The Asian Age
New York, Sept. 1: Never mind the blisters and sore muscles and the reams of physio’s tape, Mirjana LucicBaroni found her fourth- round US Open run more exciting than any of her prior precocious exploits.
The 32- year- old Croatian powered through qualifying then upset world number two Simona Halep en route to the last 16, where she fell to Italian Sara Errani. It seems a small achievement, compared to winning a title in her first pro event at the age of 15, or teaming with Martina Hingis at the same age to win the 1998 Australian Open women’s doubles.
In 1999, at 17, she went to the Wimbledon semifinals where it took Steffi Graf to beat her.
“I was used to coming from juniors and winning, so it really wasn’t a big deal,” she said. “It was sort of a natural progression as far as I was concerned.
“But now I am superexcited. Now it feels sort of like the first LucicBaroni’s burgeoning career was sidetracked by the trauma of a physically abusive father, financial constraints and injury.
She wouldn’t call her six straight victories at Flushing Meadows — in qualifiers and main draw matches — a new start to her career, since she’s been toiling since 2007 to reestablish herself on tour. But it’s certainly a marker of how far she’s come, even if at 32 it comes with a physical price.