Unwell Sabalenka Stunned By 17-Year-Old Andreeva In Roland Garros Quarter-Finals

Unwell Sabalenka Stunned By 17-Year-Old Andreeva In Roland Garros Quarter-Finals

by Zachary Wimer

A tremendous campaign at the 2024 Roland Garros ended shockingly for Aryna Sabalenka, who was bested by 17-year-old Mirra Andreeva.

Many expected Sabalenka to easily navigate this matchup, considering how well she's played in recent weeks. She made back-to-back finals in Madrid and Rome and looked almost as good as Iga Swiatek, which is a crazy comparison, considering how well the Pole has played this year.

Sabalenka's good play continued in Paris, with some tremendous performances as she steamrolled into the Roland Garros quarter-final. Beating Andreeva seemed like a fairly simple task because she beat her in Madrid fairly comfortably, and she did the same last year.

The start of the match certainly looked like that, as Sabalenka broke Andreeva early in the match, taking a 2-0 lead. Not many assumed that something sinister was going on because she looked fine.

Her serve wasn't as powerful, but that might have been tactics for all we knew. The teenager broke back to make it 1-2 but then lost her serve once more to fall behind 1-3.

Then she finally tied the score, as she made it to 3-3, because the second seed continued to struggle, and no game showed this better than the seventh game of the first set, when she made four double faults to get broken.

She took a medical timeout then, and it was clear that she was dealing with some type of discomfort. It seemed like she was having stomach issues, for which she received a pill.

Her body language was very bad, though, as she nearly retired after that medical time out, walking to the net but then turning back. She powered through and channeled her frustration into some explosive play, breaking back to make it 5-5.

The set ended up in the tie-break, where Sabalenka played better and won it. She looked a bit better after taking that pill, but still wasn't too overwhelming. Andreeva herself was playing a pretty good match, almost hitting as well as the Belarusian.

The second set was very competitive. The two-time major winner fell behind early but then fought back. The 17-year-old player was putting up a much better effort, as Sabalenka continued to struggle physically.

Andreeva won that second set because Sabalenka misfired far too often at the end of it, so the match went into a decider. The third set was an interesting one, but it was clear that Sabalenka wasn't playing at her best.

That is also why Andreeva was able to stun the Belarusian and win the match 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-4 to reach her maiden major semi-final, in which she will play against Jasmine Paolini, who stunned Elena Rybakina.


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