Sports, Tennis

School girl Andreeva stuns sixth seed Jabeur

Published : 17 Jan 2024 10:03 PM

Russian 16-year-old Mirra Andreeva played "amazing" tennis to crush sixth seed Ons Jabeur in under an hour Wednesday, sending the Tunisian tumbling out of the Australian Open in the second round.

Playing her first tournament at Melbourne Park, Andreeva was electric in downing the three-time major runner-up 6-0, 6-2 on Rod Laver Arena in just 54 minutes.

Ranked 47, it was her first win over a top-10 player, having burst onto the scene when she reached the fourth round at Wimbledon last year as a qualifier.

Andreeva played on centre court last year when she made the girls final, losing to fellow Russian Alina Korneeva. 

"I feel like I am a bit more mature than I was before. Over this year I think I have changed a lot of and I think you can see that on the court," she said The first set was a 20-minute demolition job with 29-year-old Jabuer completely out of touch.

She won only eight points across the six games, and just three from the baseline, while making 10 unforced errors. Her serve was not firing, with only 38 percent of first serve points won and just 13 percent on second serve.

Jabeur, who made the final twice at Wimbledon and once at the US Open, finally held serve to get off the mark in the opening game of set two, raising her finger in the air in celebration.

But the teenage Russian kept coming and broke again for a 2-1, then 4-1 as Jabeur's shoulders slumped, knowing it was all over.

Andreeva made her Grand Slam bow at the French Open last year with a run to the third round after coming through qualifying, ahead of her exploits at Wimbledon.

In her only other Grand Slam, she lost in the second round of the US Open to eventual champion Coco Gauuf.

The younger sister of fellow professional tennis player Erika Andreeva, she warmed up for Melbourne by making her first WTA Tour quarter-final at the Brisbane International.

Meanwhile, Novak Djokovic resumes his quest for a 25th Grand Slam title Wednesday against home hope Alexei Popyrin, while fellow defending champion Aryna Sabalenka faces her second consecutive qualifier.

Serbian superstar Djokovic dropped a set against unheralded Croat Dino Prizmic in his opening clash and will not want to do repeat the feat against 43rd-ranked Popyrin.