New York: Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, one of tennis' hottest talents before being engulfed by personal trauma, reached her first Grand Slam fourth round in 15 years on Friday when she beat second seed Simona Halep at the US Open.
Croatia's Mirjana Lucic-Baroni. Pic/Getty Images
Her career and personal went into freefall when she revealed she was abused by her father, Marinko.
As a result, Lucic-Baroni and her mother and siblings were forced to flee Croatia to find refuge in the United States. "There have been more beatings than anyone can imagine," she once said.
Her father insisted that he had never used excessive force: "If I gave her the occasional slap, it was because of her behaviour; I did what I believed what was best for the child."
On Friday, the blonde Croatian, who arrived in New York on an eight-match losing streak, was almost lost for words. "I just kept fighting.
After so many years, it's incredible. I live for this. I am 32. Every painful moment has been worth it. It's incredible, amazing, I feel goofy," she said.