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Old Jan 4th, 2013, 11:32 AM   #91
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Re: Mirjana's 2013 Down Under swing

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Originally Posted by markdelaney View Post
Disappointing result but at least it was close and the way she starts each year is usually very rusty !. I cheered myself up by watching the match against Seles from Wimbledon 99. Barely an unforced error, competing in 18 stroke rallies and winning half of them with winners, looking good at the net, making drop shots, serving brilliantly, especially when needed. Her serve is awful now and wipes away any advantage she gets from her returns and keeps the opponent in the match, when they should already be back in the locker room. I'd like her to draw a top player at the Australian open rather than an outside court against someone of similar ranking who will probably beat her 6-4 6-2 after being 2-4 down.
Actually, you could have just watched the Bartoli match from Wimbledon last year. She did all those positive things you mentioned above in that match. She's just not as good on hard courts as she is on Grass. Her hard court matches seem to often have these yo=yo type scorelines. She's just not as consistent on hard as grass. That said, she still should have won this match.
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Old Jan 5th, 2013, 08:14 PM   #92
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Re: Mirjana's 2013 Down Under swing

Seems nothing changed. Another close match lost

No consistency. Will Mirjana ever improve her serve ? 13 DFs
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Old Jan 6th, 2013, 04:06 AM   #93
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Re: Mirjana's 2013 Down Under swing

Watched Cepelova against Kuznetsova. Nothing special. Weak serve, no finishing power. Kuznetsova was in same position as MIKI at 4=2 in the third and closed it out unlike MIKI. Lucic needs to put away players like Cepelova. At this point, MIKI against Kuznetsova is a pretty even matchup.
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Old Jan 6th, 2013, 02:15 PM   #94
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Re: Mirjana's 2013 Down Under swing

At least Miki got more "match-playing" time in her Oz Open preparations than Petra Kvitova, who ate breadsticks against Cibulkova.

I think the tenor of the Cepelova match indicates that, at the very least, Mirjana is here to fight hard until the last point. Things did not go her way on serve at the very end of the Cepelova encounter, but she did not really implode dramatically -- she held two more times to at least make a tie-break possible, and recovered from 5-1 down to make it interesting. Cepelova is indeed the very kind of player she hates to tackle at any juncture, much less first match of the year -- short, scrappy girl, nondescript pusher, feisty retriever, consistent server. Yes, she should have held that one time at 4-2 and she would have won, but she has had MUCH worse losses.

I don't think she would have beaten Sveta, who seems to have scrapped her game together a bit.

Count on it -- if Mirjana gets a halfway sweet draw in Melbourne, we'll see her fight hard and win a round (or more) for the first time since ... forever.
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Old Jan 6th, 2013, 02:46 PM   #95
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Re: Mirjana's 2013 Down Under swing

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Originally Posted by mikireturns View Post
At least Miki got more "match-playing" time in her Oz Open preparations than Petra Kvitova, who ate breadsticks against Cibulkova.
Kvitova played two rounds in Brisbane and one here so no consolation in that fact.

Cepelova is the kind of player who is awkward to beat for any non elite big hitter in first match of the season. Hlavackova had the same problems as Miki did in the next round, losing a tight one, and Sveta went to three sets. They are all playing around the same level, hopefully Miki can do enough tidying up this week to play a bit cleaner in Melbourne, draw permitting.
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Old Jan 7th, 2013, 04:50 PM   #96
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Re: Mirjana's 2013 Down Under swing

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Kvitova played two rounds in Brisbane and one here so no consolation in that fact.

Cepelova is the kind of player who is awkward to beat for any non elite big hitter in first match of the season. Hlavackova had the same problems as Miki did in the next round, losing a tight one, and Sveta went to three sets. They are all playing around the same level, hopefully Miki can do enough tidying up this week to play a bit cleaner in Melbourne, draw permitting.
Yeah, actually, a good point to differentiate between "elite" big hitters and "non-elite" big hitters and how they handle the journeywomen "retriever" types. A Sharapova or a Li Na has the regular confidence in her big shots to blow the Cepelova's off the court 90% of the time, with an "off day" resulting in the occasional struggle or maybe fluke loss. On the other hand, less confident (and lower-ranked) big hitters/bashers (Hlavackova, Voskoboeva, Lucic, etc.) have to work hard to beat these types ~most~ of the time, with a loss always a distinct possibility.

The sticky hard courts in Oz summer heat are not ideal for an "okay" mover like Lucic, but she practices primarily on hard courts and, given the obvious amount of hard work she has been putting in as far as training, one does hope that she will be rewarded with commensurate results.

One win in Melbourne --just one-- will vault her up to around 86; essentially equalling her "best ranking" of the 2008-2012 full-time comeback. Just ONE win will change the tone of her entire career "comeback" at this point, because she can build significantly upon it all the way through Wimbledon. A Top 70 or Top 60 ranking is not out of the question if she can win just one match in Melbourne and follow-up with a mere handful of main draw wins (anywhere) before Wimbledon.

Here's hoping for a winnable 1st Round match-up at Flinders Park and a very focused, gritty, fighting Miki to show up.
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Old Jan 8th, 2013, 03:54 PM   #97
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Re: Mirjana's 2013 Down Under swing

Mirjana is playing doubles with Jelena Jankovic in the Open. Jelena was due to play with Petkovic but after Andrea got injured approached Miki.
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Old Jan 8th, 2013, 10:43 PM   #98
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Re: Mirjana's 2013 Down Under swing

they could be tough to beat. players with different playing styles tend to make good combos
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Old Jan 9th, 2013, 09:48 PM   #99
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Re: Mirjana's 2013 Down Under swing

wow. Jankovic's a very good doubles player. They could do well. Jelena probably gained some respect for Lucic via the tough match they had at the U.S. Open in 2010.
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Old Jan 10th, 2013, 10:40 PM   #100
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Re: Mirjana's 2013 Down Under swing

seed, still don't know which
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Old Jan 10th, 2013, 10:44 PM   #101
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Re: Mirjana's 2013 Down Under swing

Safarova
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Old Jan 10th, 2013, 10:59 PM   #102
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Re: Mirjana's 2013 Down Under swing

not the worst draw. she played well in fed cup, but has otherwise been off
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Old Jan 10th, 2013, 11:00 PM   #103
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Re: Mirjana's 2013 Down Under swing

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Safarova
I wouldn't call this a done deal. Sure, Miki was crushed by her in 2012, but it was on clay. Safarova lost in the first round of AO last year. And just lost pretty badly to Madison Keys in Sydney. I give Miki a chance here.
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Old Jan 10th, 2013, 11:08 PM   #104
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Re: Mirjana's 2013 Down Under swing

hope she doesnt get it together just now, like last year in charleston (safarova)
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Old Jan 10th, 2013, 11:55 PM   #105
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Re: Mirjana's 2013 Down Under swing

I'm not hopeful
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