Mirra Andreeva stuns tennis world as 15-year-old rocks Madrid Open draw

The Madrid Open has unearthed a potential superstar in the making.

Seen here, Russian 15-year-old tennis star Mirra Andreeva at the Madrid Open.
Russian 15-year-old Mirra Andreeva stunned the tennis world after defeating Leylah Fernandez in straight sets at the Madrid Open. Pic: WTA/Getty

Teen Russian star Mirra Andreeva has put the tennis world on notice with her stunning victory over former US Open finalist Leylah Fernandez at the Madrid Open. The 15-year-old prodigy marked her first tour-level victory in style, upsetting Fernandez 6-3 6-4 just three days before her 16th birthday.

Andreeva - who could not stop smiling at the net after her milestone victory - next faces Brazilian 13th seed Beatriz Haddad Maia in another blockbuster clash on Thursday night (AEDT). The Russian teen's shock triumph opens up the women's draw for the clay court tournament in the Spanish capital.

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The comprehensive straight-sets victory marked the first time Andreeva had played and beaten a top-50 opponent, with Fernandez currently ranked 49 in the world. The Russian star has already earned impressive results this year though, after reaching the girls' final at the Australian Open.

The 15-year-old's first main-draw victory extended her unbeaten pro record in 2023 to 14-0, and she was coming off two consecutive ITF W60 titles. "It was a really tough match for me and I just tried to give my best and to play every point," Andreeva said after the match. I'm extremely happy with my level."

Fellow teen Linda Fruhvirtova of the Czech Republic was also a standout first-round winner, with the 17-year-old beating Katie Volynets 6-3 7-5 to set up a match against 2017 French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko. The 58th-ranked Fruhvirtova, who will turn 18 on Monday, is the youngest player inside the top 100, with her match against Ostapenko scheduled to take place after Andreeva's on Thursday.

"It's great that teenagers are playing that great now and they have a possibility to play this tournament," Andreeva said. Tennis fans were quick to echo that sentiment from the 15-year-old star, with many predicting big things from the prodigiously talented Russian.

Women's draw blown wide open in Madrid

The shock first round results further rocked the Madrid Open women's draw already affected by the late withdrawal of Emma Raducanu. The former US Open champion was forced to withdraw from the tournament because of a right-hand injury.

The 20-year-old was scheduled to play lucky loser Viktoriya Tomova ahead of a potential showdown with No.1 Iga Swiatek in the second round, with the Briton ultimately replaced by another lucky loser, Julia Grabher of Austria. Grabher progressed with a 6-1 7-6 (7-5) win and will now face Swiatek.

Seen here, Polish World No.1 Iga Swiatek practices before her opening match at the Madrid Open.
Polish World No.1 Iga Swiatek practices before her opening match at the Madrid Open. Pic: Getty

Defending champion Ons Jabeur was also forced to withdraw from the Madrid Open because of an injured left calf, in a major blow for her French Open preparations. The No.4-ranked Tunisian stopped playing against World No.1 Iga Swiatek, while trailing 3-0 in the first set of last week's semi-final in Stuttgart.

Elina Svitolina, the former World No.3 who was playing in her first WTA 1000 match in 14 months after taking maternity leave, lost 6-4 7-5 to Aliaksandra Sasnovich. There are no Aussie women involved in the Spanish clay court tournament, with the country's best two players - Ajla Tomljanovic and Daria Saville - both injured.

with AAP

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