Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Eliteville, California
Mirjana Lucic should probably hang it up. Giving her well-deserved props, she actually accomplished something remarkable by fighting her way back into the Top 100 after three years totally away from tennis and being essentially broke, starting from scratch. Totally not easy to do. She toiled in ITFs until she was able to squeeze into Slam quallies, and then she indeed started qualifying for Slams and actually winning rounds. This year she even played glorious tennis to beat a top 10 star (Bartoli) in R2 at Wimbledon. Her "comeback" beginning in 2008 has been marked by some amazing stats: she won her first Slam-level match in 7 years, won her first tournament of any kind (ITF or WTA in 12 years), reached her first WTA quarterfinal in 12 years, beat a Top 10 player for the first time in 12 years, she's won 4 or 5 main draw Slam matches in 2 years' time, etc. It has been a happy ending for her, and a MORE than honorable return to world-class competition. Her fitness has been impeccable since 2008, as has her humility and sportsmanship.
But her stated goals were Top 50 (no Alexandra Stevenson, "I'm gonna be Top 5 and win Wimbledon" bullshit) and she has had very "doable" chances to make a run to the Top 50, it just doesn't seem to be in the cards for her. She's plateaued in the low 90s the last two years, and with age 32 just six months away, I think she's pretty much done.
She has Top 50 talent, for sure, and on any given day or in any given week she can be very dangerous, but week-in, week-out, she's a #90-95 player. Because she has qualified for so many Slam main draws, etc. she'll pull down around $200,000-$235,000 in prize money this year, but things won't get easier next year, even though she will likely gain direct entry to the Slams again in 2013.
With a happy marriage and a great life ahead of her, it might be time to take pride in the wonderful achievement of returning to world-class WTA status and spare herself the grind.
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