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Mirra Andreeva, 16, loses to Madison Keys at Wimbledon after controversially being docked a point

<i>Clive Brunskill/Getty Images</i><br/>Madison Keys matches her best ever performance at Wimbledon.
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Madison Keys matches her best ever performance at Wimbledon.

By Matias Grez, CNN

(CNN) — Teenage tennis sensation Mirra Andreeva’s dream Wimbledon run ended in controversial fashion on Monday after the Russian was docked a point for throwing her racket.

Serving at 2-5 down in the third and deciding set, Andreeva slipped as she attempted to retrieve a shot from opponent Madison Keys. The 16-year-old Andreeva lost her footing and, as her arm came down, she threw her racket down on the grass.

Umpire Louise Azemar Engzell deemed the incident severe enough to dock Andreeva a point for “unsportsmanlike conduct” – she had already been warned for throwing her racket in the second set – giving Keys match point, which the American converted to reach the quarterfinals.

“No, it’s the wrong decision,” Andreeva pleaded with Engzell. “Do you understand what you are doing? I didn’t throw the racket, I slid.

“It’s the wrong decision. I didn’t throw the racket, I fell. I slid and then I fell.”

When Andreeva insisted she lost control after sliding, Engzell responded by moving her arm over her head to indicate the Russian had thrown the racket.

“For me, it’s a controversial point because … I don’t know which decision was right,” Andreeva told reporters after the match. “She’s the umpire. She’s the one who makes the decision.

“But, honestly, I didn’t have any intention to throw the racket. I slid. Honestly, I thought that I will fall forward.

“Maybe it did look like I threw the racket. I don’t know. I didn’t see any videos yet but that was her decision to make, so she made this decision. Now, that’s it. She made the decision, so the match is over now.”

After the match had finished, Andreeva left the court without shaking Engzell’s hand.

Given the minimal force Andreeva used to throw her racket, it certainly seemed a controversial decision, especially considering how finely balanced the score was as the Russian served to stay in the tournament.

“Mirra Andreeva was given a warning and point penalty to go down match point. It looks like she slipped and then intentionally let her racket go in some frustration. Regardless, an umpire’s job is to understand the match and use discretion. Dumb call,” tweeted Chris Hasek-Watt, host of the “Love Means Nothing” tennis podcast.

During her third-round match against Coco Gauff at last month’s French Open, Andreeva received a code violation for hitting the ball into the crowd in frustration. Andreeva called it a “really stupid move,” though she likely only avoided disqualification as the ball didn’t hit a spectator.

Keys now advances to the quarterfinals, matching her career-best performance at Wimbledon, where she will face either Aryna Sabalenka or Ekaterina Alexandrova.

Andreeva was competing in just her second grand slam and for only the seventh time on a grass court. Monday’s defeat came just a day after the teenager had progressed to the second week in London after a brilliant straight-sets win over the 22nd seed, Anastasia Potapova.

Ranked No. 102 in the world, Andreeva had to qualify for Wimbledon, but she is now the youngest player to reach the last 16 since Coco Gauff in 2019.

Andreeva was already the third-youngest player to reach the third round of Wimbledon in the Open Era after Kim Clijsters in 1999 and then Gauff four years ago.

Competing without a flag or national representation amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Andreeva has enjoyed a successful year so far, finishing runner-up at the junior Australian Open and reaching the fourth round of the Madrid Open in April, where she eventually lost to world No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka.

Her sudden rise this year has caught the attention of Netflix cameras filming the next instalment of the “Break Point” docuseries, which have been following her during Wimbledon.

CNN has contacted the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club and the International Tennis Federation seeking comment from Engzell.

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