16-year-old Mirra Andreeva stuns Ons Jabeur at Australian Open
Posted on: 17 Jan, 2024 at 03:33 AM
Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
Youth stole the spotlight at the Australian Open on Wednesday (Australia time), as 16-year-old Russian Mirra Andreeva pulled off a major 6-0, 6-2 upset of Tunisian sixth seed Ons Jabeur in a second-round match in Melbourne.
Andreeva converted five of seven break points while recording 13 winners to pick up the stunning victory, which even came as a surprise to her.
"In the first set, I showed amazing tennis," Andreeva said. "I honestly didn't expect that from myself."
Jabeur happens to be one of Andreeva's role models, but she was never able to find a rhythm on Wednesday. Her only lead came at 1-0 in the second set, and from there, she didn't win another game until pulling within 5-2.
"I was really nervous before the match," Andreeva said. "I'm really inspired by Ons, by the way she plays. Before I started to play on the WTA tour, I always watched her matches, and now I had a chance to play against her."
Andreeva made her Grand Slam debut at last year's French Open, losing in the third round. She then reached the fourth round at Wimbledon, where she fell to American Madison Keys.
At the 2023 U.S. Open, Andreeva was swept by eventual champion Coco Gauff of the United States in the second round.
Andreeva sits at 47th in the world rankings. Jabeur came into the match at No. 6.
With rain falling, the match was played with the roof at Rod Laver Arena closed. Andreeva played last year's junior final at the same venue.
"I just wanted to go and play on this big court for the second time, just to enjoy tennis, just to enjoy the time," Andreeva said. "And I did."
Another young Russian, 20-year-old Maria Timofeeva, also found success, rallying to best Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki 1-6, 6-4, 6-1.
After a strong start, the 33-year-old Wozniacki had a break-point opportunity to go up 3-0 in the second set, but Timofeeva fought to hold serve and rolled to victory from there.
Wozniacki was the World No. 1 for 71 weeks in 2010-11 and won the Australian Open in 2018.
Timofeeva said she has had a great time during her Australian Open debut.
"I went into the match without any expectations," she said, "just to show what I'm capable of, and to see how the match goes and, yeah, it was really great."
--Field Level Media