The last time we saw Mirra Andreeva play was at the US Open when Coco Gauff beat her in the second round. She's not missed a beat by taking a break as her return showcased the tremendous talent of the teenager.
Andreeva took on fellow talent Kimberly Birrell but proved much better than the Australian, essentially cruising easily through the match. The WTA 1000 event in Beijing has plenty of points to offer, so the Russian was clearly motivated to start off the qualifications without any complications.
The match itself was pretty interesting but also devoid of any complications for the teenager. Neither player served on a very high level in either set, so we saw plenty of battling in the rallies. Andreeva handled it far better, especially her second serve, where she won most of the points.
Birrell struggled greatly on her second serve, proving a problem for her. Mistakes proved another problem because she was the more aggressive player and generally is by nature. The second set opened with some pressure from Birell as Andreeva's serve continued to be funky.
Even so, the Russian was still winning most rallies because she was simply more consistent. In the end, tennis is a sport of consistency, whether it's rallies or the ranking. The most consistent ones get rewarded the most, and that's what happened here.
A slip-up happened at 3-2 when Andreeva finally got punished for her inconsistent serving. Not that it mattered much, as she broke in the next game, proving that Andreeva was simply better. She might have paced herself, but when she approached the rally with seriousness, she was likely winning it.
The final score was 6-3 6-4 for Andreeva, who is eyeing a Top 50 debut with a strong run here. It's a goal for her, and so far it's trending in the right direction.