Pioneer at Wimbledon

Ane Mintegi did this Sunday at Wimbledon what no Spanish had achieved before: being junior champion of the Grass Grand Slam. The 17-year-old from Gipuzkoa, who lives and trains in Barcelona, ​​at the TEC Carlos Ferrer Salat, She came back to beat in the final the imposing German of her same age, although with a worse ranking, Nastasja Mariana Schunk: 2-6, 6-4 and 6-1 in 1:58. “I’m very happy, thanks to my team and the one I have in Barcelona. This is amazing,” Ane said in her beginner English during the delivery of a trophy that Magüi Serna from the Canary Islands stroked in 1996, but fell to Amelie Mauresmo.

Only two Spaniards had triumphed before at the All England Club as teenagers: Manuel Orantes (1967) and Alejandro Davidovich (2015). The girl from Idiazabal, with magnificent conditions to be a great player, emulates the deeds of two other tennis players from the Navy who won other majors, Lourdes Domínguez and Paula Badosa, who shone in Paris in 1999 and 2015, respectively. In total, Spain has had 14 champions with Ane (see table).

Mintegi, 27th in the junior ranking, is a veteran in Slams. This was her seventh participation in the highest category of tournaments, and that was noticed before a debutant who lost steam as the minutes passed. Ane was bothered by the wind in the first set and she missed more than usual, but she tuned herself, controlled the elements and took out her best tennis to equalize and then go over her rival, which ended with more failures than her (40-24). In London she is accompanied as coach by Juan Lizariturry and his agent, Enric Molina. In the stands, her friend Vicky Jiménez, number one who had lost in the semifinals against Schunk, cheered her on. and it sure gave you good advice. At home, her family followed her on a giant screen installed by the City Council.

Trampoline of champions

“This week I really enjoyed it and having this trophy in my hands is very special for me,” Mintegi commented when reminded that Ashleigh Barty was junior champion in 2011 and on Saturday she lifted the senior trophy. Other illustrious winners in her youth were Iga Swiatek (2018), Jelena Ostapenko (2014), Belinda Bencic (2003), Eugenie Bouchard (2012), Caroline Wozniacki (2006), Amelie Mauresmo (1996), Matina Hingis (1994). ..

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