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Old Jul 31st, 2014, 05:47 PM   #46
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Re: Mirjana's 2014 Summer Campaign

great and surprising news. I didn't think she had a shot to play Montreal singles qualifying.
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Old Aug 1st, 2014, 03:18 PM   #47
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Re: Mirjana's 2014 Summer Campaign

Last time she won a match was in Strasbourg. She def. easily Jovanovski who's had far better results ever since.

LOST AFTER THAT:

1) PUIG- Mirjana was tired after 3 Q-matches + MD R1. In 3R of Q she played Zheng(by far the best player in the draw) and a seed in R1. In R2 she faced Puig, who didn't beat only Mirjana but everybody left in Strasbourg draw.

2) RISKE- This is when everything went wrong. 4-1 40/15 up, hitting winners all over the court. She lets Riske back in and pays a prize. And this was very hard to deal with since draw was wide open again.

3) DUNNE- Still in depression after losing to Riske she gaved it away to Dunne, dipite bageling her in 2nd set. Dunne went on to have a couple of best weeks of her life.

4) KICHENOK- Now she was probably already very frustrated. Had 5-3 and SP's in second but lost in two.

5) LARSSON- In Larsson match it seemed she's back on tack. Won first set easily, lost only few points on serve. Grass queen was back and was on fire early in second set as well.. She was break up, then missed 7-8 BP's in one game to go two breaks up. Moments later she got injured. She tried to finish it injured at 5-4 with serve, but lost the set 5-7 and retired.

6) AZARENKA- Miki again finds motivation. Match she could have won again. She was all over the place in first set, but came back fighting in second. She was 5-3 40-30 and 5-4 40-15 up but lost the set. Huge setback again. Draw was Open for big results once again.

7) KOPS JONES- When you think she can't get any worst she does. So so bad from Mirjana. I would never expect this. I hope it can only get better from this. She again misses 2 SP's in second.

8) ...? lets hope not


DOUBLES:

Strasbourg:
Plays with Minella. They win against Torro/Klepac in R1. Lost in R2 to Barty/Del. Aussies win the tournament, Torro/Klepac won they first ever WTA clay court title on the first clay court tournament after Strasbourg.

Roland Garros:
Should have played with Martic. She pulls out in last minute. She plays with Stephens who doesn't give a fuck about doubles. They lose 1st set after 4-0 and second after 3-1. Mirjana played well.

Birmingham:
Plays with Hantuchova. They play Chan/Chan. Missed many many chances in first set, won second and lost third in super tie break. In R2 Chan/Chan lost to Kops/Spears in 3(Kops/Spears win the tournament).

Eastbourne:
Mirjana does not play due to injury..but guess who wins the title? Chan/Chan.

Wimbledon:
Mirjana plays with Daniela. They win R1, wait 7 days to play R2. Mirjana stays in WImbledon despite injury and decides to focus on doubles. Daniela was tired of waiting and she pulls out to go and practice in Monte Carlo.

Stanford:
Did what she could with Pliskova and her form.


She's so unlucky..Even more in doubles
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Old Aug 1st, 2014, 04:45 PM   #48
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Re: Mirjana's 2014 Summer Campaign

last year cut off in doubles in Rogers Cup was 129.
Even if it's that low again it would mean Mirjana has to find some top 40 player to play with in order to get in.
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Old Aug 1st, 2014, 08:32 PM   #49
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Re: Mirjana's 2014 Summer Campaign

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajmo! View Post
Last time she won a match was in Strasbourg. She def. easily Jovanovski who's had far better results ever since.

LOST AFTER THAT:

1) PUIG- Mirjana was tired after 3 Q-matches + MD R1. In 3R of Q she played Zheng(by far the best player in the draw) and a seed in R1. In R2 she faced Puig, who didn't beat only Mirjana but everybody left in Strasbourg draw.

