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Old Sep 16th, 2014, 10:58 AM   #1
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The Final Stretch of Mirjana's Breakthrough 2014 Season!

I thought, as we all continue to process Miki's triumphant and stunning return to the WTA Champion's circle, the sweet leaps in her singles and doubles rankings, and her all-around "tennis redemption," we'd need a thread to discuss results and explore what might be yet in store for her before the end of this awesome 2014 season.

Some questions for the loyal fans:

How are we processing this sudden and meteoric return of our favorite fighter? In less than a month, she took herself (and us!) from the brink of possible despair to the heights of exhilaration. Total (and wonderful) whiplash! How does it feel to be seeing Miki in an entirely new light, even though we all have kept the flame of belief alive to some extent over the years?

What might be her scheduling strategy for the rest of 2014? We know the little ITFs are out, but what about the bigger ITF 100Ks in Europe, on ideal indoor surfaces? Should Miki ask for wildcards into main draw WTA events? Could she possibly score a wildcard in Sofia? She said she would be right back on the courts working harder than ever after a much-deserved celebration in Florida. When should we expect to see her back in action?

Miki's Top 100 finish for 2014 is now guaranteed --her first finish in the Top 100 since 1999! Does she have a chance to finish the season in the Top 50, even with the points from a 50K ITF to defend?

It'll be more fun than ever to follow her new adventures ...
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Old Sep 16th, 2014, 01:44 PM   #2
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Re: The Final Stretch of Mirjana's Breakthrough 2014 Season!

One observation that really struck me (actually a few) from the Quebec final match:

After watching a replay of the match, it was really astonishing how fierce was the display of raw talent by Miki. Venus was by no means in poor form. Miki just blossomed with all the genius inherent in her game --the genius we all knew was there all along, only dormant or waiting to be unlocked. She was masterful in her shot selection, movement, intensity, focus, net game, serve, timing, the works.

Second, it was very telling, for me, that she won this title and it was hugely exhilarating for her, but NOT a lot of dramatic emotions on display. We saw some of those emotions spill over (understandably) after beating Halep (and others) at the Open, but it seemed that, after crushing Venus, she stepped very easily into the demeanor of a champion who expected to win. A player who was at home with a trophy.

I dunno, but somehow, that all seemed significant to me, if subtle. It indicates, to me, that Miki has been a champion in her heart all along and never lost that self-knowledge. Amazing.

Next, her courtside words to Julian: "What a record we have." "This is all your doing."

The first indicates to me that he really began working with her at the US Open, because she is specifically praising their brief record together, and clearly such praise would be merited only by the Open and Quebec (and maybe the close tussle with Watson in Montreal?)

The second indicates, and I may be reading way too much into it, a possible little dig at Prpic. Julian has been working with her such a short time, despite Prpic having toiled with her for two years without anything close to results like this, and it makes me wonder if Miki felt that Prpic also gave up belief in her around the time they split after the French. That effusive kudo to Julian makes me wonder if she felt a little abandoned, perhaps, by Prpic, and as a result that she wanted to underscore that, somehow, by praise of a coach who had worked only briefly with her, comparatively speaking. She could have been caught up in the moment, too. Certainly understandable.

Whatever the case, it's all fabulous and fascinating. Miki has just put some signature touches on one of the most triumphant tennis-stories I've ever seen, and she did it through blood, sweat & tears.
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Old Sep 16th, 2014, 03:55 PM   #3
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Re: The Final Stretch of Mirjana's Breakthrough 2014 Season!

I processed it by watching a documentary on Rod Serling.

NO, the reality has set in.

Miki is in a great position. She's now top 50 ish, and she can skip the whole Asian swing while the other top players are exhausting themselves with the long travel and tough draws over there. She didn't have to leave the North American Continent during her great run and push up the rankings.

And, the last few tournaments she'll play this season will I presume be on Indoor Hard, one of her best surfaces.

Things are looking pretty good.
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Old Sep 16th, 2014, 04:04 PM   #4
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Re: The Final Stretch of Mirjana's Breakthrough 2014 Season!

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Originally Posted by SERVivor View Post
I processed it by watching a documentary on Rod Serling.

NO, the reality has set in.

Miki is in a great position. She's now top 50 ish, and she can skip the whole Asian swing while the other top players are exhausting themselves with the long travel and tough draws over there. She didn't have to leave the North American Continent during her great run and push up the rankings.

And, the last few tournaments she'll play this season will I presume be on Indoor Hard, one of her best surfaces.

Things are looking pretty good.
I agree. The big Euro indoor events ... right in her current wheelhouse.
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Old Sep 16th, 2014, 04:08 PM   #5
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Re: The Final Stretch of Mirjana's Breakthrough 2014 Season!

