Wednesday, May 27, 2015

French Open Day 4 recap: Lucic-Baroni upsets Halep

No. 3 seed and 2014 French Open runner-up
Simona Halep, shown en route to the title
at Indian Wells in March, lost to Mirjana
Lucic-Baroni today in the second round
Roland Garros. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Upset of the day -- Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, a 33-year-old former prodigy from Croatia, continued her resurgence with a 7-5, 6-1 victory over No. 3 seed and 2014 runner-up Simona Halep of Romania in the second round.
   Lucic-Baroni, who sat out from 2003 through 2009 amid personal problems, also ousted Halep to reach the round of 16 in last year's U.S. Open as a qualifier.
   Lucic-Baroni has accused her father, Marinko, of physical abuse and tampering with her prize money. "There have been more beatings than anyone can imagine," she once said.
   Countered Marinko Lucic: “I never used excessive force, and if I did give her the occasional slap, it was because of her behavior. I did what I believed what was best for the child.” 
   Match of the day -- Germany's Benjamin Becker, who will turn 34 on June 16, outlasted 32nd-seeded Fernando Verdasco of Spain 6-4, 0-6, 1-6, 7-5, 10-8.
   Notable -- Samantha Stosur, the 26th seed and 2010 runner-up, extended her winning streak to seven matches with a 6-0, 6-1 victory over French wild card Amandine Hesse. Stosur has lost only five games in two matches.
   Nicolas Mahut, a 33-year-old Frenchman, eliminated No. 24 seed and 2014 semifinalist Ernests Gulbis of Latvia 6-3, 3-6, 7-5, 6-3.
   Men's seeded winners -- No. 2 Roger Federer, No. 4 Tomas Berdych, No. 5 Kei Nishikori, No. 8 Stan Wawrinka, No. 12 Gilles Simon, No. 13 Gael Monfils, No. 14 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, No. 21 Pablo Cuevas, No. 22 Philipp Kohlschreiber.
   Men's seeded losers -- No. 19 Roberto Bautista Agut, No. 24 Gulbis, No. 28 Fabio Fognini, No. 32 Fernando Verdasco.
   Women's seeded winners -- No. 2 Maria Sharapova, No. 7 Ana Ivanovic, No. 8 Carla Suarez Navarro, No. 9 Ekaterina Makarova, No. 11 Angelique Kerber, No. 13 Lucie Safarova, No. 19 Elina Svitolina, No. 20 Sabine Lisicki, No. 21 Garbine Muguruza, No. 26 Stosur, No. 28 Flavia Pennetta, No. 29 Alize Cornet.
   Women's seeded loser -- No. 3 Halep.
   Stars and stripes -- Steve Johnson beat Sergiy Stakhovsky of Ukraine 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (6) to reach the third round of a Grand Slam tournament for the second straight time.
   Advancing to the second round in doubles were top-seeded Bob and Mike Bryan, second-seeded Jack Sock and Canadian Vasek Pospisil, Austin Krajicek and Donald Young, and Varvara Lepchenko and China's Saisai Zheng.
   Fast facts -- Kimiko Date-Krumm and Francesca Schiavone, who won their first-round doubles match, are a combined 78 years old. Date-Krumm, 44, reached the singles semifinals at Roland Garros 20 years ago, and Schiavone won the singles title five years ago.
   Northern California connection -- Four members of the California Dream, the new Sacramento-based franchise in World TeamTennis, played first-round doubles matches.
   California's Bob and Mike Bryan, seeded first in men's doubles, ended a rare two-match losing streak with a 7-6 (8), 6-2 decision over Raven Klaasen of South Africa and Yen-Hsun Lu of Taiwan.
   Hao-Ching Chan of Taiwan and the Dream's Anabel Medina Garrigues of Spain outclassed Aleksandra Krunic of Serbia and Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine 6-3, 6-1.
   And Gilles Muller of Luxembourg and California's Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi of Pakistan lost to Florian Mayer and Frank Moser of Germany 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (1).
   In the first round of mixed doubles, Raquel Kops-Jones, a San Jose resident and former Cal star, and Robert Farah of Colombia defeated Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia and Ivo Karlovic of Croatia 7-6 (4), 6-3.
   Quote -- Lucic-Baroni: "I feel like I missed my best years, for sure. There is nothing I can do (about it) right now. There is no point of thinking about it too much. Just enjoying right now where I am."

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