Andreeva bw

Mirra Andreeva’s earliest tennis memory happened before she was born.

“I didn’t watch the match but I saw the highlights,” she explains, taking me down the YouTube rabbit hole that first led her to a 2004 clip featuring Marat Safin. “I don’t even remember the surface, the year, or the tournament, just that there was a really long point. When he won it, he grabbed his shorts and pulled them down!"

Having nailed her punchline, the teenager giggles. “I don’t know why I have this memory!”

Andreeva may have learned court craft from Ons Jabeur, but she credits her comic timing to Chandler Bing.


“He’s the most relatable,” the 17-year-old says of the character played by the late, great Matthew Perry.

“I learned how to speak better English by watching Friends. I really wanted to improve the way I talk, and to learn some new words. At first, I needed subtitles to really understand, but now I can say that, if I watch Friends, I can just listen to it!”

As Chandler himself might say, “Could she be any more charming?”

But one need not test Andreeva’s encyclopedic knowledge of the 90s sitcom to glean a certain nostalgic quality from the teen sensation, whose precocious tennis and madcap persona combines the very best of Martina Hingis and Maria Sharapova. Though my millennial illusion was somewhat rattled upon hearing her childhood memories of that famous Federer-Nadal final—you know, the one that took place in 2017—the zany Gen Z starlet is nonetheless on track for a full-circle moment with Sharapova, who famously lifted the Wimbledon trophy 20 years ago at 17.


Like the former world No. 1, the younger Andreeva sister reached the fourth round of Wimbledon in her 2023 debut to cap a thunderous introduction to the WTA circuit. From a 15-year-old junior Grand Slam finalist in Australia, she ripped through 16 straight matches to make her Top 100 debut a mere six months later.

“Last year, especially, I felt like I have nothing to lose so I could go out, feel like everything was possible and see what happens,” she recalls back in May at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia. “I was never nervous before matches because I would think, ‘Well, if I lose here in the first round, it’s ok. I have time and nothing scary will happen.’ With this mindset, I was walking into matches and playing better and better, and I think that helped me because I was not afraid to lose or leave the tournament early. Now, I feel like people expect some things from me and this can be a bit of a pressure. But I’m learning how to figure it out and handle these moments.

“I still feel fearless, at least for a little bit longer!”


That fearlessness was on display earlier this month at Roland Garros, where she avenged elder sister Erika and stunned No. 2 seed Aryna Sabalenka to reach her first Grand Slam semifinal. The result both brought her into the Top 30 and indirectly achieved the humble goal she set back in May: getting seeded at big tournaments.

“I can get a bye in the first round,” she said with her inimitable starry-eyed expression—one she typically saves for mentions of her beloved Andy Murray—before adding presciently, “I could maybe be seeded at Wimbledon, if I play well.”

If the stars weren’t already aligning for Andreeva, she can point to an additional symmetry on her team as she prepares to play her first Wimbledon with coach Conchita Martinez, who will celebrate the 30th anniversary of her title run next week.


All this energy that I have, I’m not spending it trying to calm myself down anymore. I’m using it to find solutions, to overcome some difficult moments. Before, I wouldn’t be able to do that. This may be maturity for me. Mirra Andreeva

Though Andreeva is yet to add Martinez’s upset of Martina Navratilova to her YouTube queue, she does feel the former No. 2 helped her celebrate her 17th birthday feeling more mature—a line that got laughs on court at this year’s Australian Open when she thrashed her idol Jabeur in under an hour back in January.

“Maturity, for me, is when I find a way to get out difficult situations faster,” she muses. “If I’m struggling with something, or if, for example, there were a couple of matches in Madrid where I struggled in the beginning, and before, I would get upset and not really focus on the game. I would spend all the energy on bringing myself back to the game.

“And now, all this energy that I have, I’m not spending it trying to calm myself down or say some things to myself to calm myself down. I’m using the energy to find solutions, to overcome some difficult moments, like if you’re losing with two breaks down. Before, I wouldn’t be able to do that. This may be maturity for me."


When she’s not listening to Martinez—or following the matches of best friend Alevtina Ibragimova, who is currently building her ranking on the ITF Pro Circuit—the ever-online Andreeva is listening to music, compiling playlists to fuel her so-called “addiction.”

“On the warm-up, before the match, when I go home, when I’m alone, I’m always listening to something. So, it’s hard for me to pick a favorite song.”

Still, she tries for my benefit and surprisingly lands on “Lover,” the down-tempo Taylor Swift waltz for which the pop star named her seventh album. But after watching Andreeva put herself four sets from a Grand Slam title, one indeed can’t help but wonder: “Have I known you for 20 seconds or 20 years?”