MOSCOW, June 2. /TASS/. Russia’s 16-year-old female tennis player Mirra Andreeva is still gaining skills and media hype over her successful performance at the 2023 French Open in Paris can only harm her, Shamil Tarpishchev, president of the Russian Tennis Federation (RTF), told TASS on Friday.
Playing on June 1 at the 2023 French Open in Paris, Andreeva breezed past Diane Parry of France in straight sets (6-1; 6-2) and is now set to face the 2022 French Open runner-up, Coco Gauff of the United States, in Round 3 of the Grand Slam tournament.
"She is only 16 years old, let her play the way she does; there’s no need for hype here. She is still gaining skills and everything is going according to plan," Tarpishchev said. "There is still a long road ahead for Andreeva."
"All the recent hype regarding her performance [at the 2023 French Open] can only harm her. The most important thing now is not to jinx her or distract her," the RTF chief added.
Andreeva is participating in the 2023 French Open under a neutral status. She turned 16 on April 29 and is currently ranked 143rd by the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA).
One of tennis’ four Grand Slam events, the 2023 French Open is taking place in the "City of Light" between May 28 and June 11. The tournament is played on outdoor clay courts and offers a purse of 49.6 million euros (almost $53.2 million) in prize money.
Russian players’ neutral status at tennis tournaments
In line with international tennis regulations, Russian tennis players are participating in the tournament under a neutral status.
On February 28, 2022, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) issued recommendations to international sports federations to bar athletes from Russia and Belarus from taking part in international tournaments, citing Moscow’s special military operation in Ukraine as the reason.
Following the IOC’s recommendations, in late February 2022 the majority of global sports federations decided to bar athletes from Russia and Belarus from all international sports tournaments.
However, the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) and the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) allowed tennis players from Russia and Belarus to continue participating in WTA and ATP tournaments, but only as neutrals.