2) RISKE- This is when everything went wrong. 4-1 40/15 up, hitting winners all over the court. She lets Riske back in and pays a prize. And this was very hard to deal with since draw was wide open again.

3) DUNNE- Still in depression after losing to Riske she gaved it away to Dunne, dipite bageling her in 2nd set. Dunne went on to have a couple of best weeks of her life.

4) KICHENOK- Now she was probably already very frustrated. Had 5-3 and SP's in second but lost in two.

5) LARSSON- In Larsson match it seemed she's back on tack. Won first set easily, lost only few points on serve. Grass queen was back and was on fire early in second set as well.. She was break up, then missed 7-8 BP's in one game to go two breaks up. Moments later she got injured. She tried to finish it injured at 5-4 with serve, but lost the set 5-7 and retired.

6) AZARENKA- Miki again finds motivation. Match she could have won again. She was all over the place in first set, but came back fighting in second. She was 5-3 40-30 and 5-4 40-15 up but lost the set. Huge setback again. Draw was Open for big results once again.

7) KOPS JONES- When you think she can't get any worst she does. So so bad from Mirjana. I would never expect this. I hope it can only get better from this. She again misses 2 SP's in second.

8) ...? lets hope not


DOUBLES:

Strasbourg:
Plays with Minella. They win against Torro/Klepac in R1. Lost in R2 to Barty/Del. Aussies win the tournament, Torro/Klepac won they first ever WTA clay court title on the first clay court tournament after Strasbourg.

Roland Garros:
Should have played with Martic. She pulls out in last minute. She plays with Stephens who doesn't give a fuck about doubles. They lose 1st set after 4-0 and second after 3-1. Mirjana played well.

Birmingham:
Plays with Hantuchova. They play Chan/Chan. Missed many many chances in first set, won second and lost third in super tie break. In R2 Chan/Chan lost to Kops/Spears in 3(Kops/Spears win the tournament).

Eastbourne:
Mirjana does not play due to injury..but guess who wins the title? Chan/Chan.

Wimbledon:
Mirjana plays with Daniela. They win R1, wait 7 days to play R2. Mirjana stays in WImbledon despite injury and decides to focus on doubles. Daniela was tired of waiting and she pulls out to go and practice in Monte Carlo.

Stanford:
Did what she could with Pliskova and her form.


She's so unlucky..Even more in doubles
Scary losing streak for her. The game is there ... we all know she has the game. We have said it over and over, from every angle. Analyzed it.

Mentally, however, she can't sustain her confidence and very easily goes off the boil, not only in the middle of matches, but for extended periods of time (several tournaments, for example.)

She's in exceptional fitness, so aside from little injuries here and there, her fitness is not holding her back.

Her tactics certainly seem to take a nosedive when she's on one of her walkabouts. The Kops-Jones match was a "master class" in "Bad Miki Tactics." I mean, I can't emphasize enough how many times, only three strokes into a "rally" with Kops-Jones, Mirjana would be a bit behind he baseline and just go for some ridiculous forehand down-the-line, at the dumbest time, the most pointless time, and the shot would land six feet OUT, past the opposite baseline.

And if it looks bad on screen, it looks five times worse when you see it happen live. The camera is very "forgiving" to tennis errors.

If all she did was play the percentages on EVERY point until she creates (or observes) a reasonable opening to move a few feet in and try to put the ball away (either down the line, crosscourt or at net), she would win a lot more.

She only ever needs to serve consistently in the 50s to play well. Her serving in the high 50s or low 60s indicates that she is in form. When she serves in the 30s, it just means that her whole timing is off and nothing is going to work for her: serve, groundies, movement, reflexes, all of it.

The shitty part of all this is that I can imagine Mirjana feeling very adrift precisely because no real breakthrough materialized with Prpic, her childhood mentor, and the dissolution of their coaching relationship must make her feel:

"Damn, I've tried everything and it's not paying dividends. If it didn't work with the man who knows my game and helped build it, what can I do?"

