Qualifier Mirra Andreeva, 16, enjoyed a victorious Grand Slam debut, defeating Alison Riske-Amritraj 6-2, 6-1 in 56 minutes to reach the second round of Roland Garros.
No.143-ranked Andreeva, the youngest player in this year's main draw, extended her pro record this year to 21-2 with the win. She is yet to drop a set at the French Open through four matches so far.
Andreeva's defeat of Riske-Amitraj marks the teenager's fourth Top 100 win of her career, all of which have come in the past two months. Ranked No.312 at the start of April, she has rocketed up the rankings following consecutive ITF W60 titles in Chiasso and Bellinzona, followed by an eye-catching run to the last 16 of Madrid which featured upsets of Leylah Fernandez, Beatriz Haddad Maia and Magda Linette.
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How the match was won: Andreeva dominated from the outset against former No.18 Riske-Amritraj, winning the first 10 points of the match en route to an early break lead. She did not relinquish this throughout the first set: facing triple break-back point at 4-2, the youngster responded by reeling off nine consecutive points to seal the opener.
Andreeva showed off her proficiency in every facet of the game: precise backhand winners, keen anticipation and superb control on defence, and delicate finesse with drop shots and volleys. She scored 20 winners in total to Riske-Amritraj's seven.
Riske-Amritraj had not competed since her first-round loss to Elizabeth Mandlik in Indian Wells, and the American's rust showed in her 14 unforced errors. Down 2-0 in the second set, a fine drop shot of her own captured the Andreeva serve for the first time, but it would be the last game Riske-Amritraj would win.
Having lost her serve, Andreeva responded by winning 16 of the last 20 points of the match, closing out her first match point with an unreturned serve.
Andreeva taking success in stride: Talking to press afterwards, Andreeva said that she operates largely by intuition on court.
"I am just doing what I feel is right to do on the court," she said. "Honestly, when we talk with my coaches about the plan for the match, I think about it just right before the match, but then I forget all the stuff, and I just play as I feel, and that's it."
Another player renowned for her spontaneity is No.7 seed Ons Jabeur, who also won her first round and for whom Andreeva has expressed admiration.
"I met her a couple of times here," Andreeva said. "Of course, I would like to hit with her -- who would not like it? My coaches, they are in pretty good relationship with her coach. We just say hi to each other, and that's it, yet. Just for this moment. I hope it will change."
Meanwhile, Andreeva has been receiving some support from former ATP No.1 Andy Murray, whom she also revealed she was a fan of during Madrid.
"I didn't see Andy Murray since Madrid because he is not here, but after he won a challenger, I texted him," Andreeva said. "I said, 'Congratulations.' He actually answered me, so I was really happy about it. He said, 'Thank you, and good luck in Roland Garros.' Maybe that's why I'm playing that good now."
What's next for Andreeva: A second-round date with No.79-ranked wild card Diane Parry, who defeated No.25 seed Anhelina Kalinina 6-2, 6-3 in 1 hour and 22 minutes.
It was the second straight year that the 20-year-old Frenchwoman had scored a first-round upset in Paris; this time last year, she took out defending champion Barbora Krejcikova in her opener. Against Kalinina, Parry struck 21 winners, including a brilliant reflex drop-volley that delighted her home crowd on Court Simonne-Mathieu.
Kalinina was fresh off her first WTA 1000 final in Rome two weeks ago, but the Ukrainian had retired from that match due to a left thigh injury. Parry, the Paris 125 champion in the same week, extended her winning streak to five with the second Top 30 win of her career.