'Tennis Is A Snake Sport': Korneeva Sheds Light On Relationship With Compatriot Andreeva

'Tennis Is A Snake Sport': Korneeva Sheds Light On Relationship With Compatriot Andreeva

by Nurein Ahmed

Alina Korneeva spoke of the difficulty of forming friendships in tennis and her relationship with fellow teenager Mirra Andreeva.

The Russian pair famously made waves at the 2023 Australian Open junior tournament, where they reached the doubles semifinal as a team and contested the singles final against each other.

Both players were born in 2006, with Andreeva the older of the two by two months. They have long-standing connections as juniors on the ITF circuit, where they have predominantly plied their trade for most of their teenage years.

In Melbourne last year, Korneeva defeated Andreeva for the title and added a second junior's triumph at Roland Garros. She has made sporadic progress in terms of ranking and development as a Top 200 player, but it is Andreeva who has emerged as the shining light of the youngsters in recent months.

This week, the 17-year-old reached the Roland Garros semifinals for the first time in her career. She has reportedly referred to Korneeva as her "best friend" at the 2023 Australian Open.

However, in an exclusive interview with Sportskeeda during her time in India competing at the Mumbai Open, Korneeva admittedly commented on her relationship with Andreeva, denying their friendship.

"I think in sports, it is really difficult to have a friend – really difficult. And I can’t say that I want it. Because, I call our sport ‘snake sport.’ And my brother calls it snake sport, I think it is really true. So I don’t think about this and just focus on myself."

Korneeva is currently ranked 156th in the WTA rankings. She hasn't played since early February, when she withdrew from the Mumbai 125K tournament. The young Russian has opted to undergo wrist surgery in recent months because of "tendon instability."

Andreeva, meanwhile, is set to break into the Top 30 after Roland Garros. She has enjoyed a more impressive run on the senior tour, winning a total of 17 matches with half of the season gone. Last year, she was named the WTA Newcomer of the Year after a fine breakthrough season.


You may also like