Vet­eran Mir­jana stuns Ag­nieszka

New Straits Times - - Sport -

MI­AMI: Fifth-seed Ag­nieszka Rad­wan­ska had her bid to re­peat her 2012 suc­cess at the Mi­ami Open ended by Croa­t­ian vet­eran Mir­jana Lu­cic-Ba­roni at Cran­don Park on Satur­day.

Mir­jana is en­joy­ing an un­ex­pected up­turn in her for­tunes at the age of 35 and in Jan­uary reached the semi-fi­nal of the Aus­tralian Open – 18 years after her pre­vi­ous ap­pear­ance in the last four of a slam, in 1999 at Wim­ble­don.

The Croat was a teenage prodigy who ap­peared to have dis­ap­peared from the top tier of the sport but has fought her way back im­pres­sively in re­cent years and is now ranked 29th in the world.

The 6-0, 6-3 score­line em­pha­sised her dom­i­nance over her Pol­ish op­po­nent on Satur­day, as Ag­nieszka ac­knowl­edged.

“She was play­ing un­be­liev­able ten­nis to­day. She was very solid from the be­gin­ning, very ag­gres­sive, hit­ting ev­ery­thing with un­be­liev­able speed. I couldn't do much,” she said.

“The first set went so quickly, and in the sec­ond set I had chances, but I didn’t come back and un­for­tu­nately I missed the chance to stay in the match. She was just too good to­day.”

Spain’s sixth seeded Gar­bine Mugu­ruza is do­ing it the hard way in Florida this week.

After bat­tling back to beat Amer­i­can Christina McHale in three, rain in­ter­rupted, sets on Fri­day, the Cara­cas born Gar­bine had to pull out the stops again to deal with China’s Zhang Shuai 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 in just over two hours.

“It’s very tough, es­pe­cially the first round with play­ers that you don’t maybe play a lot. They are very good play­ers as well. The dif­fer­ence is not that big. They play very well and you are in danger all the time,” said Gar­bine.

“I’m just go­ing through th­ese sit­u­a­tions with the best at­ti­tude pos­si­ble, be­ing hum­ble, try­ing to ac­cept it, and find my way,” she said.

The Spa­niard will face Caro­line Woz­ni­acki , who beat Ro­ma­nian So­rana Cirstea 6-4, 6-2, next. AFP

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