It’s been four years since 15-year-old American Coco Gauff stormed on the tennis scene with a win over Venus Williams at Wimbledon. In similar fashion, 16-year-old Mirra Andreeva is commanding attention.
The Russian punched her ticket to the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time in her young career Sunday with a 6-2, 7-5 win over No. 21 seed Anastasia Potapova at Wimbledon.
In just her second career Grand Slam, the qualifier became the youngest woman to advance the last 16 at Wimbledon since Gauff’s breakout moment in 2019. She’s also the third-youngest woman to reach the Round of 16 at Wimbledon in the last 25 years
Andreeva showed flashes early in Sunday’s match, breaking Potapova three times in the opening set. In the second set of the match, which was held over from Saturday due to rainy conditions, Andreeva rallied from a 4-1 deficit to eliminate her 22-year-old competition in three wins.
Gauff and Andreeva’s ties go deeper than their shared youth. Now 19 years of age, Gauff ended Andreeva’s impressive run at the 2023 French Open in a 6-7 (5-7) 6-1 6-1 win. The two even practiced together ahead of the hard-fought battle.
Before that loss, Andreeva improved her record for the year to 22-3. With that experience under her belt, she appeared mostly cool under pressure on Sunday. Although she was seen hitting herself in the thigh with her fist when she fell behind in the second set as Potapova made it 5-4.
When asked how she controlled her feelings en route to the win, her answer led the crowd to burst into laughter.
“I’ve been working on that really hard,” she said. “But today, honestly, even if I wanted to show some emotions, I couldn’t. I was out of breath almost every point.”
Next, Andreeva will face No. 25 seed American Madison Keys, who defeated Ukraine’s Marta Kostyuk 6-4, 6-1 on Saturday.
American Frances Tiafoe falls to Grigor Dimitrov in straight sets
Despite the positive momentum of winning his first grass-court title at the Stuttgart Open last month, 25-year-old Frances Tiafoe was eliminated in a 6-2, 6-3, 6-2 loss to Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov on Sunday.
The 10th seed beat Dimitrov four years ago at the Australian Open in a Round of 16 match, which he referred to as “an absolute war.” While Sunday’s meeting was a different story, he still offered some impressively placed shots. But it wasn’t enough to answer Dimitrov’s more experienced range.
“He’s such a dangerous player, I knew I had to be very focused,” Dimitrov said after the win. “He’s a player that has a lot of flare around the court. Great serve, great return, so I was just looking after my game, to be honest. The past weeks have been amazing weeks for me, out here in England. I’m just enjoying every single day.”
Dimitrov, 32, also reached the third round of the Australian Open and the fourth round of Roland Garros this year. His last major victory was at the 2017 Nitto ATP Finals.
Next, he will meet Danish sixth seed Holger Rune, who he will need to beat in order to continue the journey toward breaking his six-year title drought.
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