But there's another side to that coin. Namely, there is no "rule" written anywhere that guarantees that Prpic was really the best coach for her. Who says? I do think he shored-up a few technical issues in her game (got her to add a little more topsin on her forehand for consistency, got her to move more quickly to her backhand, got her to be patient for at least three or four more shots in a rally before pulling the trigger) but he didn't help her mentally at all.

She's had her worse chokes of her career in his care, so, I'd say there's still hope if she can find the right coach for her HEAD.

The rest she can maintain on her own. I'm sure she still remembers all the main points Prpic (and others) have given her to help technique and strategy.

She needs to seriously find a coach that can get inside her head and teach her some tricks to control her emotions, optimize her focus, and create her own confidence, instead of sabotaging it.

This rest of this season represents either the end of her pro career or the biggest crossroads of it since her decision to come back in the first place.

I sincerely hope she'll take the "crossroads approach" and try to address the big mental issues she has not yet addressed with another year of work. It's not too late. And the problem is a LOT more than, "I just need matches and that will give me the confidence I require." Holy hell, her head problems are WAY more complicated than that.

But they are fixable. Totally fixable.

She has never fixed her game mentally speaking, whether through stubbornness or whatever, and unless she finally works on that aspect intensively, she might walk away wondering if indeed she did all she could.

Who the heck knows what she will produce in Montreal or the US Open. Recent trends are not encouraging.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2014, 01:04 AM   #50
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Re: Mirjana's 2014 Summer Campaign

Heather Watson in the first Q round and if by chance Heather has to retire injured, the opponent in the next round would be the winner of Vekic/Paszek
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Old Aug 2nd, 2014, 03:17 AM   #51
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Re: Mirjana's 2014 Summer Campaign

Tough Draw
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Old Aug 2nd, 2014, 06:54 AM   #52
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Re: Mirjana's 2014 Summer Campaign

Lucic - Vekic, now that would be a ball bashing extravaganza

Here's hoping it happens! Best of luck kid


EDIT: we'll at least get a chance to witness live scoring this time, match should start around 8 PM CET, 2 PM East Coast, 11 AM West Coast...Miki with a chance to torment a great deal of people again

Last edited by ma re : Aug 2nd, 2014 at 07:16 AM.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2014, 09:06 AM   #53
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Re: Mirjana's 2014 Summer Campaign

Mirjana lost a bit of a heartbreaker today against Watson, but one hopes she is not too heartbroken herself. Against a quality, Top 60 opponent, this was by far her best performance since the Strasbourg event in May. Though she was in a position to win, she did not blow any ridiculous leads and showed significant fight and grit. Perhaps best of all, she showed that she could overcome some serious service problems mid-match and begin to turn her troubles around at-will, which was something she has needed, after looking so lost for so many events. Watson can be a tricky player for someone like Mirjana, especially, which makes her competitiveness all the more encouraging.

Though much will depend on her draw at the US Open, if Mirjana is well-prepared and keeps the progress of today's match in mind, she can build her confidence and possibly qualify. Most important for her, at this point, is to win a match -- anywhere -- to stop the mental anguish of a big slump and minimize (even a little) the very real danger of a rankings tumble that, frankly, might drive her from the game altogether after 2014 ends.

If she doesn't win another match this year (and this is not out of the realm of possibility) her ranking will slip down to around the #190 mark.

I don't think any of us expect that she will regress to toiling in lousy 25Ks and 50Ks in winter again, after all she has been through as a pro. If the rest of the season proves winless, I fully expect her to retire quietly from the game, and would highly respect such a decision, because if she doesn't win again this year, it would be a very good decision, in my opinion.

BUT I really and truly hope she gets a career-affirming run, somewhere, before the season ends, and that her year-end ranking will be strong enough to justify one more trip overseas in January (and beyond) to keep living her dream, maybe get another Wimbledon win, that elusive Australian Open main draw win. Another French win.

