Sixteen-year-old Mirra Andreeva said she dreams of winning 25 grand slam titles after reaching the third round of the French Open.
The prodigious Russian talent came through qualifying and has lost just six games in her first two main-draw matches, beating France’s Diane Parry 6-1 6-2 on Thursday.
Andreeva only turned 16 at the end of April and is setting her sights sky high for her tennis career.
Watch out world 😏
— ITF (@ITFTennis) June 1, 2023
“The dream: I know that (Novak) Djokovic, he did 22 grand slams, so I want to go until 25, if it will be possible,” said the confident teenager.
Andreeva will try to keep her feet on the ground, though, adding: “As my coach says, to not be like a diva, to stay humble all the time. I don’t think that I have a lot of success now. I didn’t win any tournaments. I just play. It’s the third round of Roland Garros. I will play.”
Andreeva now faces an intriguing clash against 19-year-old Coco Gauff, who will be in the unusual position of being the vastly more experienced player.
The pair have practised together, and Gauff said after her 6-2 6-3 win over Julia Grabher: “I’ve watched her the past couple of weeks. She’s obviously done well.
“And the practice with her, it was a good practice. I think she’s a great player. Obviously she’s young, but I don’t see age as a factor. You have to play her as you would play any other person that’s grown and strong. Obviously she’s proved her position here, and I’m going to try to do my best against her.”
Defending champion Iga Swiatek again had a tough first set, this time against American Claire Liu, before pulling away to win 6-4 6-0.
The world number one, who celebrated her 22nd birthday on Wednesday, had difficulty finding her rhythm in windy conditions.
Swiatek would rather play on Philippe Chatrier in the day than at night, though, and revealed she has been requesting not to feature in the late prime-time session.
Every night session so far has consisted of a men’s match despite organisers facing criticism last year for not giving equal billing to the women.
“I felt like I played already night sessions in this clay court swing,” said Swiatek. “Obviously it would be nice if we had women’s matches as well. But I’m not helping.”
Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina fought off a Czech teenager for the second straight round, following up her success against 16-year-old Brenda Fruhvirtova by defeating 18-year-old Linda Noskova 6-3 6-3.
Seventh seed Ons Jabeur has looked strong so far, the Tunisian seeing off Oceane Dodin 6-2 6-3, while Kayla Day upset American compatriot Madison Keys 6-2 4-6 6-4.