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Australian Open: After escaping domestic violence, Lucic-Baroni sobs through interview

26 January 2017, 12:32 | Oscar Perry

Sport Image Dita Alangkara AP Press Association Images

Lucic Baroni Croatia Australian Open

Pliskova, runner-up at last year's US Open, was leading 4-3 in the final set of their quarter-final when Lucic-Baroni took a medical time-out for treatment on her right leg, which was heavily strapped. Pliskova would come back however and get three breaks herself to win the second set 6-3.

A career undone by problems on and off the court, veteran Lucic-Baroni continued her stunning renaissance at Melbourne Park with a 6-4 3-6 6-4 triumph on Wednesday.

"I know this means a lot to every player to reach the semi finals". I will never ever ever forget this day.

Those bare facts hardly start to tell the story of a woman who as a 17-year-old Wimbledon semi-finalist in 1999 was hailed as one of the game's most exciting prospects.

Lucic Baroni fled to the U.S. after she said she was abused by her father, stopped playing for a while due to financial issues and was sued by the management company at one time so keen to sign her, IMG.

"No matter what happens, somebody 34 or older will be in the final, " the 22-time major victor said after her 6-2, 6-3 win over Johanna Konta.

"I haven't had a day off in weeks".

But clearly Serena has a more important job to do in Melbourne by trying to add to her haul of 22 Grand Slam singles crowns, so there should not be much room for sympathy down under.


But a medical timeout from Lucic-Baroni swung the momentum back in her favour as she blitzed Pliskova to love in consecutive games before sealing a spot in the final four when the latter missed a return.

Regarding the accusation that her father and his nephew had stolen her money, her father responded that his nephew, Milan Lucic, was a wealthy businessman who "had sponsored Mirjana and supported the rest of her family, paying their living costs and making repairs to their home in Makarska while she trained and traveled on the junior circuit", the New York Times reported in 1998. "Nobody really knew me any more and it was very hard, playing on the very last court, sometimes playing two matches a day, without umpires", she recalled.

Konta rallied from 0-40 to hold, however, and then broke Williams to go 2-1 up when the six-times champion overcooked a crosscourt forehand.

"We played over a decade ago, almost two decades ago". "I'm still in the tournament, and I want to remain kind of calm and focused and give another really good performance tomorrow".

Serena Williams and Lucic-Baroni will play the second of the semifinals on Thursday, following Venus Williams against her fellow American CoCo Vandeweghe, who is 25.

Wednesday's victory, so long after her last appearance in a major tournament semi-final, has been described as a "fairytale" by Charlie Eccleshare of the Telegraph.

"I think Mirjana was the better player". She now stands one win away from the final.



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