Re: Mirjana Lucic: Quebec and Beyond to Finish 2011
Yes --it is a bummer that Mirjana just slipped out of the Top 100. However, the importance of winning that first round US Open match cannot be underemphasized, on a number of levels.
1. She was spiraling and halted the spiral with a big, gritty win over a very in-form player, at a SLAM. Huge mental boost for her (even if she did play like a dog's ass against Frankie).
2. The 100 points she earned for her well-deserved Open win are a crucial safeguard for her chances to "make good" the rest of this season. If she had lost 160 points instead of just 60, her outlook would be grim for making anything up, since I expect she'll be popping a bit of champagne cork in November.
3. Having the security of that 100 points from the Open, she now only needs to defend two significant results: the 42 or so points in Quebec, which a couple of wins would do nicely; the 75 points in Albuquerque, which she could conceivably do by defending her title.
Plus, she is playing all the Challenger events she can between now and November, and she sucked at a number of them last year when got the flu. She can totally improve upon Vegas, Kansas City, and Troy.
With some extra motivation and focus, she could finish the year just inside the Top 100, or at least be in position to gain another direct entry into the Australian in 2012, and then hopefully replace all of her shitty late winter and spring 2011 results with some wins that will propel her ranking considerably. She must sprinkle-in a few Challenger events early next season, too. I like Ajmo!'s suggestion that she try her hand at a few Aussie 25Ks to get some match-play before the big events. That did wonders for Alicia Molik in 2010.
If Mirjana can summon the reserves to go deep into the Bell Challenge, that would be a truly sweet insurance policy.
As we keep saying, and as we all know: the talent is there for her to do all of these things. She was playing Top 40 ball earlier this season and, when it comes together for her, she can just steamroll right into another gear of quality play. Focus, girl!
Good luck to her, to her marriage, and to her cookbook.
What's in that cookbook, anyhow?
"Lobster a la Lucic"?
"Blow-a-Lead" Lamb Chops?
"Damn-the-Drop-Shot!" Duck Breasts?
"Alexandra Stevenson-is-an-Ogre" Omelette?
and, most probably:
Hey, I'll buy it.