I guess it looks unlikely, based on her track record and at her age, but I hold out a glimmer of hope that these things are possible. I just don't know if she is going to want to keep struggling with such decreasing payoff. It will take a lot to turn this around, and she is going to have to be mentally more determined than ever to do it.

If she has by some chance already decided that she is going to hang it up after the season is ended (and I kind of have a hunch that she might have decided this, maybe -- just a hunch) then I know we all wish her Godspeed, thank her for the memories, and hope she goes out from the game with a few wins, at least.

Good luck, Mirjana: you've proved yourself as a brave WTA professional forever and have a bright future ahead at whatever you do.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2014, 05:55 PM   #54
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Re: Mirjana's 2014 Summer Campaign

oh man this sucks.. so close..but 10% of 1st serve in 1st set..and she probably focused more on getting serve in in second set..could have won this match against a good player. hopefully it will open up soon
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Old Aug 5th, 2014, 10:39 AM   #55
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Re: Mirjana's 2014 Summer Campaign

Considering her age, this is to be or not to be moment in her career. She needs big run anywhere and that Watson match could suggest she's capable of it.

The problem is that ever since Doha where she played by far best tennis ever since the comeback, she's had almost no wins. If you count out Strasbourg she didn't win back to back matches after Doha.


But many times this makes players work even harder and out of nowhere they go deep in some tournament. Many also quit or continue to be bad.
But even if it doesn't work out she still can focus on doubles career. She could be a top 20 player in doubles.


So it comes down to US Open and Quebec. If she doesn't win match(es) there I highly doubt she will be motivated to spend autumn playing ITF's.

Going to watch Doha match vs. Radwanska now
When I remember how she played, she lost like 2 points after first serve against Pavljuchenkova, moving best I've seen her since the comeback..
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Old Aug 5th, 2014, 10:52 AM   #56
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Re: Mirjana's 2014 Summer Campaign

And that netcord ar 4-4 BP Lucic

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Old Aug 5th, 2014, 12:00 PM   #57
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Re: Mirjana's 2014 Summer Campaign

She is way too much inconsistent, there is 0 progress in that department since her comeback, we have to accept it, I did at least. Here and there some good results mean nothing if she is able to play on good level only once every few months.
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Old Aug 5th, 2014, 06:15 PM   #58
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Re: Mirjana's 2014 Summer Campaign

Quote:
Originally Posted by kuroishijin View Post
She is way too much inconsistent, there is 0 progress in that department since her comeback, we have to accept it, I did at least. Here and there some good results mean nothing if she is able to play on good level only once every few months.
Very true, about the inconsistency, but it's important to remember that she really didn't have much chance to adjust to the different worlds of the Challenger Tour (where you can get 3 or 4 confidence-building wins every tournament) and then the step up to the WTA, where you are automatically going to face big players all the time and maybe win one match here, one match there.

The adjustment is not easy to make for a player ranked around 100, sort of wobbling between the two tours. That is what Mirjana went through in 2010., and she herself has spoken about the very real difficulty of adjustment.

Starting in 2008, she began toiling on the ITF/Challenger circuit, and didn't do so well. It took her awhile to adjust to just playing competitively again.

But by late 2009, she was starting to find her game, and a really big shift occurred in 2010. It must not be forgotten that Mirjana won over 50 matches in 2010, mostly on the Challenger/ITF circuit.

That's a LOT of matches, which indicates that she was truly finding the consistency that had eluded her. She found some, which led to her even winning two ITF events in that season (Jackson and Albuquerque.)

But what it also led to was a chance to try the next level and play a few WTA and Grand Slam draws. We know how well she did at Wimbledon and the US Open in 2010, qualifying for both. I am convinced that, if she had not drawn Azarenka in R1 at Wimbledon, and instead a lesser player, she was hitting well enough to have won a few matches there. Same goes for the US Open. She won her first Grand Slam main draw match in ages and came very close to pulling an upset against the no.5 seed (Jankovic) in the next round. She followed up that Open with a strong run to the Albuquerque 75k title ... so she kept up her match-tough ways.

