Rybakina Stages Sensational Comeback Against 16-Year-Old Andreeva At China Open

Rybakina Stages Sensational Comeback Against 16-Year-Old Andreeva At China Open

by Evita Mueller

Last updated

16-year-old Mirra Andreeva almost got her first win over a Top 5 ranked player against Elena Rybakina at the 2023 China Open but ultimately lost in three sets.

Suppose you have ever wondered whether the talent of Mirra Andreeva is for real and whether she truly is as good as it is, then this match is a very good one to have watched. The 16-year-old made one of the best players this year look for her options for almost two sets.

On one side, we had a former Grand Slam champion ranked in the Top 5 who has been one of the best players on the WTA Tour this year. And on the other side, we had a 16-year-old tennis prodigy who just secured a Top 50 debut.

If you knew nothing about either player you'd assume that Rybakina was the 16-year-old because she was overwhelmed for much of this match. So much so in fact that she looked to be unable to win some rallies, giving up on points early.

That's how frustrated she was by everything that Andreeva was doing, and she was doing everything: superb movement, great touch with the lobs, incredible smarts in rallies, and some decent shot-making. The crucial part of her play was the same as against her previous two opponents.

She made them very uncomfortable on the court, which resulted in many unforced errors. Rybakina struggled with that for a good chunk of this match, losing the opening set 2-6 and then trailing by one break in the second set.

She got a rare break chance in the second set and broke back for the 4-4 score. It was a crucial moment because Andreeva totally collapsed after that, failing to do any of the things she did before.

There was a lot of fear and timidness in her play as Rybakina was just starting to find her rhythm. She would win the second set 6-4 and then demolish her opponent in the final set easily. Andreeva was totally out of the final set. The final score was 2-6 6-4 6-1.


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