Andy Roddick details why he sees bit of Novak Djokovic in 17-year-old Mirra Andreeva

Roddick explains some early similarities between Andreeva and Djokovic.

by Dzevad Mesic
Andy Roddick details why he sees bit of Novak Djokovic in 17-year-old Mirra Andreeva
© Getty Images Sport - Cameron Spencer

Andy Roddick says he sees a bit of Novak Djokovic in Mirra Andreeva as he is impressed by the 17-year-old Russian's ability to already have a balanced game that leaves her opponents guessing and never knowing what would come next.

Andreeva, who turned 17 on April 29th, is probably the biggest talent from the current teenage group on the WTA Tour as the Russian is already an established WTA player and someone who opponents treat with respect since she has proved that she has the game to compete well against pretty much any player. 

Over the years, there were several cases of an extremely talented player starting to make some noise at a very young age like Andreeva is doing now. But when addressing that, Roddick highlighted how a teenage Serena Williams, Rafael Nadal and Boris Becker had something that was standing out. 

But in Andreeva's case, there is not really something in her game that is standing out in a big way from the rest. But Andreeva is already pretty much capable of doing everything well and that is showing in her results. 

Before Novak Djokovic's backhand and movement became regarded as one of the greatest in tennis history, the Serb was also known in his early days as someone who was just doing everything well. 

"Mirra Andreeva is a rockstar, just turned 17... Normally when someone is 16 or 17, you see... When Serena was, 17 it was like overwhelming power, it’s obvious what her superpower is. Rafa, when he was 17, it looked like he could bench-press dump trucks, Boris Becker, oh he has the biggest serve we’ve ever seen," Roddick said on the Served with Andy Roddick podcast. 

"So at 17, it’s like they learn nuance but they open with their massive skillset, Andreeva kind of plays a nuanced game at 17. Her comp [composure] is almost kind of Novak in a weird way.

"I’m not saying she’s Novak, I’m saying the way that she wins her points is in a similar fashion to Novak. She’s a magician at switching directions. She doesn’t let someone get set to hit the same ball twice."

Mirra Andreeva
Mirra Andreeva © Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney

Andreeva wants to reach Djokovic's heights

Last year, Andreeva was just 15 when she made her WTA debut at the Madrid Open. In her WTA debut that came at the WTA 1000 level, Andreeva absolutely impressed as she reached the round-of-16 before losing to Aryna Sabalenka. 

A month later, Andreeva drew more good attention to herself after making the French Open third round as a qualifier before falling short versus world No. 3 Coco Gauff. At Wimbledon, Andreeva impressed as well, having made the round-of-16 before 2017 US Open finalist Madison Keys ended her run

When addressing her future goals and aspiration during last year's French Open, Andreeva said she wanted to emulate Djokovic - who at the time had 22 Grand Slam titles but has since improved to 24.

“The dream? I know that Djokovic, he did 22 Grand Slams or 23, so I want to go until 25, if it will be possible. I don’t know," Andreeva said during last year's French Open.

“But I will just play. For now my goal is to win match by match, to win next match. Then if I win this match, to win next match again. That’s it. Just to win match by match.”

Mirra Andreeva
Mirra Andreeva © Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Andreeva respects Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer

After making it clear she would like to reach Djokovic's Slam heights, Andreeva also said that she watched Nadal and Federer growing up. But when asked to pick the GOAT among the Big Three, Andreeva gave an answer that she felt would be respectul to all three players in question.

“Roger [Federer], he [has] always been my idol. He’s always been my No. 1, but after Roland Garros 2022 when Rafa [Nadal], he won it, I don’t know why, but in my head everything is turned. Now Rafa and Roger, they’re in the first place, but I don’t want to offend Novak! So let’s say they’re three on the first places," Andreeva said last year.

At the time, Andreeva also said that her focus was on staying herself and not allowing her early results to get to her. 

“I will just be me. I will just be myself, and I’m sure if I will just do my thing, I will just, let’s say, stay on the ground. I will not go as a diva," Andreeva said at the time.

Mirra Andreeva
Mirra Andreeva © Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

In her Australian Open debut earlier this year, Andreeva also did pretty well as she made the round-of-16 before 2021 French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova sent her home. 

In just over two weeks, Andreeva will return to the French Open, a tournament where she enjoyed a successful Slam debut last year.

Novak Djokovic Mirra Andreeva Mirra Andreeva