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Bank of the West qualifying section

3)Lucic-Baroni v (wc)Kops-Jones
Gavrilova v (5)Kania
 

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So she's playing a 31 year old who has never reached a grand slam, career high ranking of 162, currently ranked 1038 and has won 1 match in 3 years. It's either going to be 6-2 6-2 (losing serve 3 times) or 5-7 6-0 3-6 .
 

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So she's playing a 31 year old who has never reached a grand slam, career high ranking of 162, currently ranked 1038 and has won 1 match in 3 years. It's either going to be 6-2 6-2 (losing serve 3 times) or 5-7 6-0 3-6 .
Agreed. :lol:

She's been out of action for some time now so pretty much anything is possible, but for some (inexplicable) reason I believe Miki will get this done without problems ;)
 

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isn't Kops Johnes a doubles specialist??
 

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Can barely see the court it's so bright. Lousy first return game there.
Why'd you think I've put in a laughing smiley... Anyway, it's like they tried to find the one angle through which we won't see anything and they nailed it :lol:

Hopefully it'll get better a bit later and we might actually witness some of the action.
 

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and blasts another one over the baseline for 0-3 and looks like the trainer has been called. I think we're going to see a retirement here sadly.
 

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You can't serve like that and win matches. Doesn't matter if the opponent is 33 or 1043. She got herself out of jail second set and then threw a lousy double fault in at 6-4 in the tiebreak.
 

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COURTSIDE REPORT

Greetings, fellow Lucicians (or Baronians)

Whull, as I am sure most of you saw via stream or scoreboard, today was not a good day for Miss L-Bar, to say the least. I am in Stanford for the day and got a ringside seat for the debacle, so will offer my take on the whole affair.

It is a gorgeous day inland, with temperatures expected to near 100 degrees F., so I was pretty jazzed for Mirjana, when I noted last night that she would be first-up on court, 10AM promptly, against an opponent I assumed she would beat with some measure of ease.

No such luck.

Mirjana, I hate to say it, was as bad as I've ever seen her. It was pretty dismal, guys.

She came out looking great in the warm-up, though still flexi-taped around her bicep, tricep and upper right shoulder (though not "Frankenstein taped" as she was at Wimbledon.) She was hitting smoothly and fluidly in the warm-up, measured strokes, and my first thought was, "She's going to cream this girl." Kops-Jones looked very muscular and fit, but her ball just could not compare with Mirjana's. When the girls took their warm-up serves, Mirjana missed only one practice serve. Only one. She made all but one of her overheads in the warm-up. I thought, "She's clearly been practicing, she's in form. She looks rested, refreshed."

Yikes.

She landed a total of TWO first serves in the entire set. TWO. Total. 7 DFs. But even worse was her play. It was screamingly bad. She started out, as we have seen before, at 100% full-blast, no rhyme, no reason, NO TENNIS. A friend who was with me (who knows maybe a little about the game) whispered at one point, "Why doesn't she just play tennis? What's wrong?"

That sums it up. Kops-Jones was competent, but she really did not have to do a great deal. Mirjana gave her everything.

When Mirjana missed a shot, which was every other stroke, she wasn't just missing by inches, she was hitting them out 6, 7 even 10 feet beyond the baseline or 5, 6 feet wide. It was ludicrous. There was no reason for her to have produced an effort like this, and I can't even call it an effort, because it didn't even look like tennis.

Kops-Jones was even serving and volleying regularly because it was apparent that Miki was going to make an error, on virtually every shot. All she had to do was get the ball back, which she did admirably, by hanging several feet behind the baseline to wait for Miki's flat screamers (when they managed to land in the court) and she defended. That's it.

Mirjana simply could not stop rushing, stop playing reckless, stupid shots that made no sense, and she could not dial it down and get some first serves in. Her shot-selection is usually pretty questionable, but I've never seen it so bad against this level of opponent.

