03 Jul 2012

A natty Napolitano; A solid Soylu

News Article

Ipek Soylu (TUR)

It was another day where umbrellas were a smart item to have with you at Wimbledon on Tuesday as the rain took the liberty of disrupting the match schedule again.

Some junior matches didn’t get on court, but there were players that were lucky enough to have their matches completed. Many were first round matches that were originally scheduled for what turned out to be a rainy Monday.

Italy’s Stefano Napolitano, the 11th-seeded player in the boys’ singles competition, scored a 61 61 win over Maxime Hamou of France. That was only a first round encounter and Napolitano was back on court for his second round match in the early evening, in a match that did not finish due to rain.

“It’s not so easy to play, stop and play again,” said Napolitano, playing in the Wimbledon junior tournament for the first time. “It’s tough to manage that. I went on court today and played really good so I’m happy.”

When one thinks of an Italian player they think clay courts -- rust-colored dirt has to be the object of their tennis desire. Think again when it comes to the 17-year-old Napolitano.

“I really hate clay,” said Napolitano, who started playing at age five. “I prefer to play on fast courts like grass and hard courts.”

I really like to play on grass because I do many points with my serve,” Napolitano said. “I like to play many volleys. My game is addicted to grass because I play flat and I have a chance to win the point before three or four rallies.”

Napolitano had eight aces in the match and won 17 of 19 points on his first serve and 11 of 16 points on his second serve. He never offered Hamou a break point opportunity in the 45-minute match.

He also put forth 27 winners to only six for Hamou. Napolitano only had four unforced errors to 18 for Hamou.

Napolitano began favoring hard court play at his father, Cosimo’s, tennis club “I Faggi Accademia Del Tennis” in his hometown of Biella. They have six clay courts and two hard courts and members have to fight Napolitano for the hard courts. At 1.92m tall, Napolitano also has a passion for basketball as his favorite past-time.

“I like to fish,” he said. “I like to read a lot. I love to play basketball. When I’m at home I like to play more basketball than tennis.” Napolitano goes to a private school and when at home he attends classes, while on the road he studies via internet.

In girls’ action, qualifier Ipek Soylu of Turkey upset 15th-seeded Maria Ines Deheza of Bolivia 61 75 in another first round match that took 69-minutes to complete. “It’s so exciting to be here,” said Soylu, playing at Wimbledon for the first time. “It’s so good to be here in the main draw and win a match. It’s a great feeling.”

The 16-year-old Soylu lives in Istanbul and found tennis because her mother played recreationally. She watched her mom and then took an interest as well. “Today I start really good and concentrate on the match. In the second set I was down 2-1 when it started to rain, but I did well when we got back to the court.”

Soylu capitalized on six of nine break points that Deheza offered, while she had her own serve broken on three of four occasions. Soylu goes to regular high school -- online school is not available in Turkey. She goes to classes half the day and then practices with her English coach, David Gaves. She briefly tried an academy in Italy but prefers being at home. 

In other boys’ action Elias Ymer of Sweden moved ahead 60 62 when 12th-seeded Joshua Ward-Hibbert of Great Britain retired in the match that started on Monday. He lost later in the day his second round match to the fellow qualifier Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (USA)

16th-seeded Frederico Ferreira Silva of Portugal beat qualifier Marek Routa of the Czech Republic 64 64. Unseeded Enzo Couacaud of France was the first boy to reach the third round with a 63 64 win over Karim Hossam of Egypt. Other second rund winners were: third-seeded Gianluigi Quinzi of Italy defeating Christian Garin of Chile 61 67 (9) 86, fourth-seeded Filip Peliwo of Canada defated Yoshito Nishioka of Japan 62 61, seventh-seeded Kaichi Uchida of Japan defeated Pol Toledo Bague of Spain 64 61, 13th-seeded Julien Cagnina of Belgium defeating Mathias Bourgue of France 64 67 (2) 63, 

In girl’s first round action, second-seeded Elizaveta Kulichkova of Russia came through a tough battle with American Brady 64 76 (5) to set up a second round match against German Wild Card Antonia Lottner, fifth-seeded Eugenie Bouchard of Canada defeated qualifier Anastasiya Komardina of Russia 63 63.