Lučić-Baroni at the 2015 Wimbledon Championships
|Full name||Mirjana Lučić-Baroni|
|Residence||Sarasota, United States|
9 March 1982 |
Dortmund, West Germany
|Height||1.81 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|Turned pro||26 April 1997|
|Plays||Right-handed (two-handed backhand)|
|Career titles||3 WTA, 4 ITF|
|Highest ranking||32 (11 May 1998)|
|Current ranking||68 (12 October 2015)|
|Grand Slam Singles results|
|Australian Open||2R (1998)|
|French Open||3R (2001, 2015)|
|US Open||4R (2014)|
|Career titles||3 WTA, 3 ITF|
|Highest ranking||19 (26 October 1998)|
|Current ranking||76 (15 September 2014)|
|Grand Slam Doubles results|
|Australian Open||W (1998)|
|French Open||3R (2013)|
|US Open||3R (2013)|
|Last updated on: 15 September 2014.|
Mirjana Lučić-Baroni (née Lučić; born 9 March 1982) is a professional Croatian tennis player. She enjoyed a promising career on the WTA Tour in the late 1990s, during which she set several "youngest-ever" records, won the Grand Slam women's doubles title at the Australian Open in 1998 when she was only 15 years old, partnered by Martina Hingis; won the first ever professional tournament she entered, the 1997 Croatian Bol Ladies Open, and defended it the following year at age 16, making her the youngest player in history to successfully defend a title. She reached the semifinals of Wimbledon in 1999, beating World No. 4 Monica Seles en route. Following a series of personal problems from 2000 onwards, she faded from the scene.
After toiling through the ITF circuit through much of the next decade, Lučić re-emerged as a WTA regular following the 2010 season. She married Daniele Baroni on 15 November 2011. In September 2014 she upset World No. 2 Simona Halep in the third round of the US Open. The following week she beat Venus Williams at the Tournoi de Québec singles final to claim the title (also winning the doubles event), which set the record for the longest gap between titles in the Open Era. At the 2015 French Open's 2nd round, Lučić-Baroni upset Halep once again, who was the previous year's finalist and ranked No. 3, by a score of 7-5 6-1.
- 1 Biography
- 2 Grand Slam finals
- 3 WTA finals
- 4 ITF Circuit finals
- 5 Singles performance timeline
- 6 Doubles performance timeline
- 7 Top 10 wins per season
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Early life and junior success
Lučić began playing tennis at age four by hiding in the car when her older sister went to tennis classes and then sneaking into the lessons herself. As a junior player, she won the girls' singles title at the US Open in 1996, and the girls' singles and doubles crowns at the Australian Open in 1997, becoming only the third player in the Open Era to win two junior Grand Slam singles titles by the age of 14 (the others being Martina Hingis and Jennifer Capriati).
1997–98: Grand Slam title
Lučić turned professional in April 1997 at the age of 15. One week after turning pro, she won the very first WTA Tour event she played in at Bol. She then reached the final of her second career event in Strasbourg, where she lost to Steffi Graf.
In 1998, playing in her very first tour doubles event, Lučić became the youngest player in history to win a title at the Australian Open at the age of 15 years, 10 months and 21 days, when she and Hingis won the women's doubles title. The win made Lučić the first player to win both the very first singles and doubles events they had ever played in on the WTA Tour. And she went on to win the second doubles event of her career when she partnered with Hingis to win the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo. Later that year, Lučić defended her singles title at Bol, becoming the youngest player ever to defend a tour title at age 16 years, 1 month and 24 days. She also finished runner-up in the 1998 mixed doubles event at Wimbledon, partnering with Mahesh Bhupathi.
1999: Wimbledon semifinal, then personal problems
In 1999, Lučić achieved her career-best Grand Slam singles performance when she reached the semifinals at Wimbledon, before losing in three sets to Graf. In the third round, she stunned world no. 4 and nine-time Grand Slam champion Monica Seles. She also beat 1998 Wimbledon finalist Nathalie Tauziat in the quarterfinals after Tauziat served for the match twice in the third set.
After 1999, Lučić suffered a series of personal and financial problems and failed to make any further significant impact on the tour. She said that she had been abused by her father, Marinko, from early childhood. She continued to compete until the 2003 US Open, then proceeded to take an extended hiatus from competition; her career-high world rankings were world number 32 in singles and world number 19 in doubles (both achieved in 1998). She played only two tournaments in the 2004, 2005, and 2006 seasons combined.
2007–08: Return to tour
Mirjana Lučić gave an interview in the  New York Daily News in April 2006 explaining why she stopped playing and describing her life with an abusive father, vowing that would not stop her and she would continue to fight to the end. She had been training with a new coach, Ivan Beros, and said she was fit and ready to continue tennis.
