Can Erika and Mirra Andreeva Become Tennis’ Next Great Sister Act?

More recently, Naomi Osaka of Japan and her sister, Mari, had their moments, though Mari never got higher than 280th in the singles rankings before retiring in 2021 at age 24. Leylah Fernandez of Canada, a 2021 U.S. Open finalist, has partnered in doubles with her younger sister Bianca. This French Open main draw even had another sister duo — Linda and Brenda Fruhvirtova of the Czech Republic. Both lost their opening-round matches.

Coaches and parents — who are often one and the same — say the reasons for sisterly success is fairly obvious: never having to look far for a practice partner. Also, the younger sibling grows up with the motivation of trying to overtake the older one. And yet the accomplishment still feels a bit astounding each time it happens, even more so when the journey starts in Siberia, as it did for the Andreevas.

Mirra said her mother, Raisa, fell in love with the sport while watching Marat Safin of Russia in the Australian Open in 2005, when he won the tournament. She decided then that she wanted her children to be tennis players.

As a toddler, Mirra trailed along to her sister’s tennis practices and matches. At 6, she started playing seriously herself. When the girls showed early promise the family moved from Siberia, which was not exactly teeming with tennis players or tennis friendly weather, to Sochi, Russia, with a mild climate along the Black Sea, and then Cannes, France, where they enrolled in a tennis academy.

Mirra said she was about 8 years old when she competed in her first international tennis tournament, an under-12 competition in Germany, where she made the semifinals. At 12, a recruiter for IMG, the sports and entertainment firm, spotted her at a tournament for top juniors.

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