The problem is (or was) ... the very next year, she was able to move up to a lot of WTA opportunities because her ranking rose to that 95 - 110 region, where she would be able to enter a lot of WTA qualifying draws, which was fine because she wanted to aim for the WTA level. But, she was sort of "caught between," too. She was seeded higher in the Challenger events, but her eyes were set on the WTA, and for these players, the Challenger events look really lousy if they start getting a regular shot at WTA opportunities (even in quallies.)

That's why 2011 was such an awkward year for Miki. You could tell she was totally less motivated for the Challenger events (results prove it) and suddenly "toiling" in WTA quallies, where the competition was tougher and it was harder to get those two or three match wins a player like her needs EVERY WEEK to feel grooved, like she had been getting regularly in 2010 via the Challengers.

As a result, her overall consistency and confidence suffered. She basically stalled, and her post-2010 career became all about fighting for regular wins in WTA qualifying events, and clearly not summoning a lot of motivation for Challengers when she still played them. Even if she did have a lot of motivation for some Challengers, she was coming off only the occasional win in WTA qualifying, so all the consistency she had acquired in 2010 was by then no longer reliable, week-in, week-out. It was (and has remained) a real "Catch-22" for Mirjana.

She is a "momentum player" if there ever was one. Not just momentum obtained in a single event, but from week to week. After 2010, she was stuck between the two worlds (WTA quallies and Challengers) and never was able to rebuild the kind of consistency that would allow her to do anything more than hold on and linger at the 95 - 115 ranking.

That in itself is remarkable that she stayed there for over four years, but I think it also explains a lot in terms of "why" she just could not generate a breakthrough, i.e. a decent run at one WTA event followed by a good run at another WTA event the next week, followed by a decent run at another WTA event the week after that, and so on. All Mirjana would have needed to reach the next level would have been maybe three halfway decent runs, consecutively, in WTA main draw events (for example, a Doha R16 followed by an international QF followed by maybe another Premier R16) or else one huge run somewhere else, while her ranking was in the 90s and she wasn't defending points.

It was crucial for Miki to have gotten to the next level, and, for her purposes, that "next level" would have been the Top 60, really. She would thereafter have been able to bypass a lot of WTA quallies (or would have made her a higher seed in a lot of WTA quallies) and this obviously would've allowed her to get regular WTA main draw competition, week-in, week-out.

Mirjana did not stall due to lack of trying or fitness. My God,the woman has been one of the hardest working players on tour every year since coming back.

She stalled because for four years she simply has not been able to play as many week-in, week-out singles matches as a player with her big game requires to maintain mental match-toughness, consistency, momentum, etc. Being sort of mired in a kind of "no man's land" (not really a regular WTA main draw player and not really a regular Challenger main draw fixture; more of a WTA Qually Girl) affected her ability to perform consistently in both WTAs and as a high-seed in Challengers.

It really is too bad, but the numbers pretty much tell the story.. 2010 and over 50 matches won (I think) tells a story. I believe she had/has Top 50 (or better) talent, but Mirjana Lucic is a player who needed a lot of matches in one circuit or another to show that, and she was never able to push through just out of the gate in a big WTA or Grand Slam main draw.

If she hadn't gotten injured in Doha, it would have been the biggest advance of her comeback, and she may have gone on to the final. Maybe have won it. If she hadn't blinked against Vinci at Wimbledon in 2012, I believe she would have attained the quarterfinals. Either case, a Top 60 ranking jump would have been hers, and THAT would have been so crucial.

But look at both of those cases: at Doha this year and at Wimbledon in 2012, Miki had to fight all the way up from qualifying to get as far as she managed to get. Pretty revealing.

