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Andy Murray has leapt to the defence of Mirra Andreeva after the teenager was criticised during her third-round win at the Australian Open.
Andreeva roared back from 5-1 down in the deciding set to beat Diane Parry in a tie-break.
It continued an outstanding week for the prodigious Russian, who is through to the fourth round of a grand slam for the second time after a breakthrough performance at Wimbledon last summer.
Andy Murray leapt to the defence of Mirra Andreeva
Murray was watching on as Andreeva completed victory, and utilised social media to question the criticism of the 16-year-old’s mentality.
“Andreeva down 5-1 in third,” Murray said on X, formerly Twitter. “Commentator ‘she really needs to work on mental side of her game. She’s too hard on herself when she’s losing’ 30 minutes later 7-6 Andreeva wins.
“Maybe the reason she turned the match round is because of her mental strength. Maybe she turned the match around because she is hard on herself and demands more of herself when she’s losing/playing badly? Winner.”
Andreeva has previously described Murray as something of a hero as she forges her own career in tennis.
The rising star described the three-time grand slam champion as “beautiful” last April and admitted to being star-struck seeing Murray at tournaments.
She was delighted that the Scot, who exited the Australian Open in the first round, was watching her latest comeback.
“I didn’t really think that he would watch a match, then after he would tweet, he would comment something,” Andreeva said having set up a meeting with either Storm Hunter or Barbora Krejcikova.
“Honestly, I will try to print it out somehow. I don’t know, I will put it in a frame. I will bring it everywhere with me. I will maybe put it on the wall so I can see it every day.”