Andreeva stuns Sabalenka to become youngest Grand Slam semi-finalist since 1997

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Andreeva stuns Sabalenka to become youngest Grand Slam semi-finalist since 1997

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Andreeva came back from a set down to shock Sabalenka
Andreeva came back from a set down to shock SabalenkaAFP
Russian teenager Mirra Andreeva (17) became the youngest Grand Slam semi-finalist since 1997 with a shock victory over second seed Aryna Sabalenka (26), who was struggling with an apparent illness, at the French Open on Wednesday.

Andreeva fought back from a set down against her ailing opponent to win 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-4 after two hours and 28 minutes and set up a last-four meeting with Italy's Jasmine Paolini.

Andreeva is the youngest woman to make the semis at a major event since Martina Hingis at the US Open 27 years ago and also the youngest at Roland Garros since Hingis in 1997.

She will fancy her chances of going all the way to the final when she faces Paolini - who had never got past the second round at a Grand Slam before this year - on Thursday.

"I kind of see the game and just play wherever I want. I don't even have a plan," Andreeva, who is coached by Conchita Martinez, said of her strategy.

"Me and my coach had a plan today, but I didn't remember anything. I just tried to play as I feel... Having her by my side is an amazing advantage for me.

"I'm really happy that she still works with me."

Sabalenka called for multiple medical time-outs as she complained of not feeling well and Andreeva, playing in her maiden Slam quarter-final, eventually took advantage.

"I even forgot what the score was. I tried not to focus on that. When it was the second match point for me, I was trying to imagine I'm saving a break point. I tried to play brave," Andreeva said.

Two-time Australian Open champion Sabalenka had powered through the first four rounds but was clearly having difficulties, breathing heavily between points.

Andreeva, currently ranked 38th, had already secured a breakthrough into the world's top 30 with her run to the last eight, but is now poised to rise further.

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