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Who is Mirra Andreeva? 16-year-old Russian qualifier refuses to shake umpire’s hand after Wimbledon defeat

Born in 2007, Andreeva reached the fourth round on her Wimbledon debut before she was defeated by Madison Keys

Jamie Braidwood
at Wimbledon
Monday 10 July 2023 16:50 BST
Highlights from day 5 at Wimbledon

Mirra Andreeva’s Wimbledon run is over after defeat to Madison Keys in the fourth round, but the 16-year-old Russian qualifier has announced herself as one to watch out for in the future after a stunning debut at the Championships.

Andreeva looked to be on her way to continuing her brilliant breakthrough at the All England Club after winning the opening set, but the experienced American Keys ground her way back to win the second-set tiebreak and run away with the decider.

There was a huge moment of controversy late in the match as Andreeva was given a point penalty for throwing her racket into the ground for the second time in the contest. Andreeva had slipped behind the baseline, appearing to go over her ankle, before her racket came out of her hand.

The point penalty gave Keys match point - which the American won with a volley at the net after Andreeva thought she had saved it with an ace. Andreeva did not shake hands with the umpire after the defeat.

The fortnight will still be one to remember for the teenager, who incredibly had not played a single professional match on grass before she arrived at Wimbledon qualifying. Having made her grand slam debut on clay at the French Open with a run to the third round earlier this season, Andreeva has broke new ground at Wimbledon and won plenty of new fans along the way.

A super-fan of Andy Murray, Andreeva will now hope to continue her progress over the rest of the season after making her mark at Wimbledon, but the teenager will need to learn how to keep her emotions in check.

Who is Mirra Andreeva?

Roger Federer had already won four Wimbledon titles by the time Andreeva was born in April 2007 - and unsurprisingly the 16-year-old was the youngest player to reach the second week of Wimbledon.

Andreeva has an older sister who is also a professional tennis player, Erika Andreeva, and she says she was introduced to the sport by her mother from a very early age

"Actually, I didn’t pick this sport. My mom did,” Andreeva told the WTA earlier this season. “I’m really happy that my mom picked this sport because I feel that I really belong to this sport."

Mirra Andreeva reached the fourth round at Wimbledon (Getty Images)

After turning professional this year, Andreeva made her breakthrough on clay on the Madrid Open, reaching 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 by in three sets by Coco Gauff, who reached the Wimbledon fourth round as a 15-year-old in 2019.

Andreeva, who has risen from outside of the top 300 in the past two months and is set to now break into the top 100, showed her confidence by declaring her dream in tennis was to “win 25 grand slam titles” after being inspired by Novak Djokovic’s pursuit of the men’s record.

Why is she such a fan of Andy Murray?

During her breakthrough at the Madrid Open, Andreeva said she was star-struck when she saw Andy Murray in the player’s restaurant.

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

Andreeva congratulated Murray after he won 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 really happy about it,” Andreeva said. “He said, ‘Thank you, and good luck in Roland Garros.”

(Getty Images)

It certainly worked as Andreeva reached the third round, and the teenager said Murray was her “good luck charm”.

However upon arriving 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. When I see him, I try to leave the facility super quick just to not to talk to him because I’m super shy.”

What has Andreeva done at Wimbledon?

Keys, the 25th seed, proved too strong for Andreeva as the experienced American reached her second Wimbledon quarter-final. There were plenty of encouraging signs for Andreeva in the first set as she took on Keys from the baseline and out-hit the American, flashing a number of eye-catching winners and committed defence that proved popular with the Wimbledon fans.

At Wimbledon, Andreeva impressed with her fearless, attacking play and powerful forehand, but the 16-year-old also wears her heart on her sleeve and is an emotional player on the court.

Andreeva lost her way in the second set after going a break up, as errors crept into her game. The teenager also struggled to keep her composure and received a code violation after throwing her racket following the second-set tiebreak. Andreeva was then given a point penalty on deuce at 3-5 in the third set, after slipping behind the baseline and dropping her racket.

Andreeva argued with the umpire about the decision and then refused to shake their hand after the match after Keys won the match on the next point.

“For me it's a controversial point,” Andreeva said. “She's the umpire. She's the one who makes the decision.

“But, honestly, I didn't have any intention to throw the racket. I slid. Honestly, I thought that I will fall forward.

“Maybe it did look like I threw the racket. I don't know. I didn't see any videos yet. But that was her decision to make, so she made this decision. Now that's it. She made the decision, so the match is over now.”

Asked about why she didn’t shake the umpire’s hand, Andreeva replied: “She didn't do a right decision for me. That's why I didn't want to shake hands to her.”

At Wimbledon, Andreeva is also being followed by the Netflix cameras ahead of the second season of the documentary show Break Point.

Andreeva would not have been allowed to play at Wimbledon last year due to the ban on Russian and Belarusian players from competing at the Championships following the invasion of Ukraine.

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