Mirra Andreeva is back to her winning ways in Beijing after coming through qualifying to reach the last 16. The Russian announced herself earlier this year, also qualifying for Wimbledon and storming into the second week. The world No 60 has barely played since but now finds herself meeting fifth seed Elena Rybakina in a mouthwatering round-of-16 clash at the China Open.
Andreeva cemented herself as one of the sport’s rising stars when she broke through at the WTA 1000 in Madrid after receiving a wildcard. Aged just 15 at the time, she reached the fourth round and backed it up by qualifying for the French Open, making it to round three.
But it was at the All England Club where the teenager really put herself on the map, again coming through qualifying to reach the second week in just her second appearance at a Grand Slam. Andreeva is now playing just her fourth tournament since stunning the crowd at SW19 and she has once again found herself in the last 16 as a qualifier.
The Russian upset 10th seed Barbora Krejcikova 6-2 6-2 in the opening round and backed it up by beating recent Tokyo finalist Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-2 6-1 on Tuesday. It’s a strong showing for Andreeva already, as she went 3-3 in her last three tournaments.
Click here to join our WhatsApp community to be the first to receive breaking and exclusive tennis news
And she has been rewarded with a tough test, taking on 2022 Wimbledon champion Rybakina for a spot in the quarter-final – what would be the first of Andreeva’s young career. The 16-year-old is hoping to make it third time lucky after falling at the same stage in both Madrid and Wimbledon.
Andreeva will be hoping to prove herself against one of the world’s best players yet again as she tries to channel the self-belief that help her beat players like Krejcikova. The teenage tennis star has already earned something of a reputation for her confidence and big goals.
During her French Open run earlier this year, the world No 60 set her sights on winning 25 Grand Slam titles to overtake Novak Djokovic, who then had 22 to his name. “The dream. I know that Djokovic, he did 22 Grand Slams or 23, so I want to go until 25, if it will be possible. I don’t know,” she admitted.
“But I will just play. For now my goal is to win match by match, to win next match. Then if I win this match, to win next match again. That’s it. Just to win match by match.” But make no mistake – Andreeva is far from being a “diva” despite believing in her own game against the top players.
Speaking in Paris, she also said: “I guess if I will be a little bit like a diva, my coach will say something to me for sure because he doesn’t like that people. So I’m sure I will get some words from him. I will just be me. I will just be myself, and I’m sure if I will just do my thing, I will just, let’s say, stay on the ground. I will not go as a diva.”