WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — When 16-year-old Mirra Andreeva needed some advice after losing in the third round at her first major tennis tournament, she didn’t have go far. Sure, her parents and coaches have played huge roles in helping her become the latest teen sensation in tennis. But Andreeva knows herself better than anyone else
WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — When 16-year-old Mirra Andreeva needed some advice after losing in the third round at her first major tennis tournament, she didn’t have go far.
Sure, her parents and coaches have played huge roles in helping her become the latest teen sensation in tennis. But Andreeva knows herself better than anyone else does, so the conversation after this year’s French Open stayed internal.
“Honestly, after Paris I just had quite a long talk with myself, just me and myself, and that’s it. I talked to myself. I just talked,” Andreeva said. “I don’t know, just in my head I realized some things. I took some decisions that I think are now important for me.”
In her second major tournament, Andreeva has already done one better, advancing to the fourth round at Wimbledon following a 6-2, 7-5 victory over 22nd-seeded Anastasia Potapova on No. 3 Court.
“I did a good job because now everything is working so far,” said the Russian teen who trains in France. “Yes, I just talked with myself, and I decided everything what I have to do next. So far it’s working.”
Andreeva became the youngest player to reach the fourth round at Wimbledon since Coco Gauff in 2019. She will next face will No. 25 Madison Keys for a spot in the quarterfinals.
Pretty heavy stuff for a teenager who is being touted as a potential superstar on the tennis circuit.
“Actually, I think I’m just a normal teenager, like normal girl. I do, I think, everything that the girls my age do. I love to watch some series. I have to do my school. I have no choice. I have to suffer for two more years, and that’s it,” Andreeva said, smiling at that last part. “Sometimes it depends on my mood, but sometimes I prefer to be alone, just with myself, yes.”
For such a young player, her maturity came through on court. After winning the first set on Sunday, she found herself trailing 4-1 in the second. Keeping her cool, she was able to regroup and take back control.
“Today, honestly, even if I wanted to show some emotions, I honestly, I couldn’t because I was out of breath almost every point,” Andreeva said in an on-court interview. “I really couldn’t show any emotions.”
They came out after, though, when she sat in her chair and pulled her purple Wimbledon towel up over her face for a few seconds to regain her composure.
The pressure at the oldest Grand Slam tournament will only intensify. After six straight victories in her only six times playing on grass — three in qualifying and three in the main draw — Andreeva is now looking to emulate 2021 U.S. Open champion Emma Raducanu and become only the second qualifier in history to win a major tournament.
“Of course, in 2021 she did amazing job. Everyone was impressed,” Andreeva said of Raducanu, a British player who is missing Wimbledon this year because of injuries. “But me, I just try to not think about it. I think it will disturb me, all these thoughts. I just try to play every match and don’t think how far I have gone already or which round I’m playing, against who I’m playing.”
Chris Lehourites, The Associated Press