Mirra Andreeva's dream summer continued as the 16-year-old qualifier defeated wild card Diane Parry 6-1, 6-2 in 77 minutes to reach the third round of Roland Garros.
The No.143-ranked teenager is the youngest player to reach the third round here since a 15-year-old Sesil Karatantcheva made the 2005 quarterfinals and the seventh player in the past 30 years to make that stage before turning 17. Andreeva is competing in just the third tour-level main draw of her career following Monastir 2022 and Madrid 2023, where she reached the last 16.
Into the third round of her major debut, Andreeva will now face another teen phenom in Coco Gauff. The 19-year-old American, who was a finalist in Paris last year, returned to the third round after defeating Austria's Julia Grabher 6-2, 6-3 in 68 minutes.
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Andreeva has already managed to score a practice session with fellow teenager Gauff this week, but was wary of drawing too much from it.
"We just played some points as usual practice," she told the press. "I mean, she plays quite aggressive. But the practice and the match is different, so I might also play different. I don't know. Who knows?"
7 - Since 1993, Mirra Andreeva is the seventh player under the age of 17 to reach the third round in the women's singles at Roland-Garros. Three were eventual finalists at the event - Majoli, Hingis, S. Williams. Announcement.#RolandGarros | @rolandgarros @WTA @WTA_insider pic.twitter.com/vvOgEhPYiz— OptaAce (@OptaAce) June 1, 2023
Andreeva has not dropped a set in five matches so far in Paris and has lost only six games in two main-draw contests. Her 2023 pro record now stands at 22-2. Andreeva now has six wins against Top 100 players this season.
Andreeva delivered a focused performance that hinged on her ability to raise her game in the most pressure-filled moments. Four games went to at least one deuce, and Andreeva won them all. She set the tone of the contest by winning the first two games in tight tussles and navigated a total of eight deuces across her final two breaks of the Parry serve.
After needing a comeback three-set win in the first round, Gauff played a more settled match to best Grabher on Thursday. The No.6 seed kept a cleaner stat sheet through the match, hitting 15 winners to 19 unforced errors, while holding the Australian to just 9 winners. Fifteen of Grabher's 27 unforced errors came from the backhand wing.
"She's not an easy player. She likes to dictate with her forehand and hit those high, heavy balls. I think I did a good job of taking the time away from her, really rushing her. I think I played well at the net, too, and making those adjustments.
"Got broken a couple of times, but I was able to break back mostly."
As Gauff prepares for the rare experience of playing someone younger than her on tour, she dismisses the focus on age. After all, she's been on the other side of the equation plenty of times. Age is nothing but a number.
"When I was her age, I didn't think about -- and I'm sure she's not thinking about her age on the court," Gauff said. "And all the people who've played against me when I was her age, I don't know if they were thinking about my age. I doubt they were.
"I feel like it really doesn't play a factor regarding when we step on the court. Maybe there could be an experience thing that maybe could show, but honestly I really doubt it when it's someone of her level."
A look at the rest of the Top 10 players in action Saturday
No.1 Iga Swiatek: Sure, it’s getting close with Aryna Sabalenka for the No.1 ranking. But Swiatek is already putting up some historic numbers in Paris.
For starters, she’s 23-2 at Roland Garros. Only Margaret Court (95.2 percent) and Chris Evert (92.30) are better than Swiatek’s 92.0 in the Open Era. Swiatek is the first player since Martina Hingis at the Australian Open to win 23 or more of her first 25 main-draw matches in a single Grand Slam tournament. And there’s this: Swiatek is 55-13 in all major matches. The last person to start that fast was … Serena Williams.
Next: Unseeded Wang Xinyu of China, a 7-6 (5), 6-2 winner over Rebecca Peterson.
No. 4 Elena Rybakina: The 2022 Wimbledon champion is trending on clay, once her most challenging surface. Her 6-3, 6-3 second-round defeat of Linda Noskova was the 11th win on clay this year, her most in a single season.
Rybakina, second in the Race to the WTA Finals, has now won 30 matches this year, only seven shy of the career best.
Next: Sara Sorribes Tormo, who beat Petra Martic 6-4, 6-1.
No.6 Coco Gauff: After a nervous lapse in her opening match against Rebeka Masarova, Gauff came back to win 3-6, 6-1, 6-2. There were a few sketchy moments in the second set, but Gauff was a 6-2, 6-3 winner over Julia Grabher. She’s not playing her best, but you get the idea the 2022 finalist here will be fired up to play a rising player three years her junior.
Next: Mirra Andreeva, the 16-year-old phenomenon, who was a 6-1, 6-2 winner over French wild card Diane Parry. Head-to-head: 0-0.
No.7 Ons Jabeur: After confirming that her calf injury is healed, Jabeur has looked good, defeating Lucia Bronzetti and Oceane Dodin in straight sets. We are happy to report that Jabeur’s signature drop shot is once again on point.
Next: Olga Danilovic, a 6-2, 7-5 winner over Jasmine Paolini.