Mirjana Lucic-Baroni added to the drama at the Australian Open this year when she ousted the 5th seed, Karolina Pliskova, 6-4 3-6 6-4 on the Rod Laver Arena yesterday.
It has been a long time since the now 34 year old player from Croatia has enjoyed this much success.
Her rampant rise to fame started when she turned professional, won the first tournament that she entered, and then partnered Martina Hingis to win the 1998 Australian Ladies Doubles title – all at the tender age of 15.
In 1999, she reached her first Grand Slam semi-final after defeating the then World No. 4 player, Monica Seles, but eventually went on to lose in three sets to Steffi Graf.
Unfortunately personal problems reared their head, which saw her taking a break from the tour, although she still competed in a few tournaments between 2003 – 2006. She returned to the tour in 2007 and it was not until 2014, that she started making a name for herself again, after defeating the 2nd seed, Simona Halep in the third round of the US Open and then defeating Venus Williams in the Quebec Open final.
But today marks another Grand Slam semi-final match and another Grand Slam champion stands between her and a step closer to Grand Slam Singles glory.
Her opponent is none other than (with no disrespect to older sister, Venus), the Williams sister who will remain engraved in our minds for decades to come – younger sister, Serena.
Serena Williams continued her fantastic form during this year’s Australian Open, making quick work of sweeping the British hopeful, Johanna Konta aside, with another comprehensive 6-2 6-3 win yesterday.
Williams certainly has her own agenda, not only eyeing a history making 23rd Grand Slam Ladies Singles title but also biting at the bit to return to the No. 1 spot, which she lost to Angelique Kerber last year.
Williams and Lucic-Baroni have only battled it out twice before – in 1998, when Serena was victorious on both occasions.