Mirjana Lucic-Baroni Turns Back The Clock

AUSTRALIAN OPEN, Melbourne

[5] Karolina Pliskova (CZE) vs. [79] Mirjana Lucic-Baroni (CRO)

Lucic-Baroni upsets Pliskova 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 to get to her second semifinal of a Major.  En route to the semifinals, she defeated the number three seed, Agnieszka Radwanska, in straight sets; she has played three-three set matches; and despite her age, she continued to play doubles as well, while many may have thought it wiser to withdraw from doubles given how well she was doing in singles. Lucic-Baroni has always had the game to frustrate anyone.  She serves big and hits her groundstrokes just as hard as any of the top players. On hard court, Pliskova had the decided advantage having beaten her three out of the four times they’ve played on hard court; however, their last three matches were a forewarning that this quarterfinal was also going to be a battle.

Lucic-Baroni‚Äôs story is amazing.  I remember when she burst on the scene and reached the semifinals at Wimbledon in 1999.  After that tournament everyone expected great things from her.  Unfortunately there was a lot of turmoil in her family life which eventually overflowed into her professional life and negatively impacted her game.  She grew so distraught that she walked away from tennis for about six years.  34 years old now and almost eighteen years since her first semifinals appearance in a Major, she is back in the semifinals of a Major.  She is at peace now and it is showing in her performance on court.  Sadly, she has suffered through a lot of physical injuries in addition to the emotional ones and those have also taken a toll; yet, she has rediscovered her love of tennis and that keeps her going along with her faith and trust in God.

 

SOURCE OF IMAGES: Bing search.

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