17-year-old Andreeva shocked Sabalenka

Henry

She is young, blonde and clearly very talented.

The 17-year-old Mirra Andreeva became the youngest player since Martina Hingis, then 16 years old, when her dream run in 1997 to qualify for the semi-finals of a Grand Slam tournament came true.

The Russian player cut short Aryna Sabalenka’s French Open title dreams on Wednesday afternoon when she won their quarter-final match 6-7, 6-4 and 6-4 on the clay courts of Roland-Garros.

Andreeva admittedly struggled with her serve in the first set, but she impressed with her stroke play to beat the world’s second best player in just over two hours.

“My coach and I had a game plan ready, but I couldn’t remember much about it. I just try to play how I feel on the court,” she said.

It’s no easy task to beat Sabalenka these days – unless your name might be Iga Swiatek – and the Belarusian player was on course to qualify for her seventh Grand Slam semi-final in a row.

Moreover, Andreeva has already bogged down twice before against the very Sabalenka.

However, she said after the game that the spectators’ support fueled her to greater heights.

“I was a little surprised when everyone started cheering me on. I didn’t expect it at all and I really appreciate it.”

She will face Italy’s Jasmine Paolini in the semi-finals.

Results:

Mirra Andreeva beat Aryna Sabalenka 6-7, 6-4 and 6-4

Jasmine Paolini beat Elena Rybakina 6-2, 4-6 and 6-4

Alexander Zverev beat Alex de Minaur 6-4, 7-6 and 6-4