Rising Star Mirra Andreeva Makes Her Mark at the French Open

Mirra Andreeva French Open

Rising star Mirra Andreeva stunned the crowd in Paris, knocking out World No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka to secure her place in her first-ever Grand Slam semifinal. In their two previous meetings, Andreeva was comfortably beaten by the Belarusian, both at the Madrid Open and both, most importantly, on clay.

After turning pro in 2022, she has since shown incredible efforts at Grand Slams and other events. In 2023, she faced Coco Gauff in the third round of Roland-Garros. The American was the sixth seed in that tournament, but Andreeva put up a strong fight, claiming the first set before a powerful Gauff took the remaining two.

In 2024, her performance has been one that sets her apart from her competitors. At the Australian Open, she defeated a sixth-seeded Ons Jabeur at the Rod Laver arena. In the first set, she gave a bagel to the Tunisian and took the next set 6-2. The victory accentuated the growth she’s had since her performance the previous year at Grand Slams. At Wimbledon, she had worn her emotions on her sleeve, to the point where her frustrations cost her the game. Now, her calm demeanor has propelled her forward, with Andreeva demonstrating remarkable control. The Russian made it to the fourth round of the tournament before being knocked out by Barbora Krejčíková.

Mirra Andreeva at the 2024 French Open

At the French Open, she began her campaign against American qualifier Emina Bektas. Despite Bektas’s spirited effort, Andreeva’s powerful baseline game and consistent shot-making led her to a straightforward 6-2 6-3 victory. In the second round, she faced former No. 1 Victoria Azarenka. Despite Azarenka’s experience and fighting spirit, Andreeva managed to secure a 7-5 6-3 win with her tactical use of aggressive shots. In the third round, she took out Peyton Stearns in straight sets 6-2 6-2 and continued the same form to take out Varvara Gracheva in the fourth.

On Wednesday, in the quarterfinal, the Russian stopped the second seed in a tumultuous battle for victory. During the opening set, it was apparent that Sabalenka was struggling. She produced two double faults in her opening service game. She grimaced during the set and spoke with the medical staff at the change of ends. Andreeva tried to capitalize on her struggles as much as possible, but Sabalenka managed to push the discomfort to take the first set in a tense tie-break 7-6(5).

As the match went on, Andreeva continued to capitalize as Sabalenka’s struggles resurfaced. The teenager remained remarkably composed, breaking Sabalenka’s serve at 5-4 to win the set 6-4 and force a decider. Her arsenal of tactical play included a very powerful two-handed backhand and drop shots that delicately handed her the points, and thwarted Sabalenka’s attempts at a comeback.

The deciding set was a test of trepidation for both players. Both players struggled to hold serve, and the match crossed the two-hour mark. Andreeva displayed an incredible sense of maturity, managing the game, maintaining focus and firing off Sabalenka’s serve several times. Sabalenka displayed a valiant effort, but her battles were visible, suffused with medical attention, and physical signs of distress. Ultimately, the Belarusian could not match the young Russian’s energy and precision. Andreeva sealed the victory with an extraordinary lob on her second match point, winning the final set 6-4.

The victory over Sabalenka means the 17-year-old will also break into the Top 30 rankings for the first time. Her previous deep run at a slam was at Wimbledon last summer, when she reached the Round of 16, and earlier this year, she reached the fourth round of the Australian Open. Her rapid rise in professional tennis is a testament to her grit and constant growth. A young talent that’s proving her potential and talent.

Reflecting on her win, she said, “Honestly, I was really nervous before the match, I knew she’d have an advantage. Me and my coach, we had a plan today but again I didn’t remember anything. I just try to play as I feel.”

Mirra Andreeva is set to face Jasmine Paolini in the semifinals on Thursday.

Main Photo Credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports


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