Seismic upset as 17-year-old Mirra Andreeva dumps out Aryna Sabalenka to reach maiden Grand Slam semi-final at Roland Garros

Wednesday, 05 June 2024 at 19:17
Mirra Andreeva has increasingly shown herself to be a super talent and she has her first chance potentially to become a Grand Slam champion after dumping out Aryna Sabalenka 6-7, 6-4, 6-4 to reach the semi-finals of the French Open.
Awaiting Andreeva was the other victor in another upset as Jasmine Paolini knocked out Elena Rybakina earlier today. A semi-final clash between Sabalenka and Rybakina was touted, but in reality was never a given and Andreeva proved that alongside Paolini.
Now the 17-year-old who has shone so bright in just over a year on the tour gets a chance to reach a maiden Grand Slam final after taking down the World No.2 who looked off colour throughout the tie. Awaiting her likely though will be Iga Swiatek who faces preferred opponent Coco Gauff whom she has an 11-1 record against.
During the tie, Sabalenka was not herself which did not ally the brilliance of Andreeva who rose to the occasion superbly against the Belarusian. But the former was seen drinking two cans of Coca-Cola in order to stoke her energy levels as it looked like she was ill or the tournament had simply taken a toll. Not for the teenage grit of Andreeva.
Sabalenka looked the brighter of the two to begin the tie. She led 3-1 but started to fade fairly early as Andreeva went 5-3 up but she never got the chance for the set as Sabalenka stayed resolute to the task and forced a tie-break which she edged 7-5. But the second set was more what Andreeva wanted off the first but finishing the job. She went 4-2 up and albeit Sabalenka came back to 4-4, the belief really started to appear.
She looked the more energetic of the pair and edged the second set 6-4 on her second set point breaking serve to seal it. The final set saw only breaks in the middle portion of the set as Sabalenka couldn't consolidate. But Andreeva could as she edged ahead 4-3 and 5-4. Amid a late struggle to get over the line, she finally did so on advantage after Sabalenka had a chance to make it 5-5 and complicate matters further.
Andreeva is the first 17-year-old in a Grand Slam semi-final since 1997. Back then it was Martina Hingis and after a breakout 2023, it continues to be the epic rise of the Russian. She has not had a great 2024 in spells but all will be put behind her now in reaching a maiden Grand Slam semi-final. Like alluded to, Jasmine Paolini awaits meaning a real chance for either that they will aim to grasp with both hands.

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