As a wildcard in the qualifying draw of the Cellular South Cup in Memphis in February, Lučić won one match (defeating Melanie Oudin) before losing in the second round to Natalie Grandin. She was also awarded a wild card to the 2007 Pacific Life Open at Indian Wells in March, where she again won her first match before losing in the second round.
She also received a wild card to the Tiro A Volo tournament in Rome, where she lost in the first round to Karin Knapp. That was her third tournament within the previous 12 months, and she received her first WTA ranking (number 524) since her return to the professional tour.
Even though she lost the first round to Knapp in the $100,000 Rome Challenger, she received a qualifying wildcard for the 1.3 million dollar tournament in May at the same city and beat the 65th-ranked player in the world, Elena Vesnina. She then went on to lose to Catalina Castaño in the second round. Her ranking jumped to 444 with the result.
Lučić played a mixture of ITF and WTA qualifiers in 2008, her best result reaching the quarterfinals in Florence in May. In September 2008 Mirjana started working with her new coach Alberto Gutierrez, planning to play a full schedule the following year.
Lučić then continued to toil on the ITF challenger circuit for several years prior to mounting somewhat of a comeback in the 2010 season. During that year, Lučić won her first title in 12 years at a $25,000 ITF event in Jackson, Florida on 11 April. Shortly after, Lučić qualified for the WTA event in Birmingham, going on to win her first main draw match since 2007 Indian Wells, this time over Colombian Mariana Duque. She continued her good form as she defeated fellow Croatian player Karolina Šprem in the second round. She was beaten by top 20 player Aravane Rezaï of France in the third round. Lučić then competed in the Wimbledon Qualifying tournament in Roehampton. She won her first two rounds and beat Michaëlla Krajicek in the third round to qualify for the main draw of Wimbledon, her first Grand Slam since the 2002 US Open. After a good showing, Lučić fell to 14th seed Victoria Azarenka in the first round on Centre Court.
After Wimbledon, Lučić moved onto the European summer clay court events. She failed to qualify for the 2010 Swedish Open in Bastad but the following week came through three rounds of qualifying at the 2010 Palermo event, and won her first round match, defeating Pauline Parmentier 7–5, 0–6, 7–6 recovering from a 0–4 third set deficit and saving 3 match points. She then fell to third seed Sara Errani in the second round recovering a 2–4 deficit to force a tie-break before falling 0–6, 6–7. Her ranking rose to 151, the highest of her comeback so far.
Following Palermo, Lučić returned to the United States for the summer hard court season. Her first event was the $700,000 Premier event in Stanford, the Bank of the West Classic. Seeded fifth in the qualifying draw, Lučić defeated both Heidi El Tabakh and Tamaryn Hendler in straight sets before repeating her Wimbledon victory over Michaëlla Krajicek with a straight-sets win to qualify for the main draw where she lost to Russian Maria Kirilenko.
In the 2010 US Open, after winning three qualifying matches to enter the main draw, she beat Alicia Molik to set up a second round clash with number four seed Jelena Janković. Lučić lost in three sets. Even with this defeat, this was her best performance in a Grand Slam for nearly a decade.
Lučić started out the 2011 season poorly with a string of early losses on both the WTA and ITF circuits early in the year. Her fortunes began to change during the clay court season where Lučić reached her first WTA Tour quarterfinal in over 10 years at the 2011 Strasbourg event, losing to Anabel Medina Garrigues.
Lučić-Baroni began the 2012 season losing in qualifying at Brisbane and Sydney in January. She also failed to qualify for the 2012 Australian Open. She struggled to find her form, losing early at the tournaments in Midland and Memphis, as well as the Premier line-up events of Indian Wells, Miami and Charleston. She also lost in the first round at Roland Garros to Svetlana Kuznetsova.
Lučić-Baroni had a breakthrough run at Wimbledon, reaching the third round as a qualifier. She stunned ninth seed Marion Bartoli en route to the second round. However, her run was ended by Roberta Vinci in a tight match.
At the 2014 Wimbledon Championships, Lučić-Baroni faced former number one Victoria Azarenka in the first round, but lost to the Belarusian in straight sets, after having set points in the second set.
A few weeks later, a resurgent Lučić-Baroni made major waves at the 2014 US Open. She defeated No. 25 seed Garbiñe Muguruza in the first round, 6–3, 7–6(7–4), and Shahar Peer in the second round, 6–7(8–10), 6–3, 6–2, to gain a berth in the third round for the first time since 1998. She then pulled off a huge upset, stunning second seed Simona Halep in straight sets, 7–6(8–6), 6–2, to win a spot in the Round of 16—the best result of her career at this tournament, and her best showing at a Grand Slam since reaching the semifinals at Wimbledon in 1999. She went on to lose this round to 13th seed Italian Sara Errani in three sets 3–6, 6–2, 0–6.
