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Teen star Mirra Andreeva vows to take a leaf from Roger Federer’s book

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Teenage sensation Mirra Andreeva vowed to learn from her Wimbledon temper tantrums and take a leaf out of sinner-to-saint Roger Federer’s Grand Slam playbook.

Russia's Mirra Andreeva reacts as she plays against US player Madison Keys during their women's singles tennis match on the eighth day of the 2023 Wimbledon Championships
Russia’s Mirra Andreeva reacts as she plays against US player Madison Keys during their women’s singles tennis match on the eighth day of the 2023 Wimbledon Championships. Picture: Daniel Leal, AFP

London — Teenage sensation Mirra Andreeva vowed on Monday to learn from her Wimbledon temper tantrums and take a leaf out of sinner-to-saint Roger Federer’s Grand Slam playbook.

Andreeva, 16, was bidding to become the youngest woman to reach the quarter-finals at the All England Club since fellow Russian Anna Kournikova in 1997.

However, she let a set and 4-1 lead slip away against experienced Madison Keys of the United States to lose 3-6, 7-6 (7/4), 6-2 in her fourth-round duel.

The tie ended in controversy when Andreeva was handed her second code violation for hitting her racquet into the ground at deuce in the eighth game of the final set.

She was slapped with a penalty point which in turn gave Keys match point, with the American going on to seal the tie.

“I knew that Roger Federer was struggling with emotions when he was teenager,” she said of the Swiss great, who learned to control his on-court outbursts, winning 20 Grand Slam titles before he retired.

He also became one of the sport’s most respected ambassadors.

“I’m not the only one who also struggles,” added Andreeva. “I thought that I just need to wait a little bit and it will go away. But it doesn’t work like this.

“You just have to work on yourself. The faster you’ll do it, then the results will come also faster.”

Andreeva protested that she had slipped and had not hit the surface intentionally when she was sanctioned.

“Do you understand what you are doing? I didn’t throw the racquet. I slipped. It’s the wrong decision. I slipped and then I fell,” the teenager told umpire Julie Kjendlie.

Andreeva later told reporters that she had refused to shake hands with Kjendlie in protest.

‘I thought I’d fall’

“She didn’t do the right decision for me. Yes, that’s why I didn’t want to shake hands,” said Andreeva.

“Honestly, I didn’t have any intention to throw the racquet. I slid. Honestly, I thought that I will fall forward.”

She had picked up her first code violation at the end of the second set for petulantly launching her racquet at her chair.

“The first warning I got, I think I deserved it. I threw the racquet, and it’s grass,” she said.

“I was a bit frustrated. So that’s why I threw the racquet. I didn’t complain or talk to her about it so here she made a right decision.”

Andreeva said she has been trying to control her emotions on court after also falling foul of the rules at the French Open last month.

As she slipped to defeat to Coco Gauff in the third round in Paris, she smashed the ball into the crowd and admitted she had been lucky not to have been defaulted.

“It’s kind of strange, but almost every time before I go to sleep, I turn off the lights and I just try to speak to myself just about the day, about everything,” she said.

“That time after the French Open, I spoke about the game. It kind of helped me.”

Andreeva will be consoled by earning more than $430,000 for making the last eight on her Wimbledon debut and she will shoot up the rankings.

Keys, whose big game yielded 39 winners and 40 unforced errors, backed Andreeva to learn from Monday’s bitter experience.

“I would say ignore everyone and everything that they say unless you actually care about their opinion,” said the 28-year-old, who is in her 41st Grand Slam event compared to the two of Andreeva.

“I think the inexperience starts to show a little bit. I mean she’s 16 at the end of the day.

“But, if anything, it’s just more time for her to learn from it.”

Keys will face world number two Aryna Sabalenka for a place in the semi-finals.

AFP

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