The BBC’s coverage of Wimbledon 2023 captured an intense and controversial moment when 16-year-old Russian player Mirra Andreeva’s impressive run came to an end. Andreeva found herself embroiled in controversy after being penalized for throwing her racquet during the match.
Having already received a warning for a previous racquet throw after losing the second set, Andreeva faced a point penalty that ultimately gave her opponent, Madison Keys, a match point in their fourth-round encounter. Despite saving that point, Andreeva ultimately lost the match 3-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-2.
Protesting to the umpire, Louise Azemar Engzell, Andreeva insisted, “I didn’t throw the racquet, I slid.” However, her swift exit from court two without shaking hands with Engzell showcased her frustration, having previously dazzled spectators with her exceptional skills on the grand stage.
At a news conference, Andreeva voiced her disagreement with the umpire’s decision, particularly concerning the second warning. The incident occurred during a crucial moment in the third set, with the score at deuce and Andreeva retrieving a deep ball to her right. In her attempt, she appeared to lose her footing, touching the grass with her left hand before her racquet hit the ground forcefully as her right arm came over the top.
Despite her pleas, the decision stood, and Andreeva left the court quickly after a brief handshake with Keys. Reflecting on the incident, she remarked, “For me, it’s a controversial point. Honestly, I didn’t have any intention to throw the racquet. I slid. Honestly, I thought that I would fall forward. Maybe it did look like I threw the racquet. I don’t know. I didn’t see any videos yet.”
While Andreeva admitted to deserving her first warning, which she received after losing a 4-1 lead in the second set, she believed the second warning was unwarranted. Expressing her frustration, she said, “I threw the racquet, and it’s grass. I was a bit frustrated.”
Andreeva’s emotional outbursts have been a topic of discussion throughout the tournament. In a previous match, she repeatedly hit her leg out of frustration, and during her encounters with Keys, she displayed visible emotional distress during changeovers. Despite these challenges, Andreeva acknowledged that many great players had faced similar struggles in their early careers, citing Roger Federer as an example.
Recognizing the need to manage her emotions, Andreeva shared a technique she employs before bed. She explained, “I turn off the lights, and I just try to speak to myself about the day, about everything. That time after the French Open, I spoke about the game. It kind of helped me.”
Andreeva had aimed to become the youngest player since Anna Kournikova in 1997 to reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals. However, Keys advanced to the quarter-finals for the second time in her career and is set to face the winner of the fourth-round match between Aryna Sabalenka and Ekaterina Alexandrova.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Wimbledon controversy
What happened in the Wimbledon 2023 match between Mirra Andreeva and Madison Keys?
Mirra Andreeva’s Wimbledon 2023 match against Madison Keys ended in controversy. Andreeva was penalized for throwing her racquet, which resulted in a point penalty and gave Keys a match point. Andreeva ultimately lost the match 3-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-2.
Did Mirra Andreeva agree with the umpire’s decision?
No, Mirra Andreeva disagreed with the umpire’s decision. She insisted that she didn’t throw the racquet but rather slid, and that the umpire made the wrong call. However, her protests were unsuccessful, and the decision stood.
How did Mirra Andreeva handle the situation after the match?
Mirra Andreeva left the court quickly without shaking hands with the umpire. She expressed her frustration and believed that the incident was controversial, emphasizing that she didn’t intend to throw the racquet. She stated that she thought she would fall forward and that the incident appeared differently than she perceived.
How did Mirra Andreeva deal with her emotions during the match?
Mirra Andreeva acknowledged struggling with her emotions during the match. She had previously hit her leg out of frustration and showed visible emotional distress during changeovers. She shared that she tries to speak to herself before bed as a way to manage her emotions.
What are Mirra Andreeva’s aspirations in Wimbledon 2023?
Mirra Andreeva aimed to become the youngest player since Anna Kournikova in 1997 to reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals. However, her run ended in the fourth round against Madison Keys.