Lučić-Baroni Pushes on to Fourth Round of Australian Open

Total Croatia News

Croatian tennis player Mirjana Lučić-Baroni made it for the first time to the fourth round at the Australian Open, after defeating Greek Maria Sakkari with 3-6, 6-2, 6-3, while Ivo Karlović was stopped by the 11th ranked Belgian David Goffin with 6-3, 6-2, 6-4

After ending her streak of seven consecutive defeats in the first round of the Australian Open, 34-year-old Mirjana Lučić-Baroni arrived at the her third singles win at Melbourne Park outplaying the 94th ranked player, Greek Maria Sakkari after 108 minutes of play, Jutarnji List reported on January 21, 2017.

The Greek started the match better, using the fact her counterpart was not in ideal physical condition, with bandages around her shin and upper thigh on the left leg. Neither that, nor the loss of the first set managed to stop Lučić-Baroni from arriving at her best result at the Australian Open and the best result at Grand Slam tournaments since the US Open in 2014, where she also made it to the fourth round.

Mirjana left the Greek without a break chance in the second set, coming back from a lost service at the beginning of the third with a line of four games from which the 21-year-old Sakkari did not recover. At the end Mirjana dropped her racquet in disbelief.

This made Lučić-Baroni historically the third Croatian tennis player to make it to the second week of the Australian Open. The first was Iva Majoli in 1996 who made it to the quarter-finals, then Karolina Šprem in 2005 who was stopped in the fourth round.

To match the best achievement of Iva Majoli at Melbourne Park, Mirjana will have to defeat another tournament sensation, 21-year-old American Jennifer Brady, ranked 116th, against whom she has never played. Brady’s debut at Grand Slam tournaments was last year with a defeat in the first round of the US Open.

Unfortunately, Ivo Karlović did not manage to equal his best placement in Melbourne Park. He came across a spirited Belgian David Goffin, whose hits completely disarmed the 37-year-old Croatian, so the 11th ranked won with 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 in 88 minutes.

How well Goffin played is seen in the fact that he only made five unforced errors and broke Karlović’s serve four times, even though the Croat made 25 aces and hit 74% of first serves. But Goffin’s returns brought him to only 72% of first serve realisation and only 37% of points on the second service. On the other hand, Karlović never created a chance to endanger Goffin’s first serve.


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