When 16-year-old Mirra Andreeva needed advice after losing in the third round at her first major tennis tournament, she didn’t have much time.
Sure, her parents and coaches were instrumental in her becoming the latest teenage sensation in tennis. But Andreeva knows herself better than anyone, so the conversation remained internal after this year’s French Open.
“Honestly, after Paris, I just had a pretty long conversation with myself, just myself, and that was it. I have spoken to myself. I was just talking,” Andreeva said. “I don’t know, just a few things have become clear in my head. I’ve made some decisions that I think are important to me now.”
In her second major tournament, Andreeva has already taken a step up and advanced to the fourth round at Wimbledon after beating 22nd seed Anastasia Potapova 6-2, 7-5.
“I’ve done a good job because everything is working now,” said the Russian teenager, who trains in France. “Yeah, I was just talking to myself and deciding everything I need to do next. So far it works.”
Andreeva became the youngest player to reach the fourth round at Wimbledon since Coco Gauff in 2019. Next, she meets the No. 25 Madison Keys for a quarterfinal spot.
Pretty tough stuff for a teenager being touted as a potential superstar on the tennis circuit.
“Actually, I think I’m just a normal teenager, a normal girl. I think I do everything that girls my age do. I love watching some series. I have to do my school. I have no choice. I have to suffer two more years and that’s all,” Andreeva said, smiling at the last part. “Sometimes it depends on my mood, but sometimes I’d rather be alone, just with myself, yeah.”
For such a young player, her maturity showed on the pitch. After winning the first set on Sunday, she was 4-1 down in the second. By keeping a cool head, she managed to regroup and regain control.
“Honestly, even if I wanted to show some emotions today, I honestly couldn’t because I was out of breath on almost every point,” Andreeva said in an on-pitch interview. “I really couldn’t show any emotion.”
They came out later, however, as she sat down in her chair and pulled her purple Wimbledon towel over her face for a few seconds to regain her composure.
The pressure at the oldest Grand Slam tournament will only increase. After six straight wins in her just six appearances on grass – three in qualifiers and three in the peloton – Andreeva is now looking to emulate 2021 US Open champion Emma Raducanu and become only the second qualifier in history to win a big tournament wins.
“Obviously she did a great job in 2021. Everyone was impressed,” Andreeva said of Raducanu, a British player who will miss Wimbledon this year through injury. “But I just try not to think about it. I think it’s going to upset me, all these thoughts. I just try to play every game and I don’t think about how far I’ve come or what round I’m playing, who I’m playing against.”
AP Tennis: and