Round of 16 was the end of the run for 16-year-old Andreeva at Australian Open
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Mirra Andreeva was a set away from being the youngest player since Martina Hingis in 1997 to reach the Australian Open quarterfinals.
The 16-year-old Andreeva took the first set off 2021 French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova in the round of 16 on Sunday, later admitting that's when she started thinking about the last eight.
The No. 9-seeded Krejcikova rallied to win 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 and advance to a meeting with defending champion Aryna Sabalenka.
“I guess I have to learn from it,” Andreeva said, recounting how she'd put undue pressure on herself because she'd won her previous two matches against Krejcikova.
"I felt like I have an advantage," she said. ”I beat her twice before. It’s the round of 16. I can go through to the quarterfinals for the first time.
“After winning the first set, I was like, ‘OK, I’m almost there.’ But first set doesn’t mean that you won the match.”
After losing the junior final here last year to fellow Russian Alina Korneeva, Andreeva reached the third round at Roland Garros, the fourth round at Wimbledon — including a win over Krejcikova — and had a second-round loss at the U.S. Open to eventual champion Coco Gauff.
She was one of three 16-year-olds in the women's singles draw at Melbourne Park and made it the furthest, becoming only the fourth player in the last 30 years — after Hingis, Tatiana Golovin and Gauff — to reach the fourth round at Wimbledon and the Australian Open before turning 17.
She beat Bernarda Pera in straight sets in her opening match, her tennis inspiration Ons Jabeur — a three-time Grand Slam finalist — in 54 minutes in the second, and saved a match point before beating Diane Parry in the third round.
“I had a good tournament overall. I played a fourth round for the second time in my life,” she said. "I hope it’s not the last.
“There is a lot of positive things to take from this trip, and also from today’s match.”
AP tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis