Mirjana Lucic-Baroni turned back the clock to stun third seed Agnieszka Radwanska and send her packing from the Australian Open in round two on Thursday. The Croat, 34, who won the Australian Open doubles title way back in 1998, was too good for the Pole, winning 6-3, 6-2 on Margaret Court Arena for one of her biggest career victories. Radwanska's shock exit was the second by a top five seed in the opening rounds, with world number four Simona Halep beaten in the first round.
It also came barely an hour after men's second seed and defending champion Novak Djokovic went out to 117th-ranked Denis Istomin. "It's amazing, oh my God," said Lucic-Baroni. "It's been so long since I won a match or two (at a Grand Slam) . Actually as I'm getting older, it seems like I'm getting better. "I knew until the very last point I would have to fight... I was able to do that and stay calm. My heart is so full. I'm so happy." It was an incredible feat for a woman who made the second round at Melbourne Park on debut in 1998 but had been knocked out at the first hurdle on every appearance since then.
It made her proud owner of an Australian Open record with the 19-year gap between victories the longest in tournament history. In a sign of how long Lucic-Baroni had been around, she won the Australian Open doubles title in 1998 with Martina Hingis and made the Wimbledon singles semis a year later, losing to the legendary Steffi Graf.