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Originally Posted by mikireturns View Post
One observation that really struck me (actually a few) from the Quebec final match:

After watching a replay of the match, it was really astonishing how fierce was the display of raw talent by Miki. Venus was by no means in poor form. Miki just blossomed with all the genius inherent in her game --the genius we all knew was there all along, only dormant or waiting to be unlocked. She was masterful in her shot selection, movement, intensity, focus, net game, serve, timing, the works.

Second, it was very telling, for me, that she won this title and it was hugely exhilarating for her, but NOT a lot of dramatic emotions on display. We saw some of those emotions spill over (understandably) after beating Halep (and others) at the Open, but it seemed that, after crushing Venus, she stepped very easily into the demeanor of a champion who expected to win. A player who was at home with a trophy.

I dunno, but somehow, that all seemed significant to me, if subtle. It indicates, to me, that Miki has been a champion in her heart all along and never lost that self-knowledge. Amazing.

Next, her courtside words to Julian: "What a record we have." "This is all your doing."

The first indicates to me that he really began working with her at the US Open, because she is specifically praising their brief record together, and clearly such praise would be merited only by the Open and Quebec (and maybe the close tussle with Watson in Montreal?)

The second indicates, and I may be reading way too much into it, a possible little dig at Prpic. Julian has been working with her such a short time, despite Prpic having toiled with her for two years without anything close to results like this, and it makes me wonder if Miki felt that Prpic also gave up belief in her around the time they split after the French. That effusive kudo to Julian makes me wonder if she felt a little abandoned, perhaps, by Prpic, and as a result that she wanted to underscore that, somehow, by praise of a coach who had worked only briefly with her, comparatively speaking. She could have been caught up in the moment, too. Certainly understandable.

Whatever the case, it's all fabulous and fascinating. Miki has just put some signature touches on one of the most triumphant tennis-stories I've ever seen, and she did it through blood, sweat & tears.
I don't really know anyting about the split with Prpic, but I thinked he helped her technically. She had some good results with him like Stuttgart, the 2013 grass season.

Maybe she just needed a fresh start and the split was mutual. Remember when you said back in the Spring it looked to you like it may be time for a change, that he had taken her as far as he could because he hadn't been able to fix the Psychological part of her game, at least on a consistent basis. Maybe, something just clicked with Alonso and she has been able to focus on the Phychological parts better, because techinically, she seemed to play pretty much the same in a few matches like Stuttgart, Doha as she is now, she just couldn't do it consistently.

I did not see Alonso when I watched her matches at the U.S. Open. It seemed like her brother was courtside. But, she must have been working with Alonso by then.
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Old Sep 16th, 2014, 04:14 PM   #6
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Re: The Final Stretch of Mirjana's Breakthrough 2014 Season!

And one more thing, Thank God for WTA on-court coaching. Both in Doha and now in Memphis, she seemed to play better right after visits by the coach. Of course, she did well at the U.S. Open withhout it.
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Old Sep 16th, 2014, 05:07 PM   #7
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Re: The Final Stretch of Mirjana's Breakthrough 2014 Season!

really interested to see the Linz Q list on Thursday (?). Hope she is on it!
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Old Sep 16th, 2014, 05:25 PM   #8
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Re: The Final Stretch of Mirjana's Breakthrough 2014 Season!

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And one more thing, Thank God for WTA on-court coaching. Both in Doha and now in Memphis, she seemed to play better right after visits by the coach. Of course, she did well at the U.S. Open withhout it.
True. I was only speculating on the Prpic "thing" because, alongside everything about Miki's success in this last month (which you very aptly encapsulated as "back against the wall" tennis) it seemed to me that her total hook-up with Prpic had that "back against the wall" aura about it, too: her childhood mentor, confidante, coach --long lost due to time and tide-- coming back in to help her at the dramatic "11th Hour" of her stalled comeback ... and it didn't come to fruition while they were together.

That, to my mind, must have also contributed toward some sense of "now or never" for Miki -- the collapse of the Prpic coaching relationship. If it had been a garden-variety coach, sure, I could see her moving on seamlessly. But Prpic was especially significant to this girl, this history, this comeback attempt.

And on top of her slumpy late Spring and Summer, the split with Prpic had to have been emotionally tough, as in, "God, I've tried everything -- even my iconic childhood coach, and it STILL isn't happening."

Prpic did indeed shore-up some technical deficiencies in her game. I saw it clearly and immediately, as early as Midland 2013 (or 2012?) and he gave her a bit more inspiration, but ... frankly ... I think she never needed any "star" coach or mythical coach or too much of anything.

She worked so hard these past few years, as all the fans know (but do we REALLY know how hard she worked?) and I think she needed, more than anything, that string of big-stage wins, the ones that came at the Open, starting with qualifying and ending with the trouncing of Halep. That had to be the thing that unlocked her doubts and let them escape from her game (and her competitive spirit) forever.

We saw how she carried the momentum and really just crushed the field in Quebec.

