Tennis-Hitting ball into crowd was a 'stupid move', says Andreeva

  • Tennis
  • Sunday, 04 Jun 2023

Tennis - French Open - Roland Garros, Paris, France - June 3, 2023 Russia's Mirra Andreeva in action during her third round match against Coco Gauff of the U.S. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

PARIS (Reuters) - Mirra Andreeva was knocked out of the French Open in the third round on Saturday but the teenager's amazing run from qualifying could have ended even before her match against Coco Gauff was completed in three sets.

After wasting two chances to win the first-set tiebreak, the 16-year-old Russian received a warning for hitting the ball into the packed Suzanne Lenglen stands -- a move that could have resulted in her being defaulted and sent packing with a heavy fine.

"Right after, I thought that it was a really stupid move from me, because it was not necessary to do that," Andreeva told a press conference.

"That was not the best I could do. It was really bad what I did. Yes, I had thoughts like this (that she could be defaulted), but he (the umpire) just gave me a warning."

Although she eventually won the set, Andreeva did not manage to cool down, smashing a racket on the ground and winning only two of the remaining 14 games in a 6-7(5) 6-1 6-1 defeat.

"I realised that I could really win this match. Then I got a little bit nervous not to lose this opportunity. So I think that was a mistake from me," she said.

Andreeva's move did not go unnoticed by Gauff, who shared her own experience.

"What happened today, I think she's going to learn from it, for sure. It's frustrating," last year's runner-up Gauff said.

"Tennis is a frustrating sport. I completely understand it. I've been there."

While she still breaks the occasional racket in training sessions, the American knows the cost of doing so in tournaments.

"I do try to act better in the matches because I don't want to get a code violation and I don't want to get fined," she explained.

"I remember I got fined like seven grand after breaking the racquet here in the quarter-finals two or three years ago. So I was like, I'm not wasting seven grand again. That was more than a lesson learned for me."

(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Clare Fallon)

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