Teenage Prodigy Andreeva Becomes Youngest Women's Grand Slam Semifinalist In 27 Years

Teenage Prodigy Andreeva Becomes Youngest Women's Grand Slam Semifinalist In 27 Years

by Nurein Ahmed

Mirra Andreeva may have recently celebrated her 17th birthday, but she came of age in the Roland Garros quarterfinals to make history.

Andreeva knocked out second seed and reigning Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka on Wednesday to take up the last vacant semifinal spot in the women's draw at the 2024 French Open.

And she did it in the most spectacular fashion. The young Russian went beyond the call of duty, recovering from a set deficit to win 6-7, 6-4, 6-4 in two and a half hours against an off-color Sabalenka, who was feeling unwell during the match.

The unseeded 17-year-old was already celebrating a career milestone by playing her first major quarterfinal, but she has now broken a new barrier by reaching her first Grand Salm semifinal.

The last time a WTA player was the same age as Andreeva and reached a Grand Slam semifinal was Swiss tennis legend Martina Hingis, who was 17 when she won the 1997 US Open.

This is unchartered territory for Andreeva, who will play Italy's Jasmine Paolini, also a first-time Grand Slam semifinalist after upsetting Elena Rybakina, in the second semifinal on Thursday.

At her age, most of her peers are competing in the lower tiers of women's tennis, and some even slightly older were in the French Open junior's tournament. But if anything, Andreeva has shown her outstanding talent again, which is good enough to test herself in the big leagues.

At the start of the tournament, many observers felt that Andreeva's ceiling might not reach the second week. But she's upset the applecart from the get-go, beating former World No. 1 Victoria Azarenka in the second round.

The draw has definitely opened up for her to reach the second week for the second time in her career. She is already guaranteed a new career high, and depending on how she fares for the remainder of the tournament, she might even break into the top 20.


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