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Lucic-Baroni Strikes Back In Québec

Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, the defending champion at the Coupe Banque Nationale, was in big trouble against a WTA Rising Star on Quarterfinal Friday - but she struck back.

Published September 18, 2015 12:13

Lucic-Baroni Strikes Back In Québec
Samantha Crawford, Mirjana Lucic-Baroni

QUÉBEC CITY, Canada - Defending Coupe Banque Nationale champion Mirjana Lucic-Baroni thwarted a big upset bid on Friday to get back into the semifinals of the International-level tournament.

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The No.2-seeded Lucic-Baroni, who made a fairytale run to her first WTA title in 16 years a year ago in Québec City, was in big trouble against Samantha Crawford, falling behind 6-4, 2-0 to the American qualifier. But she starting finding her range just in time, winning six of the next eight games to take the second set and then rolling through a 31-minute third set to sneak the victory out, 4-6, 6-4, 6-1.

"I thought it was an incredibly good match," Lucic-Baroni said. "She started out really great. She served well, moved well at the baseline, and I was just really surprised at how well she was playing. She's definitely better than No.217 and if she keeps playing like she did today she won't be there for long.

"It took me a little while to get adapted to her style and to how she plays, but I am really proud of myself - I kept hanging in there and kept fighting, and I stepped up when I needed to out there today."

How did Lucic-Baroni keep hanging in there? "I was mentally in every point, every game - even when she was serving or up 40-0. As the match went on, I feel like I started moving better, as well."

Lucic-Baroni also hit a big milestone - she scored the 350th match win of her career.

Next up for the Croatian sensation is No.5 seed Annika Beck, who withstood a barrage of big serves and two-fisted groundies from No.4 seed Lucie Hradecka - and withstood it very well, 6-0, 6-3.

Lucic-Baroni and Beck will be playing against each other for the first time.

The other two quarterfinals both produced first-time WTA semifinalists - in fact, neither had even been to a WTA quarterfinal before. First to move through was Latvian teen Jelena Ostapenko, who stormed out to a 6-0, 5-0 lead and eventually finished Paula Kania off after 57 minutes, 6-0, 6-1, and British lucky loser Naomi Broady followed with a 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 grinder over American Anna Tatishvili.

Ostapenko and Broady will also be playing against each other for the very first time.

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