Mirra Andreeva has revealed that she used to root for Roger Federer whenever the 20-time Grand Slam champion squared off against Rafael Nadal on the tour.
The 16-year-old from Russia also used to dream about playing professional tennis with the best players in the world someday. On Thursday, May 25, she won her third qualifier match in Paris to enter her maiden Grand Slam main draw at the 2023 French Open, beginning on May 28.
In a conversation with Roland Garros after her match, Andreeva spoke about the clashes between Federer and Nadal while expressing her satisfaction at reaching the main draw of a Major.
"Of course, when I was a kid watching the TV, I remember Rafa against Federer. I was cheering for Roger," Mirra Andreeva said. "I watched every Grand Slam, all the time growing up. This is a dream to be here. I played juniors last year, this is just amazing."
The prodigy also made it to the quarterfinals of the French Open Junior Championships last year. She pointed out the significant difference in levels between girls and women.
"After the juniors, I didn't really think I could do something like this, but I was just working, working more, fighting in practice, fighting in tournaments and here I am," she added.
"The difference between the juniors and the women's tour is pretty big. In juniors, you can let yourself relax for a little bit if you have the better level. But here, you have to fight for every point. No one will give you anything in any match," Andreeva concluded.
Andreeva first garnered attention at the Madrid Open last month, where she downed the likes of Leylah Fernandez, Beatriz Haddad Maia, and Magda Linette before falling to Aryna Sabalenka in the fourth round.
Mirra Andreeva hopes her sister Erika also enters French Open 2023 main draw
Erika and Mirra Andreeva were introduced to tennis by their mother, especially after she saw Marat Safin defeat Roger Federer in a five-set thriller in the 2005 Australian Open semifinal.
While Mirra has reached the main draw of the 2023 French Open, her older sister Erika is one win away. The 147th-ranked will take on Serbia's Olga Danilovic today, May 26. Mirra remarked that it would be a dream come true if both sisters qualified.
"Like any sister, I want her to win. I'm really nervous when she plays. If we both make the main draw, it would be even more amazing. It's been one of our dreams to play a big tournament together," said Mirra.
Mirra beat Polina Kudermetova, Emiliana Arango, and Camila Osorio in the qualifying rounds at Roland Garros.
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