Sixteen-year-old Russian prodigy Mirra Andreeva is into the Round of 16 at Wimbledon. She upset her compatriot, 22-year-old and 22nd seed Anastasia Potapova 6-2, 7-5.
“Of course, I’m really happy with my win today,” Andreeva said. “It was tough match, but I’m happy that I managed to win it. A lot of long rallies. So, yeah, now I’m in the Round of 16.
Because of her age, Andreeva is limited in the tournaments she plays. “After Australia [where she was runner-up in the juniors],” she said, “I felt I need more time, so we decided to take it easy, not to rush, to choose the right tournaments.”
Andreeva won back-to-back ITF Circuit titles in April, at W60 clay-court tournaments in Chiasso and Bellinzona, Switzerland. “From Switzerland,” she said, “of course I have only positive memories. I really like these two cities. It was so beautiful. We were in mountains. Yes, I like the courts, I like everything. Switzerland is just a beautiful country, and I won the two tournaments.”
This is only her second-ever Grand Slam. In June, she had an impressive run at Roland Garros, reaching the third round.
“Honestly, after Paris,” she said, “I just had quite a long talk with myself, just me and myself, and that’s it. I talked to myself. I just talked. I don’t know, just in my head I realized some things. I took some decisions that I think are now important for me.
“I think I did a good job because now everything is working so far. Yes, I just talked with myself, and I decided everything what I have to do next. So far it’s working.”
She had never competed on grass before she started qualifying last week, but now she has won six matches in a row.
Andreeva said she’s just a normal teenager and that she likes to do everything that the girls her age do. “I love to watch some series,” she said. “I have to do my school. I have no choice. I have to suffer for two more years, and that’s it,” she said, smiling.
“So, yes, when I have free time, I prefer to—sometimes it depends on my mood, but sometimes I prefer to be alone, just with myself, yes.
“But most of the time I watch Netflix.” She smiled again. “I’m honest.
She is the last qualifier in either of the singles draws. Two years ago, Emma Raducanu won the US Open as a qualifier.
“Of course,” Andreeva said, “in 2021 she did amazing job. Everyone was impressed. I think she was impressed also to pass the quallies and to win the slam at 18. It’s amazing.
“But me, I just try to not think about it. I think it will disturb me, all these thoughts. I just try to play every match and don’t think how far I have gone already or which round I’m playing, against who I’m playing.
“I just try to play every point. Doesn’t matter against who. Doesn’t matter which round. I just play my game. I don’t change anything mental-wise, tennis-wise. So, yeah, I’m just playing.”
Watching Andreeva play on No. 3 Court, in front of a packed crowd, I was amazed by how calm she was in the important moments. I also thought that she was fearless, swinging freely, like a teenager.