Photo: Susan MullaneGianluigi Quinzi (ITA)
Gianluigi Quinzi became the first Italian to win the boys’ title at Wimbledon since 1987 after a hard-fought but well-deserved 75 76 win over Hyeon Chung of Korea on a sun-baked Sunday. The sixth-seeded left-hander recovered from 5-3 down in the first set to claim his first Grand Slam title and follow in the footsteps of Diego Nargiso.
“I'm very excited,” said the Italian, who reached the semifinals at Wimbledon last year. “Before the match I was really tight because I knew that I was playing on the big court for the first time. But afterwards, I started to play my game and I won the tournament. I can't believe that I won. I'm so happy."
Quinzi began well to lead 2-0 but Chung, who had taken out the top seed Nick Kyrgios earlier in the event, hit back and at 5-3, it looked like he would take the opening set.
But Quinzi rallied to take the set and then held his nerve in a tense second to win the tiebreak 7-2 and take the title.
"I played very, very good on the important points,” he said. “The first two game I play very good. I was aggressive. I think he was tight because he did too many double faults for two games. When it was 5-3 I broke him and hit three winners from my backhand. A 5-4 I hit three aces, broke again at 5-5 and then won 75.
“In the second set, there were no breaks until 6-6 but the tiebreak was unbelievable. I played my best tennis in the tiebreaker.”
When he arrived at Wimbledon this year, Quinzi was confident after reaching the last four in 2012 and said he knew he would play well.
“I didn't think I would just do the semifinal again and I went to the court in the first round and after the first round win, I told my coach: ‘maybe I'm going to win this tournament. And then I won’.
Quinzi admitted that he had barely slept the night before his win but was delighted with how he had played against an opponent he knew well from their days at the Nick Bollettieri academy in Florida.
“He's one of my best friends,” he said. He's a great guy. I practiced with him all the time when I was IMG. I played him two years ago and he was a really good player. He improved a lot in these two years.
“Today we played some unbelievable rallies. He was better at the back. But I played well on the important points and he didn’t. That's why I won the match."
Kyrgios successfully defended his boys’ doubles title, teaming up with fellow Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis to beat Enzo Couacaud of France and Stefano Napolitano 62 63 in the final.
Top seeds Barbora Krejickova and Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic won the girls’ title, defeating ITF Grand Slam junior touring team members Anhelina Kalinina of Ukraine and Iryna Shymanovich of Belarus 63 61.