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Friday, August 29, 2014

Under the Radar: Mirjana Lucic-Baroni Into the 4th Round of the US Open for the First Time


Finally, after toiling under the shadows, former teen prodigy Mirjana Lucic-Baroni finally reaches the fourth round of the 2014 US Open, for the first time since reaching the third round of the 1997 and 1998 seasons.  Her best performance in a grand slam was a semifinal appearance in Wimbledon in 1999.

I knew that she would be able to make a comeback one of these years, and just being in a right draw would help her.  She actually had to qualify for the main draw, and I think the early matches helped clean her game.

She defeated Spanish player Garbine Muguruza, currently ranked #26, in the first round, 63 76(4).

In the second round, she defeated veteran Israeli player Shahar Peer.  Although currently ranked #155 in the world, the Israeli player had a wealth of experience in the grand slam. Lucic-Baroni won over her, 67(6) 63 62.

She then shocked current world #2 Simona Halep of Romania, 75 62 in the third round.

She will next meet Italian Sara Errani, currently ranked #12, in the fourth round.

She really has a good chance of making it as far as the quarters, if she continues to play well.   

Under the Radar: Cici Bellis Into Surprising Second Round Appearance in a Grand Slam


Currently ranked #1211 in the world, American Cici Bellis would've been an easy opponent for veteran Slovakian player Dominika Cibulkova, currently ranked #13.  However, Cici defeated this year's Australian Open finalist 62 46 64.

She lost her second round match though to Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan, currently ranked #46, 63 06 62.


Under the Radar: Aleksandra Krunic Into Her First Third Round Appearance in a Grand Slam


Serbian player Aleksandra Krunic, currently ranked #143 is into the third round of the 2014 US Open.  She had to qualify for the main draw and she has made the most of it.

She dismantled Katarzyna Piter of Poland in the first round, currently ranked #111, 64 61. She then surprised American Madison Keys, currently ranked #28, 76(4) 26 75.

She will next meet current Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova in the third round.  She's definitely be in another league now.


Under the Radar: American Nicole Gibbs Into First Third Round Grand Slam Appearance


Performing really well in this year's US Open is American Nicole Gibbs, currently ranked #136.  She has defeated two noteworthy opponents in the main singles draw - Caroline Garcia of France, currently ranked #42, 26 62 63.

She then proceeded to dismantle Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, currently ranked #24, 64 67(6) 63.

She will next meet Italian Flavia Pennetta, currently ranked #12.

Under the Radar: Sam Groth Into First Second Round Grand Slam Appearance


Australian player Sam Groth, currently ranked #104, reached the second round of the 2014 US Open for the first time by defeating Albert Ramos Vinolas of Spain, currently ranked #95, 63 76(5) 63, in the first round.

It's also the first time he got this deep in any grand slam.  He will next meet tennis legend Roger Federer in the second round.