By Chris Oddo | Friday, August 29, 2014
Mirjana Lucic-Baroni notched her biggest win in 15 years, stunning Simona Halep in straight sets on Day 5.
Photo Source: AP
On a day of surprises at the US Open, 32-year-old qualifier Mirjana Lucic-Baroni notched the biggest shock of all, taking down No. 2 seed Simona Halep in straight sets, 7-6(6) 6-2.
The victory sends Lucic-Baroni, currently ranked 119 in the world, into the fourth round of a major for the first time since 1999 when she was a Wimbledon semifinalist.
Remarkably, the Croatian entered US Open qualifying on the heels of an eight-match losing streak, but since showing up at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, she has found her game in a big way.
The 32-year-old saved two set points in the opener before rallying to win the tiebreak, then cruised in the second set to close the door on Halep in 94 minutes.
Lucic-Baroni improved her career record against the top five to 2-10 with the upset, which marks the first time in 2014 that Halep did not progress to the quarterfinals of a major.
“She played really well today,” Halep said after the match. “I mean, after I had 5-2 and the two set points, she came back really well and she started to hit every ball. Everything was in for her. It wasn't my best day, but still I did everything I could on court. She was better than me today, so I have to just to keep working every day hard and to look forward for the next one.”
Lucic-Baroni will face Sara Errani, who defeated Venus Williams in a heated battle in three sets, in the fourth round.