Mirjana is the last seed left in the bottom half. This is one of those golden opportunities that she so often squanders. If she didn't, she would be top 50-75 by now.
Yes, true. But, I think we tend to notice the "squandering" more because we are all admirers of her game/journey.
In fact, anyone and everyone lower than the Top 50-75 is outside that group because they have squandered opportunities. Mirjana's big game has seemed to beg the question as to why she often finds it difficult to capitalize when a path seems to be drawn for her.
Part of it often seems to be that (in the past) she has gotten "up" for matches against players ranked significantly higher than she, while sort of wandering against tin cans ranked much lower, often. When I look at the players Mirjana was beating the past two-three years (eg. Lepchenko, Cirstea, Vesnina, Erakovic, and even Hlavackova) I think: "Miki surely should be up there with this lot."
But her focus appears to be different this year. Look at the tone of her singles matches so far and compare them to cringe-fests like last year's Larriere debacle at the Oz Open. Seems like a mental breakthrough. The win over Craybas was quality -- Jill is super-fit and she has won the Midland event twice. Last year she would have beaten Mirjana 6-4 6-2 or something.
Really interested to watch and see what she brings against Burdette this morning. And can't wait to hear those insightful commentators:
"Hey! That was a great serve! Don't you think the Maria Lucic serve is one of her strengths?"
"Yes, Steve, I do ... Especially after she came back from that three-year burnout where she had to live in the woods in Montana."
"Um ... I think I heard that, somewhere. But now I'm pretty sure she's married to an opera singer."
"Good for her! And what a nice ass she's got to go with that serve!"
[... wouldn't surprise me with this bunch ]