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Lucic-Baroni Shocks Halep

Think that Mirjana Lucic-Baroni’s straight-sets upset over Simona Halep didn’t mean a lot to her? Think again. The 32-year-old qualifier, who hadn’t reached the fourth round of a Grand Slam since 1999 when she went all the way to the Wimbledon semifinals, broke down in tears while talking to the press after her victory over world No. 2 Halep.

Day 5: Lucic-Baroni Stuns No. 2-Seeded Halep for Biggest Win in 15 Years

Lucic-Baroni has been through a lot in her career. After her run at Wimbledon in ‘99, she went through personal and financial problems that eventually led to her taking a hiatus from the game in 2003.

Most notable of Lucic-Baroni’s problems was that she suffered abuse from her father, which was well-documented at the time:

After playing only two tournaments between 2004 and 2006, Lucic-Baroni returned to the game in 2007, and in 2010, after three years of toiling away in qualifiers and smaller events, she qualified for Wimbledon and made her first Grand Slam appearance since 2002. Since returning to Grand Slam play, Lucic-Baroni has suffered eleven first-round defeats and never reached beyond the third round at any Slam—until today.

“I don’t know, I’m a little bit emotional,” she told reporters. “After so many years to be here again, it’s incredible. I wanted this so bad.”

Lucic-Baroni will face Sara Errani in the fourth round. We suspect she’ll have a few people rooting for her.