Article: Lucic rises from the ashes -
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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old Mar 30th, 2003, 10:44 AM Thread Starter
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Article: Lucic rises from the ashes

From the Herald Tribune:


On Saturday, two days before the official start of the Sarasota Clay Court Classic, Jelena Dokic warmed up and chilled out while Mirjana Lucic sweated and strove to salvage her tennis career.

Dokic is the tournament's defending champion, No. 1 seed and a top-10 player.

Lucic is a "qualie." The Bradenton resident believes she can be more.

Qualifying is the tournament just to play in the tournament. Win and you're in, lose and you have to buy a ticket just like everyone else.

While the stars rest their pampered bodies and psyches, the "qualies" play in anonymity and try to shed it. They struggle to eke out a living on pro tennis' periphery, where the goal is to earn enough points to climb the player rankings, nab main draw invitations and paddle out of the qualifying pool.

Hope floats. Good thing, too, because Lucic's trying to resurrect a career that's dipped like a sunset.

She was barely 15 when she won her first WTA event. She was a 1999 Wimbledon semifinalist two years later, and seemed poised to become a tennis princess. Like Venus. Serena. Martina. Jelena.

But there were injuries to her left knee and right shoulder in 2000, then to her right wrist in 2001. After tearing the meniscus in her knee, she didn't grip a racket for eight months. Depressed, she gained so much weight she became a one-shot player. A long shot. A "qualie."

She was depressed because she ate, and ate because she was depressed. She felt the financial burden of supporting her mother, two sisters and two brothers. She earned only $41,004 in 2002, before travel expenses. She wrestled with the alleged pattern of emotional and physical abuse by her father, Marinko. He's been out of her life for five years, but a father's hard to forget.

"He can go to the other end of the earth, but it's there," she said. "There are memories and you have to figure out that it wasn't your fault."

She's hit bottom, but guess what?

"I have reached a good rock bottom," she said. "I got to see how it is at the other end. I've never had to play qualies. I've never had to play for things, ask for things. I was Mirjana Lucic, 'What do you want?' "

She's lost 40 pounds since she started training at the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Bradenton a year ago. She cut out sweets and stopped staying in bed until 1 p.m. Waking to play tennis is fun again.

Her best season-ending ranking the past three years is No. 191, in 2001. She'd lost four straight matches before beating No. 79 Marissa Irvin 6-0, 6-4 on Saturday.

Lucic covered the court like a blanket. She outmuscled and outhustled Irvin, whose unforced errors contributed, too.

"If she can break the barrier of mentally feeling she can do it, she can be a player again because she's only (21) years old," Bollettieri said. "That's not going to be easy."

Andre Agassi once rose from No. 141 on the Challenger circuit to No. 1 in the world. He toiled through the qualies, too.

"I felt like I just won Wimbledon," Lucic said after beating Irvin. "I think I finally found what the whole thing is about."


great article. She really looks great! I hope she goes far in this tournament!
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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old Mar 30th, 2003, 10:50 AM
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Aww what a sweet article! COME ON JANA







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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old Mar 30th, 2003, 10:55 AM
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POor Lucic, I remeber when she beat Graf, Morariu, Coetzer....

"Qui n'a connu
Douleur immense
N'aura qu'un aperçu
Du temps

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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old Mar 30th, 2003, 11:16 AM
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Thumbs up

Thanks, Meesh, Great article! I hope she can keep it up and become a force on the Tour. Stay happy and healthy, Mirjana!

PS -- Note to family members of Mirjana -- please get jobs so the burden of supporting the family is not of Mirjana's shoulders alone! Sheesh

Last edited by auntie janie; Mar 30th, 2003 at 11:47 AM.
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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old Mar 30th, 2003, 11:19 AM
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ok...we need more great players on the tour.

"When I was four years old, we moved from England to USA, when my mother found out that I won't be KING!" -- Bob Hope--

Madame Oracene Williams could certainly teach the French & Belgian crowds on how to upgrade their respective primitive behaviours during a tennis match.
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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old Mar 30th, 2003, 11:36 AM
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I honestly think she can do an Agassi. If she can ever learn to control those groundies ! She'd be beating Venus and Serena every time !

Romney/Ryan 2012
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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old Mar 30th, 2003, 01:01 PM
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Great article! I'm so proud of her, that was a "serena-like" victory against a very tough opponent. Good luck Mirjana

ugh, why do they all suck????????
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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old Mar 30th, 2003, 01:13 PM
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That's good! I really wish good luck to Mirjana, cause I love her game! I hope to see her playing soon!


townsend × rezaï × lisicki × vesnina × aiava
keys × mladenovic × osaka × broady × jankovic

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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old Mar 30th, 2003, 01:14 PM
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Hopefully she is back. I wish her well for this tourney and the year.
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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old Mar 30th, 2003, 02:26 PM
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I hope Mirjana turns it around. She has great potential.

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post #11 of 34 (permalink) Old Mar 30th, 2003, 02:28 PM
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Thumbs up

What a great article!!! Thanks for sharing it with us, Meesh!!!

I really wish Mirjana all the luck in the world - she seems like a lovely person and a true fighter! Anyone with that much determination deserves to do really well on the tour!!

Good Luck Mirjana!!!
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post #12 of 34 (permalink) Old Mar 30th, 2003, 02:32 PM
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great article - I really hope she's back now

What would you say if we could make
something amazing
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post #13 of 34 (permalink) Old Mar 30th, 2003, 02:34 PM
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That brings a tear to my eye.... Go Mirjana!
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post #14 of 34 (permalink) Old Mar 30th, 2003, 03:08 PM
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Two comments:

1. Physical abuse!
2. Why doesn't her mother and siblings do what everyone else needs to do to survive. Get a job!

is coming for your towel, too.


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post #15 of 34 (permalink) Old Mar 30th, 2003, 03:28 PM
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Why not be happy for Lucic?? She's come a long way for crying out loud...Was it necessary to bring Venus and Serena into it mboyle ?? UGH!!!

Love Trumps Hate
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