahara 6-3, 6-4 in qualifying at the ITF tournament in Bonita Springs, USA, on Monday (local time). She needs one more win to reach the main draw.

Lisicki had suffered a serious cruciate ligament injury in her knee in November 2020 and struggled for a long time to return. There is currently no position for the Berliner in the world rankings; in 2013 she reached the final of the grass-court classic at Wimbledon.

Lisicki was emotionally delighted with her success. “For me, just being on the court and playing a full match was a success,” she told Bild. “And that after such a serious knee operation, where everything was broken that could be broken.”