Mirra waiting for big sis to join her in main draw

16-year-old qualifies for maiden slam and hopes Erika follows suit on Friday

Mirra Andreeva, 3e tour, qualifications, Roland-Garros 2023©Loïc Wacziak / FFT
 - Alex Sharp

Like millions of children around the world, Mirra Andreeva would sit around the TV, watching the stars on show at Roland-Garros dreaming of playing on the terre battue. That dream has become a reality!

The 16-year-old clinched her first Grand Slam main draw berth with a 7-6(8), 6-4 passage past qualifying top seed Camila Osorio.

"Of course. When I was a kid watching the TV I remember Rafa against Federer. I was cheering for Roger," recalled the world No.143. 

"I watched every Grand Slam, all the time growing up. This is a dream to be here. I played juniors last year, this is just amazing."

Andreeva reached the quarter-finals in the girls' event last summer, and is stunned by her sharp rise.

"After the juniors I didn't really think I could do something like this, but I was just working, working more, fighting in practice, fighting in tournaments and here I am," stated Andreeva, who was a last-16 surprise package at the WTA 1000 in Madrid earlier this month.

"The difference between the juniors and the women's tour is pretty big. In juniors you can let yourself relax for a little bit, if you have the better level. But here you have to fight for every point. No one will give you anything in any match."

Andreeva's mother became consumed by tennis when she watched Marat Safin's classic 2005 Australian Open semi-final triumph over Federer.

Shortly after, she introduced her daughter Erika Andreeva to tennis and the younger Mirra tagged along to the courts when she was just two years old.

Four years later, Mirra took up tennis properly, when her hands had grown and she could finally hold the grip of a racquet.

Erika is also the qualifying tournament at Roland-Garros, and has a third-round clash on Friday against Olga Danilovic.

"Like any sister, I want her to win. I'm really nervous when she plays. If we both make the main draw it would be even more amazing," said Mirra.

Mirra Andreeva, 3e tour, qualifications, Roland-Garros 2023©Loïc Wacziak / FFT

"Its been one of our dreams to play a big tournament together.

"As all sisters we used to fight a lot over the smallest things, for the TV remote, who will switch the channel. Let's say now we're grown ups, we really appreciate each other and appreciate the time together on tour."

Last year the 16-year-old relocated with her sister to the Elite Tennis Center (ETC) in Cannes.

"I'm sorry to say, but I used to hate France as I really struggled here in a lot of junior events," admitted Mirra. "At the academy I started lonely, then everyone was really nice, and now I can call it my second home."