09 Mar 1982
Mirjana Lucic-Baroni captured the women's doubles title at the 1998 Australian Open when she was 15-years-old, partnered with Martina Hingis. She also won the first ever professional tournament she entered, the 1997 Croatian Bol Ladies Open, and defended it the following year at age 16, making her the youngest player in history to successfully defend a title. She then reached the semifinals of the 1999 Wimbledon Championships, beating world No. 4 Monica Seles en route before she lost to Steffi Graf, the player she admired the most. She said that she had been abused by her father, Marinko, from early childhood and took an extended hiatus from competition after the 2003 Us Open.
She came back in 2007 and returned to Top 100 on October 25, 2010 (first time in Top 100 since July 2000). In 2011 she played the first quarter-finals since the 1999 Wimbledon semifinal in Strasbourg and Birmingham. In 2014, her first Top 100 season in 15 years (finishing No.61 - last Top 100 finish was No.50 in 1999), she defeated V.Williams in final at Québec City for first singles title in 16 years, 4 months: it was the longest gap between titles in the Wta history (Croatia Open in May 1998 was last title before this). At the end of the year,she was named WTA Comeback Player of the Year by international media. In 2015 she reached SF at Québec City (l. to Beck), in 2016 she was runner-up in Strasbourg (as qualifier, l. Garcia in F), where she had finished runner-up in 1997. She Finished 2016 at No.82, her sixth non-consecutive Top 100 finish. In 2017 her defeat of Wang in 1r at Australian Open marked first main draw win in Melbourne since 1998. Her gap between match wins at a single Grand Slam overtook the previous record held by Kimiko Date, who went 17
years between wins at Wimbledon from 1996 to 2013. She lost to Serena Williams in the 'oldest' Grand Slam SF match-up in Open Era in terms of combined age of the protagonists. The previous record was set at 1994 Wimbledon with Navratilova (37 years, 8 months) defeating Gigi Fernandez (30 years, 4 months). On 1 May she cracked the top 20 for the first time.
ARTICLE ABOUT MIRJANA LUCIC-BARONI