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Andreeva, 15, wins again at Madrid Open; Gauff advances

Coco Gauff Coco Gauff - The Canadian Press

MADRID (AP) — After another impressive victory at the Madrid Open, Mirra Andreeva patiently took photos with some fans who looked young enough to be her classmates in high school.

Moments earlier, the 15-year-old Russian had been raising her arms by the net to celebrate her win over a top-20 opponent.

Andreeva, a day after defeating 2021 U.S. Open finalist Leylah Fernandez for her first tour-level win, beat 14th-ranked Beatriz Haddad Maia 7-6 (6), 6-3 to advance to the third round on Thursday.

“Yes, I'm a bit surprised but also everyone was telling me they are playing the same level as you, they are just more consistent,” Andreeva said. “Their mental level is different but the game-level is almost the same."

In the men’s draw, two-time Madrid champion Andy Murray lost his first-round match in straight sets to qualifier Andrea Vavassori.

With her win over Fernandez, Andreeva became the third-youngest player to win a main-draw match at a WTA 1000 tournament, behind Coco Gauff and CiCi Bellis, and only the second 15-year-old to defeat a top-50 opponent at a WTA 1000 tournament.

With her victory on Thursday, Andreeva became the seventh-youngest player since 2000 to defeat a top-20 opponent before the age of 16. The Russian's birthday is on Saturday.

She has won 15 straight matches in all levels and earlier this year became the first player to win two or more W60 titles before the age of 16.

The teenager looked calm and in control throughout the match against the 13th-seeded Haddad Maia. She saved three set points before winning the first-set tiebreaker then broke early in the second to secure another straight-set victory.

Andreeva will try to extend her surprising run at the clay-court tournament when she faces 19th-ranked Magda Linette, who defeated Marketa Vondrousova 7-6 (1), 4-6, 6-4.

Another teenager who had advanced to the second round in Madrid, 17-year-old Linda Fruhvirtova, lost 6-0, 6-3 to 2017 French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko. The 58th-ranked Fruhvirtova is the youngest player inside the top 100.

Second-seeded Aryna Sabalenka opened with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Sorana Cirstea, while American Shelby Rogers defeated Ana Bogdan 6-2, 6-2.

Sixth-seeded Gauff reached the third round with a comfortable 6-4, 6-1 win over Irene Burillo Escorihuela. The American will next face home-crowd favorite Paula Badosa, who defeated Elisabetta Cocciaretto 6-3, 4-6, 6-4.

Three-time Madrid Open champion Petra Kvitova lost 7-6 (9), 6-1 to Jule Niemeier, while ninth-seeded Maria Sakkari defeated Dutch qualifier Arantxa Rus 6-4, 6-4.

Murray lost his first match for the third straight tournament, falling 6-2, 7-6 (7) to the 164th-ranked Vavassori. Murray, who won in Madrid in 2008 and 2015, had also failed to advance past his first opponents in Monte Carlo and Miami.

“Certainly the beginning of the clay season hasn’t been that easy for me, but normally after a few weeks, I start to feel better and play better,” Murray said, adding that he felt “fit and healthy” and was still considering about whether to play at the French Open.

Dominic Thiem defeated Kyle Edmund 6-4, 6-1 to set up a second-round match against fourth-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas.

“I am looking forward to that one a lot,” said Thiem, a former No. 3 in the world. “I like him a lot. He is an unbelievable player, I like watching his matches. He is very elegant. We’ve had some great matchups.”

Defending champion Carlos Alcaraz plays his first match on Friday, facing 41st-ranked Emil Ruusuvuori. Women's world No. 1 Iga Swiatek takes on Julia Grabher.


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