Pi News –
MELBOURNE: Russian 16-year-old Mirra Andreeva put her schoolwork aside on Wednesday and instead underlined her immense potential by beating sixth seed Ons Jabeur in under an hour at the Australian Open.
Andreeva, playing her first main draw at Melbourne Park, defeated the three-time Grand Slam runner-up 6-0, 6-2 in just 54 minutes at Rod Laver Arena.
Ranked 47th, it was her first win over a top-10 player, who burst onto the scene last year when she reached the fourth round of qualifying at Wimbledon.
“I was very nervous before the match, but I saw that he was also nervous. It helped me somehow, because I know I’m not the only one who gets nervous before the match,” says Andreeva.
“I decided to enjoy it because it’s Rod Laver Arena, I’m playing against someone I like. I just decided to play and I think I played well.”
It was her second appearance on Melbourne’s Center Court after losing to Russia’s Alina Korneeva in the girls’ final last year.
He admitted that it “very upset” him and pushed him forward against Jabeur.
“When I saw myself playing Rod Laver today, I said I have to take this opportunity and get my first win on the big stage and I did,” he said.
Andreeva clinched a Grand Slam berth with a run to the third round at the French Open last year before her success at Wimbledon.
In her only Grand Slam, she lost in the second round of the US Open to eventual champion Coco Gauff.
She is pursuing her tennis career while still juggling at school.
“I still have a lot of school to do. It actually started two days ago, so I have to do it,” she said, adding, “I don’t like chemo.”
“Higher and higher”
At such a young age, Andreeva has been limited by the WTA Tour to the number of tournaments she can play and said it is too early to think about how far she will climb the rankings.
“I am 16 years old. Why should I care about ratings? I’m going up a little bit, and so my goal is to go up and up, maybe a little bit, but still higher,” he said.
Gauff, seeded fourth, advanced to the third round of the Australian Open
“So I don’t know. I try not to think about it and think about tennis and that’s it.”
The first set against Tunisia was a 20-minute demolition job, with the 29-year-old Jabeur completely out of touch.
He scored just eight points in six games and committed just three on 10 turnovers.
Her serve was not firing, winning just 38 percent of her first serve points and just 13 percent on her second serve.
Jaber, a two-time Wimbledon and one US Open finalist, finally held serve in the opening game of the second set to celebrate with a raised finger.
But the Russian teenager kept coming back to take a 2-1 lead before making it 4-1 as Jabeur shrugged as he knew it was all over.