Mirra Andreeva, 16, defeats Ons Jabeur in less than an hour

By Sports Desk January 16, 2024

Teenage star Mirra Andreeva produced a stunning performance to demolish Ons Jabeur in the second round of the Australian Open for the loss of only two games.

The 16-year-old was devastated to lose in the girls’ singles final last year but quickly made an impression in the senior game with runs to the third round of the French Open and the fourth round of Wimbledon.

Andreeva counts Jabeur as her idol but she was utterly ruthless under the roof on Rod Laver Arena, defeating the sixth seed and two-time Wimbledon finalist 6-0 6-2 in just 54 minutes.

Jabeur could only smile in astonishment at some of the shots Andreeva played, while she celebrated like an underdog when she finally won a game at the start of the second set.

She was unable to stall Andreeva for long, though, with the young Russian branding it the best match she has played.

“In the first set I played really amazing tennis, I didn’t expect that from myself,” said the teenager.

“I’m happy I played with Ons. It was one of my dreams to play against her, because I really like the way she plays. It meant a lot, this match that I won.

“She’s so nice. Now, after the match, she came to me, she wished me luck. I just know that she is who she is and she never changes.”

Andreeva is projected to rise inside the top 35 as a result of her run here despite being severely restricted in how many tournaments she can play because of her age.

She is trying not to be in too much of a hurry, saying: “I don’t think that I achieve something incredible, so I have time still to do that. Sometimes when I’m lying in bed, I can overthink a little bit, but the next morning I’m totally fine.

“I’m 16. Why do I have to think about the rankings? I’m going a bit higher, and so my goal is to go higher and higher. I just try not to think about that and just to think about tennis.”

Another young Russian making waves in Melbourne is 20-year-old qualifier Maria Timofeeva, who is playing in the main draw of a grand slam for the first time and ended former champion Caroline Wozniacki’s comeback.

The Dane retired here four years ago and is back with her two young children in tow but she could not build on a strong start, losing 1-6 6-4 6-1.

Wozniacki has other responsibilities now but she could not hide her disappointment, saying: “I would like to say that in my mind I can just kind of brush it under the carpet but it sucks just as much.

“Losing now and losing back then, it doesn’t really change. As a competitor, you want to win everything. When you have the family here and you bring everyone, you want to win even more because you want to stay longer and not have to move around.

“I felt like this was my match to win, and I didn’t.”

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