Andreeva marches into French Open quarter-finals after dismissing Gracheva

Estimated read time 3 min read

Mirra Andreeva continues to mark herself as one of the most promising players in the world as she became the second-youngest woman in the 21st century to reach the quarter‑finals at Roland Garros with a 7-5, 6-2 win against ­Varvara Gracheva.

Just over a year after Andreeva first broke through on the WTA weeks before her 16th birthday, she con­tinues to make strong progress. Armed with her intelligent, varied game and endless grit, the 17‑year‑old has not dropped a set outside of her spectacular late-night win against Victoria Azarenka in the second round. Next week she will break the top 30 for the first time in her career.

“I’m proud for everything; for all the matches that I won, for all the matches that I have played,” said Andreeva, who is two years older than Bulgaria’s Sesil Karatantcheva was when she reached the last eight in 2005. “I would say that, for example, the most memorable match would be the match against Vika when we ­finished really late. That was really hard for me the first time when I ­finished as late as we did. After, it was really hard to recover.

“That was a great match, of course. Also today was very tense and ­nervous. Big court, big stage. There was a lot of crowd, a lot of people. So, yeah, I’m just proud of the way I ­managed to stay calm and keep ­playing my game.”

In her first quarter‑final at a grand slam tournament, Andreeva will be part of one of the most ­formidable lineups in years. She will next face Aryna Sabalenka, the second seed, who outclassed the 22nd seed Emma Navarro, 6-2, 6-3, to reach the ­quarter-finals without dropping a set.

“I felt quite confident in all con­ditions, like I was playing really great tennis when it was cold. Today I played really great tennis as well. It was warm with different conditions,” Sabalenka said after the first warm day at Roland Garros this year.

“I would say right now it doesn’t matter what the conditions are going to be. All that matters is how focused I’m going to be and if I’ll be ready to fight for every point and be ready for long rallies.”

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Aryna Sabalenka punches the air in celebrationView image in fullscreen

Elena Rybakina, the fourth seed, is also yet to drop a set and she over­powered the 15th seed Elina ­Svitolina 6-3, 6-4. She will face Jasmine ­Paolini, the 12th seed, on Wednesday with a ­possible semi-final battle looming between Sabalenka and Rybakina. In the top half, Iga Swiatek, the top seed, faces the fifth-seeded ­Marketa ­Vondrousova and Coco Gauff, the third seed, will do battle with the eighth seed Ons Jabeur.

Both the top five seeds and the four reigning grand slam ­champions – Swiatek, Vondrousova, Gauff and Sabalenka – have all reached the quarter-finals. As Swiatek tries to make history by becoming the fourth woman in the Open era to win three Roland-Garros titles in a row, there are no easy matches ahead.


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