Inexperienced Russian teen, Mirra Andreeva, faces defeat at Wimbledon against Madison Keys
16-year-old Mirra Andreeva loses lead and throws racket in Wimbledon match.
In her first appearance at Wimbledon, 16-year-old Mirra Andreeva demonstrated both her maturity and inexperience on the court. Despite winning all six of her grass matches to make it to the fourth round, Andreeva let a significant lead slip away against 25th-seeded Madison Keys, resulting in a 3-6, 7-6 (4), 6-2 loss on No. 2 Court.
Andreeva started strong, taking the first set and even leading 3-0 in the second, winning nine out of ten games. However, Keys managed to turn the tide of the match. At one point, Andreeva's frustration got the better of her, leading her to throw her racket and receive a warning from chair umpire Louise Azemar Engzell.
In a final game filled with tension, Andreeva slipped while going for a ball, causing her racket to once again fly out of her hand. Engzell penalized the Russian player a point for a second thrown racket, giving Keys a match point. Andreeva pleaded her case, insisting that she had not thrown the racket but had fallen instead. Unfortunately for Andreeva, the call stood, and Keys ultimately sealed the victory, securing her spot in the Wimbledon quarterfinals for the first time since 2015.
Reflecting on the match, Keys acknowledged Andreeva's talent and expressed her relief at not being the player to lose to her in her first quarterfinal appearance. Keys, who has reached the semifinals in the other three Grand Slam tournaments, including a final appearance at the U.S. Open in 2017, had previously fallen short at the All England Club in the quarterfinals.
Andreeva, the latest rising star in tennis, was the youngest player in the Wimbledon draw. Her goal was to become the youngest player to reach the Wimbledon quarterfinals since Anna Kournikova in 1997.
Keys will face either second-seeded Aryna Sabalenka or No. 21 Ekaterina Alexandrova in the next round. Sabalenka, who won the Australian Open this year, boasts an impressive 15-1 record in major tournaments in 2023.
Defending champion Elena Rybakina also secured her spot in the quarterfinals when Beatriz Haddad Maia retired from their match due to a hip injury, with Rybakina leading 4-1.
In other matches on Monday, seven-time champion Novak Djokovic will resume his fourth-round match against Hubert Hurkacz on Centre Court. Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova will then face 2022 finalist Ons Jabeur, followed by top-seeded Carlos Alcaraz taking on 2021 finalist Matteo Berrettini.
Overall, it was a day filled with intense matches and unexpected turns at Wimbledon, showcasing the talent, determination, and occasional mishaps of the players vying for victory on the prestigious grass courts.