Hingis impressed by Andreeva: “It’s great to see a 16-year-old doing so well”

The former world No 1 said she was just as prone to racquet throwing when she was young

Mirra Andreeva Mirra Andreeva at Wimbledon in 2023 (Action Plus/Panoramic)

If anyone knows what it’s like to be a precocious teenager in the tennis world, it is Martina Hingis.

The former world No 1 was just 16 when she won the Australian Open and Wimbledon in 1997, and all five of her Slams were won when she was a teenager.

The Swiss has been keeping close tabs on the rise of Mirra Andreeva, the Russian 16-year-old, who qualified for the main draw and reached the fourth round at Wimbledon this week, without being the favourite. And she likes what she’s seeing.

“I’ve seen a lot of her because she played a couple of ITF tournaments in Switzerland,” Hingis said at Wimbledon on Tuesday. (Andreeva won them both.) “So I saw when she made this little breakthrough, then fourth round in Madrid, qualifying at the French, here fourth round.

“It’s great to see a 16-year-old doing so well. I like her game, she’s a pretty girl and it’s nice to see, also for the people, to see someone like this, to see that it’s still possible being young and doing well.”

Hingis: “She’s like a wall, she doesn’t miss”

The Australian Todd Woodbridge, a former doubles champion working for the BBC at Wimbledon, had said he sees elements of Hingis’s game in Andreeva, notably her ability to change pace, to redirect and manoeuvre the ball. She can become a great player.

Martina Hingis, Wimbledon 1997
Martina Hingis, Wimbledon 1997 © Panoramic

Hingis said she was more attacking than Andreeva but agreed with the comparison in some ways.

“She’s very disciplined,” Hingis said. “She focuses well, she’s got all the shots. Sometimes, when I have watched her, she’s quite far behind. In that way, she’s not like me, I mean, I would like to see her being more aggressive and pushing (the issue), but she doesn’t miss, she’s like a wall so it’s hard to get through her. It’s something that she can maybe improve in the future to take more charge and and attack when she has the chance to do it.”

Hingis on Andreeva’s racquet throwing: “She’s a kid, it can happen”

Andreeva was warned for throwing her racquet in her defeat by Madison Keys and picked up a point penalty for a second warning when she slipped and was adjudged to have thrown her racquet down again, something she refuted. The Russian was lucky to avoid a potential disqualification at Roland-Garros when she fired a ball in anger into the crowd, and her temperament has been questioned by some.

Hingis, who could be volatile herself on the court, said people should give her a little leeway because of her age.

“I did that too,” she said. “When you play a lot of matches, I think she played a lot now compared to what she was doing before, you want to win, you want to play well. It can happen. When you’re young, you have your emotions and sometimes it’s good, sometimes bad. As long as nothing dangerous happens…depends on how and why you do it, how you throw your racquet, but it’s part of the game.

“Of course, you’re supposed to control your emotions, but at 16, come on, she’s a kid still, it can happen.”

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