While we are still missing that one fantastic match from this year’s Australian Open, the storylines have been immense… MIRJANA LUCIC BARONI.
At the age of 34, Lucic-Baroni is into her second Slam semi-final, almost 18 years after her first one back in 1999 at Wimbledon. Lucic-Baroni scored her second top ten win of the week on Wednesday, fighting through injury to take out many people’s tip for the title, Karolina Pliskova in the quarter-finals, 6-4 3-6 6-4.
I think this might be my favourite ever post-match interview! Incredibly touching words from Mirjana, as well as a couple of classic one-liners.
I was so excited about the second semi-final between Serena Williams and Johanna Konta but it didn’t deliver in terms of a contest. I decided not to set an alarm because I was feeling rough but I woke up naturally at 2am so ended up watching! Williams produced a sensational display to snap Konta’s nine match winning streak with a commanding 6-2 6-3 victory.
I was encouraged by Konta’s start as she chalked up an early break point on William’s serve but the world number two soon sped away, playing a knock-out first set. Williams’s first serve percentage was a little shaky, but when she got the serve in, it was always well placed – the serve out wide was so effective. Williams’s groundstrokes were fantastic and her footwork was sharp throughout the entire match. In the first set, I felt that Konta gave Williams too many angles to work with which she fully exploited.
Konta had an impressive hold at the start of the second set from *0-40, which signaled a brief change in momentum. The Brit finally began to take advantage of Williams’s low first serve percentage with more meaningful returns in court. Konta was in the ascendancy up 3-1* 15-0* in the second set but Williams soon found more rhythm on her serve as she reeled off the last five games of the match in quick succession. I felt that Konta went away fast at the end of the match with a few too many unforced errors and her serve not delivering. The body serve was quite successful but Williams was just so aggressive and accurate on return.
This was a classic case of Williams raising her game for the calibre of opponent – she stepped it up in a huge way, looking like a completely different player compared to the one that faced Strycova. I had been won over by Konta’s recent form but a revved-up Williams, who was fully aware of the challenge that Konta presented, was just too good.
Hats off to Serena…
Here is Serena’s post-match interview where she talked about playing Lucic-Baroni in the semi-finals.
Love this pic!
There were some interesting quotes from Jo in press.
And here’s the video.
The women’s doubles final is all set – the number two seeds, Lucie Safarova and Bethanie Mattek-Sands will play the number 12 seeds, Andrea Hlavackova and Peng Shuai.
I’m not at all surprised to see Peng and Hlavackova in the final and fully expect them to go onto have a tremendous year together. Check out their Twitter Blue Room feature from yesterday where their teamwork was evident!
Sooo… the women’s semi-finals are up on Thursday starting at not before 2pm local time (3am UK time). My aim is to try and get up for the end of the first semi-final. I am so relieved this is the last night of deprived sleep as these two weeks have been brutal 😂. I’ve tried to get more sleep this week but I just keep waking up in the middle of the night, desperate to know the results!
Firstly, Venus Williams will take on CoCo Vandeweghe. Both players have proved me wrong on multiple occasions this week and i’m really struggling to pick a winner. If CoCo maintains her recent form, I have no doubt she takes this. However, I think Venus is going to battle like her life depends on it and being such a legend, might give CoCo something different to think about. Chuck in that this is a new situation for Vandeweghe and it’s a really interesting match-up. Vandeweghe’s game is dynamite when on but i’m still wary when it goes off radar and that has still happened at times even this year such in Sydney.
The second semi-final will see Serena Williams and Mirjana Lucic-Baroni resume their match-up, almost 19 years since the last. Serena leads it 2-0 with their most recent encounter at Wimbledon, 6-3 6-0 in 1998… I love using the word recent haha! I underestimated Lucic-Baroni big time in the quarter-finals but she faces an uphill struggle with the leg injury. While I don’t think Serena will be as prepared as she was for Konta’s charge, I doubt she will underestimate Lucic-Baroni and the weapons she possesses. I’m expecting an awesome handshake at the end of this one!
And finally, off-topic from the Australian Open, this makes me very happy.
6 thoughts on “Wednesday’s Set Points, Australian Open 2017 Day 10: Mirjana’s moment, Serena soars into the semis”
MLB’s speech didn’t quite top Vinci’s speech from the Serena match a couple years ago, but it was great to see her win and that’s coming from one of Pliskova’s biggest supporters. Not sure exactly what she can do against an in form Serena, but there’s always a chance that Serena may come out nervous or slow, so you never know!
On Konta… I think I’ve already mentioned my dislike for the constant tears… She just comes across so incredibly middle class…
Ahh yes I do remember you mentioning something about Konta now you mention it. Doesn’t personally bother me and is it really constant tears? Surprisingly honest of her to admit she had been crying although you could kind of tell.
lol @ Andrew, then what did you make of Vera ” Crybaby ” Zvonereva . She was crying rivers. What it also tells me is she is very conscious of what she is doing and how she is playing, speaks to the source of her new found drive and gameplay. Most of the girls are middle class though, that hardy tough mental fortitude some show is more innate to them I suppose. As my Gran likes to say, they don’t make them like they used to. But then, on the other end, you have Miss Vandeweghe.
It’s a learning experience, hopefully she’s a better player for it. She’s got too much going for her now to let this blip hold her back, me thinks.
Yeah, I think tennis is known as being a predominantly middle class sport and I think a lot of the reason for that is financial. It’s expensive to play, especially at the elite level.
But as for the tears; I definitely think times have changed. When Jana Novotna burst into tears on the Duchess of Kent’s shoulder after losing a Wimbledon final to Steffi Graf in 1993, it was so unusual and unexpected that she was for some years afterwards known as the “lachrymose Wimbledon finalist”. On the other hand, when Garbi Muguruza cried after losing her Wimbledon final to Serena in 2015, no one batted an eyelid.
By middle class I’m referring to the attitude of being spoiled and whiney when life has been handed to them on a silver platter.
You notice that the more successful players on tour now actually came from poorer backgrounds (Djokovic, Murray, Serena).
And as for Konta crying… she gets weepy during matches, let alone just after losing.