Maybe, looking back, if she had spent most of 2011 fighting hard in the Challengers instead of so many WTA quallies, she would have maintained her admirable 2010 consistency and gotten her ranking up toward the Top 60 or 70 that way ... and THEN made the primary shift to the WTA tour.

But that's easy to say in hindsight. I'm sure that, when Miki saw her first chances to enter so many WTA-level quallies, she obviously wanted to leap at the chance, and who can blame her.

Looking back, though, that plan may have been detrimental for the long-haul of her comeback hopes.

But I do believe her stasis around the 105-ish ranking for four/five years is the story of a hard-working talent who got stuck between two tours and did not acquire the consistency she particularly needed to demonstrate that she really is/was a much better player than her ranking indicated.

Too late now, in my opinion, but at least she tried and tried and tried and tried. Still a great role model who came back to enjoy a respectable and profitable career as a touring pro. Saw the whole world again. Played on the biggest stages. Many athletes should be so fortunate.

If she were smart right now, she would turn her focus to a big push for an elite doubles career with a steady partner (if such a thing exists any more on the WTA). I agree with ajmo -- she can be Top 20, under the right circumstances.

The big singles dream is over, in my opinion, and I would imagine she knows it.

Still ... I will be cheering her for a career-boosting big result as long as she is out there playing singles.
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Old Aug 5th, 2014, 06:29 PM   #59
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Re: Mirjana's 2014 Summer Campaign

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikireturns View Post
Very true, about the inconsistency, but it's important to remember that she really didn't have much chance to adjust to the different worlds of the Challenger Tour (where you can get 3 or 4 confidence-building wins every tournament) and then the step up to the WTA, where you are automatically going to face big players all the time and maybe win one match here, one match there.

The adjustment is not easy to make for a player ranked around 100, sort of wobbling between the two tours. That is what Mirjana went through in 2010., and she herself has spoken about the very real difficulty of adjustment.

Starting in 2008, she began toiling on the ITF/Challenger circuit, and didn't do so well. It took her awhile to adjust to just playing competitively again.

But by late 2009, she was starting to find her game, and a really big shift occurred in 2010. It must not be forgotten that Mirjana won over 50 matches in 2010, mostly on the Challenger/ITF circuit.

That's a LOT of matches, which indicates that she was truly finding the consistency that had eluded her. She found some, which led to her even winning two ITF events in that season (Jackson and Albuquerque.)

But what it also led to was a chance to try the next level and play a few WTA and Grand Slam draws. We know how well she did at Wimbledon and the US Open in 2010, qualifying for both. I am convinced that, if she had not drawn Azarenka in R1 at Wimbledon, and instead a lesser player, she was hitting well enough to have won a few matches there. Same goes for the US Open. She won her first Grand Slam main draw match in ages and came very close to pulling an upset against the no.5 seed (Jankovic) in the next round. She followed up that Open with a strong run to the Albuquerque 75k title ... so she kept up her match-tough ways.

The problem is (or was) ... the very next year, she was able to move up to a lot of WTA opportunities because her ranking rose to that 95 - 110 region, where she would be able to enter a lot of WTA qualifying draws, which was fine because she wanted to aim for the WTA level. But, she was sort of "caught between," too. She was seeded higher in the Challenger events, but her eyes were set on the WTA, and for these players, the Challenger events look really lousy if they start getting a regular shot at WTA opportunities (even in quallies.)

That's why 2011 was such an awkward year for Miki. You could tell she was totally less motivated for the Challenger events (results prove it) and suddenly "toiling" in WTA quallies, where the competition was tougher and it was harder to get those two or three match wins a player like her needs EVERY WEEK to feel grooved, like she had been getting regularly in 2010 via the Challengers.

