Turkey’s İpek Soylu claims historic title in junior girls’ doubles at US Open
NEW YORK - Anadolu Agency
Jil Belen Teichmann and İpek Soylu (R). AA Photoİpek Soylu, along with her Swiss partner Jil Belen Teichmann, won the junior doubles title at US Open on Sept. 6, landing a historic first for Turkish tennis.
Soylu and Teichmann edged Vera Lapko of Belarus and Tereza Mihalikova of Slovakia in a super tiebreak, 5-7, 6-2, (10-7), to win the girls’ crown at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York.
“I don’t know what to say... US Open doubles title... I am so happy,” 18-year-old Soylu wrote on her Twitter account after the victory, which went down in history books as the first ever Grand Slam title by a Turkish player.
Soylu and Teichmann started the competition as the sixth seeds.
The final was a close event, with the pairing of Soylu and Teichmann prevailing by the narrowest of margins. This was the first junior Grand Slam together for the two girls. Teichmann, who reached the round of 16 in girls’ singles at the US Open, advanced to the girls’ doubles semifinals at Wimbledon with Priscilla Hon and at the European Junior Championships with Sara Ottomano.
After starting the game positively and taking a 3-1 lead in the first set, Soylu and Teichmann’s tempo was broken when the game was halted for an hour due to rain.
“After the interval our opponents restarted better,” Soylu told Anadolu Agency. “In the first set we had three set points but we missed that.”
Soylu and Teichmann then rallied to win the next set and claim the title in the super tiebreak.
“The super tiebreak was very exciting,” Soylu said. “This was the most important game that I’ve ever played.”
Previously, Soylu advanced to the doubles quarterfinals in other three Grand Slams, Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon, last year. In singles events, she advanced to the third rounds at Australian Open, Wimbledon and US Open in the last two years.
“Nothing is impossible if you believe and work hard,” she also tweeted. “Many thanks to everybody who has believed in me.”
İpek’s mother, Serpil Soylu, was also present at the courtside, relishing the victory.
“I am very happy that she reached such a success after 12 years. I believe she will do even better,” she said. “We [supported her] without making calculations, we tried to enjoy her ride. We believe she will do even better with love and patience.”
The first Turkish player to perform at all four Grand Slams, İpek Şenoğlu, also congratulated the young athlete for her victory.
“İpek Jr achieved a great success for Turkey,” Şenoğlu, 35, wrote on her personal Twitter account. “Now there will be a Turkish champion in the history of Grand Slam Juniors.”
Soylu will start competing in the senior tournaments next year.
“I will work even harder now,” the youngster said. “This trophy will motivate me to be more successful.”