Mirra Andreeva celebrated her 16th birthday by continuing her sensational run in the Madrid Open with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Magda Linette to reach the fourth round on Saturday.
World number six Coco Gauff, however, suffered a surprise third-round defeat at the hands of Spaniard Paula Badosa, losing 6-3, 6-0.
Russian teenager Andreeva, ranked at a lowly 194, and who ousted 2021 US Open finalist Leylah Fernandez and world number 14 Beatriz Haddad Maia earlier in the tournament, will face world number two Aryna Sabalenka in the last 16.
Andreeva broke Polish player Linette, world number 19, for 2-0 in the first set, and although the 17th seed broke back, the Russian did it again for a 4-2 lead and served it out.
The youngster broke again in the first game of the second set and converted her second match point to break Linette again and clinch victory.
Andreeva, a wildcard, became only the third 15-year-old to win a WTA 1000 main draw match when she beat Fernandez on Wednesday.
She finished as runner-up at the junior Australian Open in January, while her next opponent Sabalenka won the women’s title for her breakthrough Grand Slam.
The Belarusian beat resilient wildcard Camila Osorio 6-4, 7-5 earlier Saturday.
“It was another tough battle, I expected it, it was a really great win, I’m really happy with the tennis today and this win,” said Sabalenka.
Gauff, one of the two players who achieved the same feat as Andreeva at 15, was erratic in her defeat by Spanish number one Badosa.
The 19-year-old American, who was runner-up at the French Open last year, broke Badosa in the first game, but the Spaniard battled back immediately to get back on serve, before breaking Gauff again for a 3-2 lead.
Gauff’s forehand betrayed her as Badosa broke to love to win the first set 6-3.
The second was a rout with Badosa winning 75 per cent of points.
“I think I served very well, I was playing very aggressively from the baseline, tactically I think I played perfectly, and I’m very happy to beat a player like Coco,” said Badosa.
“I’m working very hard, and it’s moments like these which make it worth it.”
Badosa will face world number nine Maria Sakkari or compatriot Rebeka Masarova in the fourth round.
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