She fell behind swiftly 0-3 and called for her coach, who was not Prpic, by the way. That alliance appears to be over, unless the younger guy coaching her now is from Prpic's academy or something. I have pictures from the match that I'll upload when I get home, in case anyone recognizes this new dude. Anyhow, he came out and tried to talk her down from the trees, but it did very little good. She got a couple of games but still kept hitting shots a million miles an hour ten feet beyond the baseline. If she had simply dialed it down and played tennis ... who knows.

She tried to summon her coach a second time after she lost the first set, but the ump told her she could not and had to wait until the proper juncture, so she seemed surprised and had a few words with the ump and then motioned him back to the stands. Going up 2-0, it looked like she might come to life, but I never got the sense that she would win this. Though she started to land a few more serves and some hot crosscourt drives, she was still missing shots by a long way. Big, ugly, crazy errors. Every game seemed as if Kops-Jones had the edge, with Mirjana holding on by sheer luck (it seemed). Still, Mirjana had one really good service game when down and out, saving match point.

She called her coach out again at the proper time (I noticed someone wondering if she had a medical timeout -- No, she did not). The coach seemed to calm her down a little bit and after saving the first match point she finally appeared to settle and play some tennis. The crowd was appreciative, because no one really saw anything approaching "real tennis" until then. I thought Miki might just sneak away with the set because she was hitting and moving with much more conviction, which wouldn't take a lot of effort. Kops-Jones got a little nervous, handed her a couple of freebies, but Mirjana was giving away freebies in every game, many of them, and all at the most inopportune times. The tiebreak featured some nice shots and Kops-Jones is to be commended for really hanging in and waiting for the Lucic collapse.

She collapsed on schedule. :sad: After blowing a set point of her own, Miki did try hard to hang in there, but it was too little, late. Another DF set-up the last bit of mental momentum Kops-Jones needed, and she took it.

I think that, if Kops-Jones had given Miki just a few more free points at the end of the second set, she might have squeaked this one out. But she didn't. It was an ugly performance against a very low-level opponent who didn't have to do much, but I don't want to take anything away from Raquel. She just had to get serves in and return balls.

Side note: Venus Williams emerged a few feet away from the players' entrance to watch Miki and Kops-J playing (I am presuming that the winner of that Q bracket will face VW) and stayed for a few minutes until she was mobbed by a herd of little girls wanting autographs. Pretty cute.

Mirjana left the court quickly and when we left the stands to grab some lunch before the next match, the Martic match, I saw Mirjana and her coach sitting on the ground at the racetrack adjacent to the stadium, in the shade. The coach was talking, talking, talking and Miki sipping water, looking a bit dejected.

Don't really know where she goes from here, y'all. Didn't have much to cheer for today, but I tried to clap from the sidelines when she hit her maybe two or three winners or good shots, as much as was appropriate. The crowd was really pro-Kops Jones, and it was a good crowd for qualifying, but Stanford always does draw well.

Have a feeling this was the last time I'll see Mirjana play "live," so I'm very happy I got a chance to see her. It would have been a story if she had taken that tiebreaker, but ... I don't see a lot of gas left in the tank, so to speak, career-wise.

She's on quite a losing skid right now and this opponent was a prime opportunity to right the ship. I wish her luck at Us Open qualifying, but right now she is not anywhere near WTA level. With points to defend from US Open qualifying and Quebec and that ITF win last year, I don't see her staying in the Top 200 much longer, with this completely broken-down game, unless she digs in her heels and rebuilds again from square one on the Challenger Tour.

It seems hard to imagine her doing that, or wanting to do that, at her age, after all the nice accomplishments she has made the last four years.

Still, I hope she'll find some way to make something happen, soon. I don't think she'll be one to hang around once she realizes it's time to call it a day.

Sad I won't get to see her again tomorrow, but there are a lot of other matches to enjoy, and a big week of matches ahead. If anyone has any other favorites they want to follow, let me know.

Best wishes, everyone ... and, Miki, we'll always love you and be proud of you. You've done a great job, no matter what. Good luck.:)
 
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