Rising Russian star Mirra Andreeva, 16, reveals she used to watch and root for Roger Federer against Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros after qualifying for her first French Open. On Thursday, Russian wunderkind Andreeva defeated Camila Osorio in the French Open qualifying final round 7-6 (8) 6-4.
Andreeva, who just turned 16 in April, went from watching Grand Slams on her TV to competing in one. For Andreeva - who is already ranked at No 143 in the world - this is a dream come true. "Of course. When I was a kid watching the TV I remember Rafa against Federer.
I was cheering for Roger. I watched every Grand Slam, all the time growing up. This is a dream to be here. I played juniors last year, this is just amazing," Andreeva told rolandgarros.com.
Andreeva went from watching Federer-Nadal to competing in a Grand Slam
Last year, Andreeva reached the quarterfinal in the French Open girls' singles tournament.
In April, Andreeva won two ITF titles before making the Madrid Open round-of-16 in her debut at the WTA 1000 level. Even Andreeva herself is pleasantly surprised to be in this position. "After the juniors I didn't really think I could do something like this, but I was just working, working more, fighting in practice, fighting in tournaments and here I am.
The difference between the juniors and the women's tour is pretty big. In juniors you can let yourself relax for a little bit, if you have the better level. But here you have to fight for every point. No one will give you anything in any match," Andreeva said.
In Madrid, Andreeva clinched two very notable wins before losing to world No 2 Aryna Sabalenka. By beating Leylah Fernandez, Beatriz Haddad Maia and Magda Linette in Madrid, Andreeva proved she can already compete against the best in the world. It remains to be seen how well can Andreeva do in her French Open debut.
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