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Old Feb 8th, 2013, 12:55 AM   #76
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Re: Mirjana's spring 2013 campaign

Good job Miki! Mostly a pleasure to watch. Keep going now...
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Old Feb 8th, 2013, 12:57 AM   #77
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Re: Mirjana's spring 2013 campaign

Great first set, good 3rd. Problem was in 6th game of second where she didn't broke and good little bit frustrated.
Some positive things from this match. First, Mirjana was extremly calm. Which is good since she could have got nervous at the end of 2nd set and the start of the third.
6 aces to 2 DF's. And in the 4/5 sets she played in the tournament she hasn't been broken.

Also, big match coming up. Mallory's not gonna give her any time on the ball like Jill and surely she's gonna serve a lot harder. Burdette has such a nice story going on, she came out of college and beat Keothavong in Stanford and from the on everything went right for her. Great tournaments during American summer, if I'm no wrong she even won 100k Vancouver and had great run at the US Open.
She's stopped a bit but this week seems to be back on track. She's got big serve, Mirjana herself will need to serve good and be focused.
Also doubles tomorrow.
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Old Feb 8th, 2013, 01:03 AM   #78
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Re: Mirjana's spring 2013 campaign

Burdette is really the type of player Mirjana should handle. Not as big a hitter, not particularly consistent, not a great mover, not nearly as experienced. If Mirjana maintains focus, she should win.
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Old Feb 8th, 2013, 01:05 AM   #79
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Re: Mirjana's spring 2013 campaign

I watched her in NY last year and she seemed great, results also look great. We'll see..
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Old Feb 8th, 2013, 01:56 AM   #80
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Re: Mirjana's spring 2013 campaign

Biggest improvements I noticed:

She has clearly been working on her service returns. Wow. SOoooooo much more confidence in terms of placing the returns well, offensively, but biggest of all -- she is more explosive in that first step on service returns than I have ever seen her. Her reaction-time is noticeably better, and one has to think she has been working on being more explosive to both get more returns in play and also hit them with frightening accuracy.
And she needed to work in her returns. All last year, looking at her service return stats was like a nightmare. That's why she would need 5,6 break points sometimes to break (if she managed to break) and why she really has so very few "easy" sets against anybody.

Big improvement. Kudos to her and to Prpic, or whomever decided to zero-in on that.

Next: that little hitch in her serve seems to be gone ... Maybe I'm wrong but her serve looks so very much like it did when she was a teen, circa 98-99. She was serving regularly at 107-113 MPH, with a 115 ace and some 117 attempts. Her second serve is clicking with really good placement.

Next: Her focus. Calm. Not being too overwrought out there after every winner she hits, the way she used to be. That can be good at times, but usually drains emotional energy. Moving mentally beyond her errors very nicely. Composure was what allowed her to recapture her form in the final set. Big improvement for Lucic. Her conversion rate on BPs was much much better than we have seen.

Finally: the backhand. It has improved markedly, to my mind, on returns and in general rallies. Maybe just a little touch more whip and topspin than we have seen on it before?

Anyhow, this is why she played so well against Top 20 Safarova (a player who had killed her 2 and 0 the previous time they met) ... and Mirjana had chances to win that match.

The second set was an unfortunate mind-fart tonight, but she really got a grip, overcame her nerves and closed with huge authority.

If she keeps this up, it will be a good year, absolutely.

The Burdette match will be a hitting fest. Mirjana ought to win. GL to her.
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Old Feb 8th, 2013, 02:05 AM   #81
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Re: Mirjana's spring 2013 campaign

I agree that her return game looked good overall. However, I still feel she goes for too much on the second serve return on crucial points, ie. deuce or 30-40 or 40-30. To me, you shouldn't go for the outright winner every time on these type pts. If she would just hit it hard down the middle, or a few feet from the sidline, it would be better, especially against better players. who don't give you a heap of BP opportunities. It didn't end up hurting her tonight though.
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Old Feb 8th, 2013, 02:07 AM   #82
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Re: Mirjana's spring 2013 campaign

[quote=WhatTheDeuce;24157842]Burdette is really the type of player Mirjana should handle. Not as big a hitter, not particularly consistent, not a great mover, not nearly as experienced. If Mirjana maintains focus, she should win.[/QUOT

I think this is a good analysis. But, I think it will be a close match.
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Old Feb 8th, 2013, 06:57 AM   #83
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Re: Mirjana's spring 2013 campaign

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.
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Old Feb 8th, 2013, 09:24 AM   #84
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Re: Mirjana's spring 2013 campaign

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Old Feb 8th, 2013, 01:59 PM   #85
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Re: Mirjana's spring 2013 campaign

Quote:
Originally Posted by networthy View Post
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."

"She did?"

"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 ]
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Old Feb 8th, 2013, 05:15 PM   #86
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Re: Mirjana's spring 2013 campaign

boring kudryavtseva will never finish this match.
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Old Feb 8th, 2013, 05:16 PM   #87
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Re: Mirjana's spring 2013 campaign

At this level seeding is not as important as on WTA Tour. So it doesn't mean much.
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Old Feb 8th, 2013, 05:19 PM   #88
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Re: Mirjana's spring 2013 campaign

Oh God this commentator is 100x worse than anything we heard yesterday. He literally does not shut up ever, he does shot by shot analysis. I will have to watch on mute.
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Old Feb 8th, 2013, 05:20 PM   #89
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Re: Mirjana's spring 2013 campaign

He should be a radio commentator.
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Old Feb 8th, 2013, 05:26 PM   #90
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Re: Mirjana's spring 2013 campaign

This guy thinks a 91MPH serve is "huge".

A-Kud ... Seriously, she is going to kick her dog several times tonight.

She looks like the Russian mob is after her and she's expecting the Moment of Doom.
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