As a result, her overall consistency and confidence suffered. She basically stalled, and her post-2010 career became all about fighting for regular wins in WTA qualifying events, and clearly not summoning a lot of motivation for Challengers when she still played them. Even if she did have a lot of motivation for some Challengers, she was coming off only the occasional win in WTA qualifying, so all the consistency she had acquired in 2010 was by then no longer reliable, week-in, week-out. It was (and has remained) a real "Catch-22" for Mirjana.

She is a "momentum player" if there ever was one. Not just momentum obtained in a single event, but from week to week. After 2010, she was stuck between the two worlds (WTA quallies and Challengers) and never was able to rebuild the kind of consistency that would allow her to do anything more than hold on and linger at the 95 - 115 ranking.

That in itself is remarkable that she stayed there for over four years, but I think it also explains a lot in terms of "why" she just could not generate a breakthrough, i.e. a decent run at one WTA event followed by a good run at another WTA event the next week, followed by a decent run at another WTA event the week after that, and so on. All Mirjana would have needed to reach the next level would have been maybe three halfway decent runs, consecutively, in WTA main draw events (for example, a Doha R16 followed by an international QF followed by maybe another Premier R16) or else one huge run somewhere else, while her ranking was in the 90s and she wasn't defending points.

It was crucial for Miki to have gotten to the next level, and, for her purposes, that "next level" would have been the Top 60, really. She would thereafter have been able to bypass a lot of WTA quallies (or would have made her a higher seed in a lot of WTA quallies) and this obviously would've allowed her to get regular WTA main draw competition, week-in, week-out.

Mirjana did not stall due to lack of trying or fitness. My God,the woman has been one of the hardest working players on tour every year since coming back.

She stalled because for four years she simply has not been able to play as many week-in, week-out singles matches as a player with her big game requires to maintain mental match-toughness, consistency, momentum, etc. Being sort of mired in a kind of "no man's land" (not really a regular WTA main draw player and not really a regular Challenger main draw fixture; more of a WTA Qually Girl) affected her ability to perform consistently in both WTAs and as a high-seed in Challengers.

It really is too bad, but the numbers pretty much tell the story.. 2010 and over 50 matches won (I think) tells a story. I believe she had/has Top 50 (or better) talent, but Mirjana Lucic is a player who needed a lot of matches in one circuit or another to show that, and she was never able to push through just out of the gate in a big WTA or Grand Slam main draw.

If she hadn't gotten injured in Doha, it would have been the biggest advance of her comeback, and she may have gone on to the final. Maybe have won it. If she hadn't blinked against Vinci at Wimbledon in 2012, I believe she would have attained the quarterfinals. Either case, a Top 60 ranking jump would have been hers, and THAT would have been so crucial.

But look at both of those cases: at Doha this year and at Wimbledon in 2012, Miki had to fight all the way up from qualifying to get as far as she managed to get. Pretty revealing.

Maybe, looking back, if she had spent most of 2011 fighting hard in the Challengers instead of so many WTA quallies, she would have maintained her admirable 2010 consistency and gotten her ranking up toward the Top 60 or 70 that way ... and THEN made the primary shift to the WTA tour.

But that's easy to say in hindsight. I'm sure that, when Miki saw her first chances to enter so many WTA-level quallies, she obviously wanted to leap at the chance, and who can blame her.

Looking back, though, that plan may have been detrimental for the long-haul of her comeback hopes.

But I do believe her stasis around the 105-ish ranking for four/five years is the story of a hard-working talent who got stuck between two tours and did not acquire the consistency she particularly needed to demonstrate that she really is/was a much better player than her ranking indicated.

Too late now, in my opinion, but at least she tried and tried and tried and tried. Still a great role model who came back to enjoy a respectable and profitable career as a touring pro. Saw the whole world again. Played on the biggest stages. Many athletes should be so fortunate.

If she were smart right now, she would turn her focus to a big push for an elite doubles career with a steady partner (if such a thing exists any more on the WTA). I agree with ajmo -- she can be Top 20, under the right circumstances.

