Andreeva takes revenge for big sister in Paris

 - Dan Imhoff

Youngest woman in the top 300 drops just two games to set date with qualifying top seed

Mirra Andreeva, Roland-Garros 2023, qualifying second round© Philippe Montigny/FFT

Mirra Andreeva has every reason to feel pretty sure of herself of late.

Only a month ago, the gifted Cannes-based prospect rang in her 16th birthday in Madrid with a run to the round of 16, the youngest to do so since the advent of WTA 1000 events back in 2009.

It took eventual champion, world No.2 Aryna Sabalenka, to crash the party earlier this month, following the teenager’s back-to-back wins over top-20 players, Beatriz Haddad Maia and Magda Linette.

After surrendering just two games to Emiliana Arango to reach the final round of qualifying at Roland-Garros on Wednesday, the youngest woman in the top 300 was quick to draw a distinction between confidence and any perceived cockiness that could have crept in since.


“Of course I felt confident (after Madrid) but it's different between self-confidence and just confidence because if you are too self-confident then it will be not good for your career because you can go, as my coach says, as a diva,” she laughed.

“So I just try to stay humble and just practise after Madrid as usual and so here I am.”

In her maiden Grand Slam qualifying campaign, the teenager continued to blossom, drawing inside knowledge from her sister Erika Andreeva to inflict a dose of family revenge on the 22-year-old Colombian, 6-0, 6-2.

Mirra Andreeva 2e tour qualifications Roland-Garros©Philippe Montigny / FFT

A month ago, Arango narrowly denied Erika in Madrid qualifying and repeated her Spanish triumph a week later in a WTA125 event in Reus.

“She lost with match points (in Madrid) – she had, like, two or three – so of course she gave me some tips and we worked with my coaches about this match,” Mirra said.

“We decided which game is better to produce against her on the court and so as we can see it worked.”

Tough questions were asked of the teenager in a 13-minute battle to hold serve for 5-2 in the second set.

While hunched over desperate to catch her breath after trading a string of lengthy baseline exchanges, the teenager stood firm.

Mirra Andreeva / Madrid 2023©Antoine Couvercelle / FFT

Her reward was a date with another Colombian, top seed Camila Osorio, a 6-0, 6-1 winner over Bulgarian former Roland-Garros quarter-finalist Sesil Karatantcheva.

Following a heartbreaking three-hour, 18-minute defeat to Alina Korneeva in January’s Australian Open girls’ singles final, Andreeva had rebounded emphatically to find herself on the cusp of a Grand Slam main draw debut.

“It really was a tough final because we're best friends with her and we play doubles everywhere,” she said.

“It was really hard for me. I cried maybe over a week after the final, almost every day but now I think there maybe a god that decided this should have happened.

“Maybe I should've lost this final to be in Madrid or to be here. Nobody knows but I’ve managed well to be here.”