French Open 2015: Simona Halep beaten by Lucic-Baroni in Paris

By Piers NewberyBBC Sport at Roland Garros
Mirjana Lucic-Baroni
Lucic-Baroni missed eight French Opens between 2003 and 2010 with off-court issues
French Open
Venue: Roland Garros, Paris Dates: 24 May - 7 June
Coverage: Live text and BBC Radio 5 live sports extra commentaries on every Andy Murray match and other key matches.

Mirjana Lucic-Baroni upset third seed Simona Halep for the second time in three Grand Slams at the French Open.

The 33-year-old Croat, ranked 70th, repeated her shock victory over Romania's Halep at the US Open, winning 7-5 6-1.

Lucic-Baroni made her Roland Garros debut in 1999 and is through to round three for the first time since 2001.

Halep, 23, reached her first Grand Slam final in Paris last year, finishing runner-up to Maria Sharapova.

She had high hopes of going one step further this year but ran into a blizzard of aggressive shot-making from Lucic-Baroni.

"She started to hit the ball very strong at the beginning of the match," said Halep.

"So she was better than me today and I just have to take this situation, handle it, and just go forward."

A final count of 27 winners to five in the Croat's favour told just how she was able to dominate on Court Suzanne Lenglen.

She goes on to face French 29th seed Alize Cornet, 14 years after she lost to the American Jennifer Capriati at the same stage.

Comeback queen
Lucic-Baroni was named the WTA comeback player of 2014, a year in which she beat Venus Williams in Quebec to claim her first singles title in 16 years, four months - the longest gap between titles in WTA history.

"When I saw the draw and I saw who I was playing second round, I knew it was going to be really tough," said Lucic-Baroni.

"I was going to have to play a great match again and sort of back up what I did at the US Open. I know I played really well. I have been working really hard, and I knew today I had to play some great tennis. I was ready for it."

The win over Halep in New York last September took Lucic-Baroni into the last 16 of a Slam for the first time since she reached the Wimbledon semi-finals as a 17-year-old in 1999, eventually losing to Germany's Steffi Graf.

"At the US Open was the first time in a really long time that I've had a really good result like that, so I was extremely emotional," she added.

Her life changed dramatically when alleged physical and verbal abuse by her father,external-link Marinko, led to her fleeing Croatia for the US with her mother and siblings.

She played just three matches between 2004 and 2006, and did not appear at the French Open between 2003 and 2010.

"The day I left Croatia was 24th of July, 1998," said Lucic-Baroni.

"I was able to have peace and love. I was able to live with my family really happy, and I think that was when everything went good for me."

Simona Halep
Halep - who won at Indian Wells earlier this year - has lost both her meetings with Lucic-Baroni

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