I also expect she may have highlighted Alonso's aid because he took her on when she was at the very end. That's kind of obvious ... and special.

There's really no turning back for her, now.

Mirjana will never again be or become the "Can I ever Justify My Former Status As A Winner?" player. Never again.

That monkey is off her back. Permanently.

Win or lose, she's a changed tennis pro. The fun part, to me, will be seeing what she can actually DO At this age and with this new, fixed component of self-belief.

No matter what, I really am glad we all stuck it out. What a payoff!
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Old Sep 16th, 2014, 05:26 PM   #9
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Re: The Final Stretch of Mirjana's Breakthrough 2014 Season!

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really interested to see the Linz Q list on Thursday (?). Hope she is on it!
Me, too!
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Old Sep 16th, 2014, 08:43 PM   #10
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Re: The Final Stretch of Mirjana's Breakthrough 2014 Season!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1WNe-RrAxFE

see V intervies after SF. 1h 22min 25s on youtube video. It really seems like she honestly is happy for Mirjana..so nice to see.
even after the final she was so nice.
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Old Sep 16th, 2014, 09:22 PM   #11
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Re: The Final Stretch of Mirjana's Breakthrough 2014 Season!

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Originally Posted by mikireturns View Post
One observation that really struck me (actually a few) from the Quebec final match:

After watching a replay of the match, it was really astonishing how fierce was the display of raw talent by Miki. Venus was by no means in poor form. Miki just blossomed with all the genius inherent in her game --the genius we all knew was there all along, only dormant or waiting to be unlocked. She was masterful in her shot selection, movement, intensity, focus, net game, serve, timing, the works.

Second, it was very telling, for me, that she won this title and it was hugely exhilarating for her, but NOT a lot of dramatic emotions on display. We saw some of those emotions spill over (understandably) after beating Halep (and others) at the Open, but it seemed that, after crushing Venus, she stepped very easily into the demeanor of a champion who expected to win. A player who was at home with a trophy.

I dunno, but somehow, that all seemed significant to me, if subtle. It indicates, to me, that Miki has been a champion in her heart all along and never lost that self-knowledge. Amazing.

Next, her courtside words to Julian: "What a record we have." "This is all your doing."

The first indicates to me that he really began working with her at the US Open, because she is specifically praising their brief record together, and clearly such praise would be merited only by the Open and Quebec (and maybe the close tussle with Watson in Montreal?)

The second indicates, and I may be reading way too much into it, a possible little dig at Prpic. Julian has been working with her such a short time, despite Prpic having toiled with her for two years without anything close to results like this, and it makes me wonder if Miki felt that Prpic also gave up belief in her around the time they split after the French. That effusive kudo to Julian makes me wonder if she felt a little abandoned, perhaps, by Prpic, and as a result that she wanted to underscore that, somehow, by praise of a coach who had worked only briefly with her, comparatively speaking. She could have been caught up in the moment, too. Certainly understandable.

Whatever the case, it's all fabulous and fascinating. Miki has just put some signature touches on one of the most triumphant tennis-stories I've ever seen, and she did it through blood, sweat & tears.
I rewatched it too

In this match and the Bartoli Wimbledon match, all those things you mentioned are so evident. On the really fast surfaces, she looks like she was born to play. Her movement is so fluid and her strokes look so natural. Venus, Serena, Sharapova, Bouchard, etc have tremendous power but Miki has their power but also this natural looking movement and strokes that they just don't have. Their stuff looks manufactured compared to her. Does this make sense to others? Becuase this is what it looks like to me.
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Old Sep 16th, 2014, 11:00 PM   #12
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Re: The Final Stretch of Mirjana's Breakthrough 2014 Season!

I found the link to this on twitter: I remember Robby Koening saying during the Radwanska match that she worked with this fitness guru.

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=809452055742263
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Old Sep 16th, 2014, 11:17 PM   #13
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Re: The Final Stretch of Mirjana's Breakthrough 2014 Season!

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Originally Posted by croat123 View Post
really interested to see the Linz Q list on Thursday (?). Hope she is on it!
She's not on it according to the Linz page on this forum. Maybe she can get a wc?
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Old Sep 16th, 2014, 11:22 PM   #14
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Re: The Final Stretch of Mirjana's Breakthrough 2014 Season!

where will she go?
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Old Sep 17th, 2014, 12:52 AM   #15
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Re: The Final Stretch of Mirjana's Breakthrough 2014 Season!

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She's not on it according to the Linz page on this forum. Maybe she can get a wc?
Given her ranking and form before the USO, Mirjana was probably planning to play ITF MDs, not WTA Qs, through the end of the year.

At this point, the only way she'll play another WTA in 2014 is if she gets a WC from one of the European Internationals. I don't think that's going to happen so we'll probably have to wait until January to see Mirjana back at that level.
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