Turkey’s Yankı Erel was ‘sure’ of Wimbledon crown

Turkey’s Yankı Erel was ‘sure’ of Wimbledon crown

ISTANBUL - Anadolu Agency
Turkey’s Yankı Erel was ‘sure’ of Wimbledon crown

The Turkish whiz who has won the boys’ doubles title together with his Finnish partner at Wimbledon says he was sure of their success in the tournament.

“We played hard. After the quarterfinal, we believed we could win the game and then we became champions after our victories in the semifinal and final matches,” Yankı Erel said on July 18 speaking to reporters in Istanbul.

Erel and his partner Otto Virtanen won the boys’ doubles title in the juniors category at Wimbledon on July 15.

Erel and Virtanen played against Colombian Nicolas Mejia and Czech Ondrej Styler in the final in London. In the nearly 90-minute competition, they beat their rivals 2-0.

The victory made Erel the first Turkish male tennis player to become the Grand Slam champion in the juniors category.

Erel said he started playing tennis when he was only 6.

“My mother and father also played tennis. With their encouragement, I also got interested in tennis. I started learning tennis at summer school,” he said.

“Yankı is a special athlete,” said Cengiz Durmuş, head of the Turkish Tennis Federation (TTF).

“He made it in the juniors category. He’ll also be a champion in the adults [category]. We’re proud of him.”

Erel’s trainer Nika Kakulia also told reporters how happy Erel’s success at Wimbledon made him feel.

“It’s a great honor for me,” Kakulia said.

“We made great sacrifices. Yankı played very hard. I was always with him. … I congratulate him from my heart,” he added.

Erel is set to play later this month at the U.S. Open Tennis Championships.