However, only two weeks later she entered the Quebec City event and reached the singles final, where she pulled off another major upset by beating Venus Williams 6–4, 6–3 on 14 September, setting a record for the longest gap between titles in WTA history, as her previous win happened 16 years and four months earlier at the 1998 Croatian Bol Ladies Open. In addition, paired with Czech player Lucie Hradecká, she won the doubles final of the tournament on the same day.
Grand Slam finals
Women's doubles (1–0)
|Winner||1998||Australian Open||Hard||Martina Hingis||
|6–4, 2–6, 6–3|
Mixed doubles (0–1)
Singles: 4 (3 titles, 1 runner-up)
|Outcome||No.||Date||Tournament||Surface||Opponent in final||Score in final|
|Winner||1.||4 May 1997||Croatian Bol Ladies Open, Bol, Croatia||Clay||Corina Morariu||7–5, 6–7(4–7), 7–6(7–5)|
|Runner-up||1.||24 May 1997||Internationaux de Strasbourg, Strasbourg, France||Clay||Steffi Graf||2–6, 5–7|
|Winner||2.||3 May 1998||Croatian Bol Ladies Open, Bol, Croatia||Clay||Corina Morariu||6–4, 6–2|
|Winner||3.||14 September 2014||Coupe Banque Nationale, Quebec City, Canada||Carpet (i)||Venus Williams||6–4, 6–3|
Doubles: 4 (3 titles, 1 runner-up)
|Outcome||No.||Date||Tournament||Surface||Partner||Opponents in final||Score in final|
|Winner||1.||1 February 1998||Australian Open, Melbourne, Australia||Hard||Martina Hingis||
|6–4, 2–6, 6–3|
|Winner||2.||8 February 1998||Toray Pan Pacific Open, Tokyo, Japan||Carpet (i)||Martina Hingis||
|Runner-up||1.||2 May 1998||Croatian Bol Ladies Open, Bol, Croatia||Clay||Joannette Kruger||
|Winner||3.||14 September 2014||Coupe Banque Nationale, Quebec City, Canada||Carpet (i)||Lucie Hradecká||
ITF Circuit finals
Singles: 7 (4–3)
|Runner-up||1.||15 December 1996||Salzburg, Austria||Carpet (i)||Chanda Rubin||1–6, 2–6|
|Runner-up||2.||22 June 1997||Marseille, France||Clay||Amelie Cocheteux||6–4, 5–7, 4–6|
|Winner||1.||3 August 1997||Makarska, Croatia||Clay||Sandra Dopfer||6–1, 6–4|
|Runner-up||3.||1 November 2009||Bayamon, Puerto Rico||Hard||Rossana de los Ríos||3–6, 4–6|
|Winner||2.||11 April 2010||Jackson, MS, United States||Clay||Jamie Hampton||7–5, 6–3|
|Winner||3.||26 September 2010||Albuquerque, NM, United States||Hard||Lindsay Lee-Waters||6–1, 6–4|
|Winner||4.||13 October 2013||Joué-lès-Tours, France||Hard (i)||An-Sophie Mestach||6–4, 6–2|
Doubles: 3 (3–0)
|Winner||1.||15 December 1996||Salzburg, Austria||Carpet (i)||Chanda Rubin||
|Winner||2.||4 November 2012||New Braunfels, United States||Hard||Elena Bovina||
|6–3, 4–6, [10–8]|
|Winner||3.||10 February 2013||Midland, United States||Hard (i)||Melinda Czink||
|5–7, 6–4, [10–7]|
Singles performance timeline
|Grand Slam tournaments|
Doubles performance timeline
|Grand Slam tournaments|
Top 10 wins per season
|1.||Amanda Coetzer||No. 10||Bol, Croatia||Clay||Semifinals||6–4, 6–3|
|2.||Mary Pierce||No. 6||Rome, Italy||Clay||3rd Round||7–5, 6–4|
|3.||Monica Seles||No. 4||Wimbledon, London, England||Grass||3rd Round||7–6(7–4), 7–6(7–4)|
|4.||Nathalie Tauziat||No. 8||Wimbledon, London, England||Grass||Quarterfinals||4–6, 6–4, 7–5|
|5.||Marion Bartoli||No. 9||Wimbledon, London, England||Grass||2nd Round||6–4, 6–3|
|6.||Simona Halep||No. 2||New York, US||Hard||3rd Round||7–6(8–6), 6–2|
|7.||Simona Halep||No. 3||Paris, France||Clay||2nd Round||7–5, 6–1|
|8.||Karolína Plíšková||No. 8||Rogers Cup, Toronto, Canada||Hard||1st Round||3–6, 7–6(7–5), 6–2|
WTA Comeback Player of the Year