16-Year-Old Prodigy Andreeva Eliminated In First Round Of Dubai Championships

16-Year-Old Prodigy Andreeva Eliminated In First Round Of Dubai Championships

by Erik Virostko

Mirra Andreeva is one of the brightest stars on the WTA Tour, but in the opening round of the 2024 Dubai Championships, she lost to Peyton Stearns.

Coming into the second WTA 1000 tournament of the year, the young Russian knew she would have a difficult job early on. She faced a fellow youngster, even though Stearns is six years older - 22.

The two had never met before, and coming into the match, they were in a completely different form. While Andreeva played the fourth round at the Australian Open, and reached the quarterfinals in Brisbane, Stearns was winless in her four matches before this meeting.

But the American was determined to change her fortune in Dubai, and she started well on her quest to do that. Stearns started with two breaks in her opponent's first three service games.

Although her opponent tried to respond and recovered one of the breaks, she was immediately broken again. That was enough for the 22-year-old to win the first set 6-2.

In the second set, the Russian returned the favor with the same start. Andreeva broke her opponent's serve twice in the first three return games, and eventually, she achieved the same result, winning the second set 6-2 and sending the match into the decider.

But the 16-year-old completely missed the start of the third set. She lost the first six points, and also the first five games, a deficit she was never able to recover from. From 5-0, it was an easy finish for the American, who didn't face a single break point in the third set of this first-round match.

Eventually, Stearns cruised towards the finish line, winning the match 6-2, 2-6, 6-1 to set up a second-round clash at the 2024 Dubai Championships with the seventh-seeded Marketa Vondrousova from the Czech Republic.


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