Who is Mirra Andreeva? The 17-year-old Andy Murray superfan is taking the French Open by storm

Mirra Andreeva in action at the French Open (Getty Images)

Teenage tennis star Mirra Andreeva is back at it on the Grand Slam podium. After reaching the fourth round of Wimbledon last season, the 17-year-old is through to the quarter-finals of the French Open, where she will face second seed Aryna Sabalenka.

The Russian teenager reached the third round of Roland Garros as a qualifier in 2023, in what was her grand slam debut. She followed it up with main draw appearances at Wimbledon, the US Open and the Australian Open, as her ranking improved into the top-50.

On her return to the French Open in 2024, Andreeva knocked out former world No. 1 and two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka. A victory over French player Varvara Gracheva set up a clash with Australian Open champion Sabalenka, who had won 12 straight matches at the grand slams.

But there is a shock after Andreeva wins the second set against world number 2 Sabalenka, who is struggling with a stomach problem.

Who is Mirra Andreeva?

Born in April 2007, Andreeva says she was introduced to the sport by her mother at a very young age. The Russian has an older sister who is also a professional tennis player, Erika Andreeva.

“I actually didn’t choose this sport. My mother did,” Andreeva told the WTA. “I am very happy that my mother chose this sport, because I feel like I really belong to this sport.”

Andreeva made her breakthrough when she reached the girls’ final at the 2022 Australian Open, where she was defeated by compatriot Alina Korneeva.

“Honestly, after I lost the final, I was just super upset. I didn’t think of anything else,” she said as she returned to Melbourne Park. “Maybe for a week I was just replaying the game in my head, thinking, this, I should have changed this, I should have changed that, I should have changed this.

“To be honest, after all my complaints against myself, I forgot about this match. I decided to move on. It’s not the most painful loss of my life. I’m sure I’ll have a lot of attacking games where I might get in the score too late and then lose. Maybe. I hope this won’t happen, but I think it will because it’s tennis.”

Andreeva lost the girls' final at the 2023 Australian Open (Getty Images)Andreeva lost the girls' final at the 2023 Australian Open (Getty Images)

Andreeva lost the girls’ final at the 2023 Australian Open (Getty Images)

After putting defeat behind her, Andreeva turned professional in 2023 and made her breakthrough in the WTA on clay at the Madrid Open, where she reached the third round.

Upon arriving at her first grand slam at Roland Garros, Andreeva won three matches in qualifying to reach the main draw. She was knocked out in three sets by Coco Gauff in the third round, with the American also beating Andreeva in the second round of the US Open on her way to winning her first grand slam title.

Andreeva, who was outside the world’s top 300 before reaching the top 100 in 2023, showed her confidence by declaring that her dream in tennis was to “win 25 grand slam titles” after being inspired by Novak Djokovic’s quest for the men’s record.

At Wimbledon, Andreeva impressed with her fearless, attacking play and powerful forehand, but the teenager also wears her heart on her sleeve and was an emotional player on the court.

It turned into a fourth-round defeat against the American Madison Keys. Late in the match there was a huge moment of controversy when Andreeva was given a point penalty for throwing her racket into the ground for the second time in the match. Andreeva had slipped behind the baseline and appeared to go over her ankle before her racket came out of her hand.

    (Getty Images)    (Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

The penalty earned Keys match point – which the American won with a volley on the net after Andreeva thought she had saved it with an ace. Andreeva did not shake hands with the referee after the defeat.

“For me it is a controversial point,” Andreeva said. ‘She’s the referee. She is the one who makes the decision.

“But to be honest, I didn’t mean to throw the racket. I slipped. To be honest, I thought I was going to fall forward.

“Maybe it looked like I was throwing the racket. Don’t know. I haven’t seen any videos yet. But that was her decision, so she made this decision. That is it. She made the decision, so the match is over now.”

Andreeva refused to shake hands with referee at Wimbledon (Getty Images)Andreeva refused to shake hands with referee at Wimbledon (Getty Images)

Andreeva refused to shake hands with referee at Wimbledon (Getty Images)

When asked why she did not shake hands with the referee, Andreeva replied: “She did not make the right decision for me. That’s why I didn’t want to shake her hand.”

The fortnight was still one to remember for the teenager, who incredibly had not played a single professional match on grass before arriving at Wimbledon qualifying.

She entered the 2024 season having broken into the world’s top 50, which earned her an automatic place in the main draw of the Australian Open.

Andreeva reached the fourth round in Melbourne after a brutal beating of three-time Grand Slam finalist Ons Jabeur. Andreeva said Jabeur was her idol ahead of the second round match at Rod Laver Arena, but the Russian was utterly ruthless as she defeated the sixth seed 6-0 6-2 in just 54 minutes.

Andreeva said the win was the “best match” of her career. “Of course I’m happy to have played with Ons,” Andeeva said. “It was one of my dreams to play against her because I really like the way she plays. Like I said before, I’m inspired by her. So it means a lot, today it meant a lot, this match that I won.

Andreeva revealed that she started her new year at school as the Australian Open started. “I still don’t like chemistry,” she said. “I still have a lot of school to do. It actually started two days ago, so I have to do it.

Why is she such a fan of Andy Murray?

During her breakthrough win at the Madrid Open, Andreeva said she was impressed when she saw Andy Murray in the players’ restaurant.

“When you sit here and take in all the stars, like Andy Murray, you see his face,” Andreeva said. “He’s so beautiful in life. Sorry, he’s so wonderful.”

Andreeva congratulated Murray after winning a Challenger title in France ahead of Roland Garros, with the two-time Wimbledon champion responding to the text.

“He actually answered me, so I was very happy about it,” Andreeva said. “He said, ‘Thank you and good luck at Roland Garros.’

It certainly worked when Andreeva reached the third round, and the teen said Murray was her “lucky charm.”

But when she arrived at Wimbledon, Andreeva said she was “too shy” to talk to her hero.

“I met Andy Murray here,” Andreeva revealed. ‘But I’m too shy to talk to him. Whenever I see him, I try to leave the facility super fast to avoid talking to him because I’m super shy.

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