The big singles dream is over, in my opinion, and I would imagine she knows it.

Still ... I will be cheering her for a career-boosting big result as long as she is out there playing singles.

I agree about 2010-2011 being good years.

She had a very long 2010 season. Remeber, she finished it in Japan in November.
And because she played a lot she was probably tired. And 2011 was around the corner. She wasn't ready for that new season so fast. She started playing some good tennis at the end of April when she beat Makarova in Barcelona.
But then she got back on track.
New problem she faced was lack of experience on tour since it was almost like she was starting a new career. Do you remember all those heartbreaking losses in 2011?
6-2 5-2 40/15 up against Medina in Rome, she loses. Medina in QF.
Loses in 3 sets to Makarova in Eastbourne.
lost to Cibulkova after 6-3 3-1 in Wimbledon(Domi made QF that year).
Lost to Cirstea in Bastad after 5-3 in final set.
Lost to Zheng in Stanford 6-7 in third(for the first time in her career).
That hearthbreaker to Zahlavova in Quebec as well. Zahlavova won the tournament.
Lost 5-7 in third to Kulikova in New Mexico after 5-3 in final set. (Kulikova won the tournament)

And that year is quite important. If she won just 2 of those matches she would probably end the year at least in TOP70. And that's something she's been searching for evert since the comeback. She could then avoid playing Q at many tournaments. She never did it, actually she was closest to it this year after Doha. But that injury again took a lot.

2011 was big year, she really should have made a bigger jump in rankings. But when she was in form she got bad draws. She was in big form during Roland Garros-Wimbledon. And in RG she drew Sharapova, in Wimbledon again seed Cibulkova(and was on the edge of winning).

I mean in Strasbourg she beat McHale, Makarova, Dokic, Vinci, Vesnina, Giorgi, Hampton, Shvedova in straight sets.. That's huge

She missed a lot of chances in that year, for sure.


Also, now looking at numbers has anyone noticed her luck in Quebec:
2011 she plays Zahlavova S. in R2. She wins first set, losses in 3. Very close match. Zahlavova S. wins the tournament.
2012 she plays Flipkens in R2. Wins the first set, losses in 3. Flipkens wins the tournament.
2013 plays Safarova in R2. Losses in a very close match, 2 tie break sets. Safarova wins the tournament.
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Old Aug 5th, 2014, 09:17 PM   #60
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Re: Mirjana's 2014 Summer Campaign

^ Yep. 2011 was the crucial transition year, no doubt about it. And even her best results (near upset of Medina, QFs in Srasbourg and Birmingham) she had to earn after grueling rounds in qualifying.

It was very difficult for her to get her feet planted consistently that year, week to week, so that when she faced the Cibulkovas and Medinas and Zhengs and Zahlavivas and Kulikovas, she might have had the confidence to close those matches out.

Yes, it really and truly was (at least a great part of it) a story of a very gifted player, big-hitter, kind of caught between two different tours and not being able to go deep into the one (WTA) while sacrificing the consistency she had built in 2010 that she might be in a position to rely on strong regular results in the other (ITF).

2011 was the year she should have made the key transition.

If Miki had been a grinder-type player who fought her way back to 100 in he world, a smoother transition might have been easier from a season like 2010 to 2011, but being a really big-hitter, it was always going to be touch and go until something clicked and she started getting the regular confidence of a Mary Pierce or a Sharapova or a Kvitova.

And, under the right circumstances, that might have happened for Mirjana. We all saw what she could do in Doha, match-to-match, against the best. And elsewhere.

She'll figure out the best way for her to move forward, whether that includes more singles attempts, a doubles commitment, or a whole new career and adventure.

My thought is that, if she can't get hold of something in the next two events (US Open and Quebec) she will be pretty sick of playing singles, and I wouldn't blame her.

But we can only wish her the best no matter what, at this point, you know?
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