Mirra Andreeva, like most 16-year-olds, has some room for improvement when it comes to managing her emotions, as evidenced by a few instances during her fourth-round ouster here on Monday when her resentment erupted. The Russian teen’s level of maturity, both on and off the court, however, augurs well for her future.
She made headlines at Wimbledon when she refused to shake hands with the umpire after a contentious argument during her play. Tennis fans were outraged by the episode, which raised questions about sportsmanship and the relationships between players and officials.
When Andreeva and the umpire got into a heated disagreement over a disputed ruling, the eagerly anticipated match took a dramatic turn. As both sides vehemently defended their positions, tensions increased and the court became inflamed.
A qualifier, Andreeva, had a chance to be up a set and 5-1 against American Madison Keys until the latter recovered her form and won 3-6, 7-6 (4), 6-2 to advance to the quarterfinals for the second time in eight years. Near the end of the match, Andreeva received a second warning and a point penalty after the umpire, Louise Engzell, determined that she had thrown her racket as she collapsed. Andreeva had already been cautioned for throwing her racket from a distance towards her chair at the completion of the second set. The replay made it appear even harsher than it did at the time.
After the game, Andreeva approached the umpire’s chair to shake hands with Kjendlie but skipped right through the umpire’s chair to greet Keys.
Andreeva had slipped as he was playing a return, causing the racket to leave his grasp. However, the referee thought it was an act of annoyance and gave her the penalty, which led to Keys earning match points.
“I didn’t throw the racket, I slipped and then I fell,” Andreeva told the umpire. “It’s the wrong decision.” Later she expanded on the incident. “It’s a controversial point,” she said. “I didn’t have any intention to throw the racket. I slid. I thought that I would fall forward.
“Maybe it did look like I threw the racket. I don’t know. I didn’t see any videos yet. But that was her decision to make. She made the decision, so the match is over now.” And of the choice not to shake the umpire’s hand? “She didn’t do a right decision for me. That’s why I didn’t want to shake hands [with] her.”