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Australian Open 2017: Croatian Mirjana Lučić-Baroni Storms into Semi-Final

Mirjana Lučić-Baroni (AP)

Croatian tennis player Mirjana Lučić-Baroni has continued her fairytale run at the 2017 Australian Open with a three-set win over fifth-seeded Karolina Pliskova on Wednesday in Melbourne.

The 34-year-old, who was last in a Grand Slam quarter-final 18 years ago, produced a powerful display on Rod Laver Arena in the Melbourne afternoon heat to win 6-4 3-6 6-4.

After trading breaks early in the opening set, the Croatian would break Pliskova in the 10th game to take the first set 6-4.

Lučić-Baroni, who has enjoyed one of the most remarkable renaissances in tennis, started the second set as she finished the first by breaking her Czech opponent in her first service game. Pliskova would come back however and get three breaks herself to win the second set 6-3.

The powerful Croatian, who is coached by Croatian Marin Bradarić, was not scared to go for her shots throughout the match, and more often than not it would pay dividends.

Lučić-Baroni, whose world ranking of 79 is expected to take a big jump after the tournament, regained her composure after taking a lengthy injury break at 4-4 to come back and win the deciding set 6-4 after the pair traded breaks back and forth.

Earlier in the tournament she knocked out number 3 seed Agnieszka Radwanska.

With Martina Hingis at the Australian Open in 1998.

Lučić-Baroni made her Grand Slam debut as a 15-year-old at the US Open nearly 20 years ago. She won the Australian Open doubles title with Martina Hingis in 1998.

She now faces Serena Williams in the semi-final.


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