Croatia’s Mirjana Lucic-Baroni set a new WTA record after she won the Coupe Banque Nationale title in Quebec City on Sunday. The 32-year old defeated 34-year old and seven-time Grand Slam champion venus Williams 6-4, 6-3. The title win sets a new record for biggest gap between winning titles at 16 years and four months. Lucic-Baroni’s last WTA title was in Bol, Croatia way back in 1998.
“I’m so happy I can’t really find the words right now to explain how happy I am,” Lucic-Baroni said. “I played such a great match today against one of the best players in the world, such a champion.
“It’s been so long. I’m finally playing the great tennis I always knew I could play, but it had been so long that I kind of lost a little bit of the belief in myself. But now after starting with my new coach Julian Alonso, winning matches and really getting that belief back, I’m just so ready to keep going.”
The recent record holder was Kimiko Date-Krumm which was 13 years and one month difference between her last WTA title in San Diego (1996) and in Seoul, Korea in 2009.
“It’s not bad!” Lucic-Baroni said about the record. “It was so long ago, I don’t even remember what it’s like to hold a trophy in my hands. It’s just incredible. I’m still in a little bit of shock because I was so focused today, but oh my goodness, it’s just an amazing feeling right now.”
Lucic-Baroni said she’ll be taking a much-needed time off.
“I’m going to rest,” she said. “When I get home we’re going to celebrate at my husband’s restaurant. And for sure he’s going to make some really good for me.
“We’ll open a good bottle of champagne. I’ll find the most expensive one in his restaurant!”
“My opponent played too well against me today,” Williams said after the match. “She swung as hard as she could on every shot and hit so many lines. It’s not typical that when you go for every shot they almost all go in. I think I played pretty well, but she just played better than me.
“She just had the magic today.”
Lucic-Baroni paired up later in the day with Lucie Hradecka to win the doubles title with a victory over Andrea Hlavackova and Julia Goerges 6-3, 7-6.