Coupe Banque Nationale, Canada
Women’s Final: [CR19] Venus Williams (USA) vs. [CR80] Mirjana Lucic-Baroni (CRO)
Venus has had her way with Lucic-Baroni in their two previous matches and she hoped that the trend would continue today. Unfortunately, that was not the case. Despite getting a break in both sets, Venus could not hold on to her own serve and would lose the final 6-4, 6-3.
It was a matter of Lucic-Baroni playing consistently better and smarter tennis. Lucic-Baroni’s serves were harder and more accurate. She also kept Venus pinned beyond the baseline by hitting her groundstrokes flatter and deeper in the back court. Venus was undone by her poor serving and too many unforced errors off the ground. The errors were caused by her moving too slow to get into position to execute her shots. In addition, she just appeared unprepared for the pace of Lucic-Baroni’s shots and was caught flat-footed on too many occasions.
Lucic-Baroni has spoken about the hard work she has done to get back into a position to be a force on the tour and she proved that today. She may have started off shaky, but that was expected given the magnitude of the occasion. Although she wobbled a little at the end, it was a brief lapse in concentration and she quickly regrouped and completed the upset. Venus will have to determine why she lost this match; however, she appeared to have been distracted.
Congratulations to Lucic-Baroni, this title has been a while in the making.