Can lucky loser Olga Danilovic push her luck into the upcoming season?



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Can lucky loser Olga Danilovic push her luck into the upcoming season?

She fell down on the red clay court in the hot, July sun in Moscow, putting her hand over her mouth in disbelief after executing a well-placed shot over her opponent's head. One point created history for the 17-year-old out of Serbia.

It's been a long time she was hoping her momentum would shift one day into a big victory, which it finally did. Anastasia Potapova another 17-year-old from Russia was the victim of a finely played brilliant match and all she could do was look on helplessly.

The Moscow River Cup tournament, Danilovic had lost in the qualifying rounds and was ready to board a plane back to Belgrade, Serbia her hometown, when something surprising happened. It was her coach Alex Corretja who called her and said organizers of the Moscow event wanted her to re-enter the tournament.

She happily did and was fortunate enough to play an intense match to defeat number 10, Julia Goerges. But the entire episode was deja vu because her next opponent in the final was Anastasia Potapova who she had known for years and who she could never defeat in five meetings.

In the final, she'd win the first set 7-5, but perhaps nervous and overconfident she had a barrage of unforced errors and miscalculated strategies losing the second set tiebreak 6-7. She knew to make her time worthwhile she had to focus and not let her record increase with losing again to Potapova.

There was a tense and tough third and deciding set for both. Danilovic explained that "Every match in Russia was tough...We both left it all out there in the final. We've been close friends for a long time and sharing the court with (Potapova) was a pleasure".

But the Serbian teen was the mental and physically stronger one who was determined to win the match for so many reasons. She felt her second chance to do well had to be taken as she was called back to be a lucky loser. She had never won over Potapova and she hadn't a WTA title to her name yet.

These issues gave her the intense determination to go on. The third and deciding set, Danilovic showed more maturity and stability in her shotmaking but the last touch was at match point, Danilovic got Potapova out of position and as the Russian moved to the left, she'd hit a running volley to the right leaving the young Russian just to look at the shot in disbelief.

The Serbian was the winner at 7-5, 6-7, 6-4, becoming the first recorded lucky loser to win the Moscow River Cup and her first maiden title. Upon interview, Danilovic explained "I said last year I was ready to turn professional and I really don't see myself playing junior tournaments any more...Some plans have now changed and I will definitely aim for bigger tournaments with higher ambitions.

I've been bracing myself for this for some time", she confessed. For Olga Danilovic she feels as if her life has changed 360 degrees and her rankings have elevated 75 places up to now number 112 on the WTA tour.

She admits that the entire process has been quite surreal but loved the challenge and what she has accomplished saying about her friend but opponent Anastasia Potapova that "I hope we will both play in many finals in the future".