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.