A long day for the Andreeva family.
The 16-year-old Russian first woke up early for her French Open debut at 11 a.m. against American Alison Riske-Amritraj. She’s as capable as Mila has ever been, and in Tuesday’s match she scored improvised, easy and smooth winners against an opponent twice her age, finishing in 56 minutes. rice field.
“I just play what I feel in my heart,” she said.
Next, Mila’s older sister Erica, 18, waited a long time to finally face fellow American Emma Navarro on Court 14. She appeared in court shortly after 7:30 p.m. in Paris. As the sun dipped on the banks of the Seine, she did everything in her power to match her sister’s success, with Navarro trailing three sets 2-6, 6-3, despite Andreeva putting in a decent performance. We won 6-4. promise.
A family spent more than ten hours on the grounds of Roland Garros, a 16-year-old boy who won the second round, and an 18-year-old boy who won by a narrow margin. That’s true of tennis’ newest sister artist, too.
All of this may sound a little familiar, but it should be. Sisterhood is nothing new in women’s tennis, with the American duo of Serena and Venus Williams headlining for more than two decades. They have won a total of 30 Grand Slam singles titles. Venus Williams, 42, is not yet retired but looks unlikely to win another major title.
Japan’s Naomi Osaka and her sister Mari also had more recent opportunities, but Mari never climbed past the 280th spot in the singles rankings until her retirement in 2021 at the age of 24. 2021 US Open finalist Layla Fernandez (Canada) has become a partner. Double with her sister Bianca. The French Open main draw also featured sister duo Linda Hrvitova and Brenda Hrvitova of the Czech Republic. Both lost in the opener.
Coaches and parents, who often have the same relationship, say the reason for the sisters’ success is very clear: they don’t have to look far for a practice partner. Also, the younger sibling grows up with the motivation to overtake the older sibling. Yet that achievement still feels a little amazing every time it happens. Especially when the journey begins in Siberia, as in the case of the Andreeva family.
Mira said her mother, Raisa, fell in love with the sport after watching Marat Safin of Russia win the 2005 Australian Open. That’s when she decided she wanted her children to become tennis players.
When Mira was young, she accompanied her younger sister to tennis practices and matches. When she was 6 years old, she started playing seriously with herself. When the girls showed early promise, her family moved from Siberia, where there were neither many tennis players nor the weather for tennis, to Sochi, Russia, where the weather was milder by the Black Sea, before moving to France. I moved to Cannes and enrolled there. tennis academy.
Mila said she played her first international tennis tournament, an under-12 tournament in Germany, and reached the semi-finals when she was about eight. When she was 12, a recruiter at sports and entertainment company IMG spotted her at a tournament for top juniors.
“She was a small player, but she was energetic, she fought and she just ran for the ball. That was a differentiator,” said IMG agent Juan Acuna Gerardo. . “Her recruiter said, ‘This girl is special.’ She was small for her age, but she was very competitive.”
Today, the company also represents Erica.
Last month, not yet 16, Mirra became one of the youngest players to beat a top 20 opponent at the Madrid Open when she defeated Beatriz Haddad Maia en route to the last 16.
She said she wasn’t nervous either then or ahead of Tuesday’s game. She needed an alarm clock to get up in the morning.
“You got excited in a good way, didn’t you?” Mira said.
The Andreeva sisters talk about one of the biggest upsets most Roland Garros remembers in recent memory, as No. 172 Thiago Seyvos Wilde (Brazil) defeated former world No. 1 Daniil Medvedev in men’s singles On the day I was supposed to be, I was active in an inconspicuous place. Second seed at the French Open in five sets.
A hard-court player, Medvedev was never a fan of clay-court tennis, nor did he have much success at Roland Garros. But earlier this month he won the final of the Italian Open, the major clay-court tournament that precedes the French Open. It seemed like this victory might have been the beginning of a beautiful friendship between the creative Russian Medvedev and the red soil player. He declared himself cautiously optimistic about his chances.
But Medvedev was never comfortable on a windy Tuesday afternoon, sending the ball into the wind and committing 15 double faults to catch his opponent in the game of a lifetime.
“I’m happy every time it’s over,” Medvedev said of the clay-court season. “I took a bite of clay in the third game of the match.”
Mila Andreeva had no such problems. Her biggest problem that day was that her sister’s game started too late for her to hang out to watch it. It may have been the best. She said she was much more nervous watching her sister’s match than her own.
Tuesday night would have caused a lot of anxiety. Erika dropped a confused first set, pulled tenaciously while struggling with her tennis defense, and took a 3-0 lead in the final set, only to see Navarro recover and win six of the next seven games. I saw Raisa, who had been sitting in the front row and quietly urging her daughter all night, finally got up when Erika’s lead slipped away.
The loss left Mila on the path for the rest of her family in Paris. She faces Diane Parry (France) on Thursday, and while she won’t be an easy task, she can’t beat a chemistry class she says stumped her online school.
“I’m really bad at chemistry,” she said. “I don’t understand anything.”
Tennis, on the other hand, is more natural. Her coach (she and Erica have another coach) gives her a game plan before each match. She listens to her, she accepts it, she forgets what she was told as soon as she steps her foot on her court, instead she plays with her senses.
“If I feel I have to do a drop shot, I’m going to do it anyway, even if the score wasn’t really appropriate for doing a drop shot,” she said. “I don’t know how to explain.”
Not for now.