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Hayato
Nov 19th, 2004, 08:32 PM
IPEK SENOGLU- ONE IN A MILLION

http://www.usopen.org/images/pics/thumbs/t_turk1_d08.jpg

When most people think of the pioneers of women's tennis, names like Gibson, King, and Navratilova come to mind. Ipek Senoglu is the latest addition to the women who make a difference and inspire others. Like her predecessors, Senoglu is trailblazer heading down the road less traveled.

Turkey's number one tennis player Senoglu first made history in June 2004 when she was accepted into the women's doubles qualifying for the Wimbledon championships. Though she did not advance into the main draw of Wimbledon, she did make it into the history books as the the first Turk ever to play in a qualifying tournament for a Grand Slam event.

Just like her game, Ipek kept moving forward and by the US Open, she had risen high enough into the rankings to gain direct entry into the doubles main draw, thus writing her own place in the history books.

"I want to show the children in my country that if they follow their dreams, anything is possible. In my country, people have a tendancy not to believe in themselves, they need to see somebody do it first," said Senoglu. "But it's so hard to travel on a road that has not been traveled on."

Widely regarded as a sport for the wealthy in Turkey, tennis is becoming more popular among the society as a whole. With the rapid growth in the number of courts available and the cost of playing going down, the sport is moving in the right direction. That said, Senoglu still believes that a lack of interest and, most importantly, lack of sponsorship in Turkey has added a few bumps in the road.

"I grew up with the words, 'Tennis players don't come from Turkey,'" Senoglu said. "There are still so few people in Turkey playing tennis at a world-class level. The general attitude is that it cannot be done, the people just don't believe in themselves."

Senoglu first picked up a racquet when she was 14. A gifted athlete, whose first love was basketball, she had to give up playing hoops due to a knee injury. That same year, she won the under-14 Turkish tennis championships in Istanbul. The coaches who had seen her play invited her to play at their club in Istanbul. "I stopped playing basketball full time and shifted my attention to tennis," Senoglu said.

That single-minded focus led to a full ride scholarship at Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., where she bacame a three-time All-American and reached the NCAA semifinals in doubles two consecutive years (2000-2001). It was during this time when she first met her US Open doubles partner Laura Granville.

"I knew that she was a great player from playing against her in college. I love playing with her, she's a smart player," Granville said. "She's just a really cool girl and a lot of fun to be around. I hope to play with her more in the future."

Spend five miutes with Senoglu, whose smile is omnipresent, and it becomes clear that she's a warm individual with a playful nature. After practice, Senoglu, Granville, Shenay Perry, and Granville's father are having a bite to eat. After Mr. Granville waxes poetic about a favorite line from a classic movie (that none of the girls have seen or even heard of), Senoglu says with gentle laugh, "Mr. Granville, please give me a hug."

In the often-prickly social culture of the WTA, Senoglu's presence is a breath of fresh air. There is no haughty air about her. She is a humble, good-natured, charming young woman with a wonderful sense of humor. One can only hope that her positive attitude will be infectious.

"When I first got to the US Open, I didn't even know how to get a practice court. Anastasia Myskina's coach Jens Gerlach had to show me how to do it," chuckles Senoglu.

Senoglu does not have a coach and regularly travels alone on the tour. Her father has joined her in New York for companionship and encouragement. Her support group this week also includes former Pepperdine teammate and current assistant women's assistant coach Cintia Tortorella. Tortorella is not surprised by Senoglu's recent success.

"In college she was always saying that she wanted to go pro and we all thought that she should do it," says Tortorella. "It helps too that she's so independent."

Senoglu turned pro after college and her results on the satellite circuit have led to a steady climb in the world rankings. The current WTA listing has her at number 313 in singles and 117 in doubles. She is the higest-ranked Turkish player in the history of tennis.

Senoglu recalls her first Grand Slam experience at Wimbledon earlier this year, "When I asked the officials how much the deposit was for the practice balls, the lady smiled at me and said 'Honey, you're in a Grand Slam now.'"

She plays for the love of the game and plans to step up her fitness level in the fall and continue to play both doubles and singles.

"Two years ago people laughed at me and said, 'You'll never play a Grand Slam.' Now they're asking me, 'When are you playing?'"

:hearts: :hearts: :hearts: :hearts: :hearts: :hearts: :hearts: :hearts:

brunof
Nov 19th, 2004, 08:45 PM
Senoglu recalls her first Grand Slam experience at Wimbledon earlier this year, "When I asked the officials how much the deposit was for the practice balls, the lady smiled at me and said 'Honey, you're in a Grand Slam now.'"

- Cute :bounce:

AlexB
Nov 19th, 2004, 08:48 PM
its great hearing about the up and coming, young hungry players paying dues to some day be on top. its what makes tennis great!

PointBlank
Nov 19th, 2004, 09:24 PM
Shes so nice. I hope to get the chance talk to her one day. :kiss:

deep bass
Nov 19th, 2004, 09:35 PM
Go Ipek! It's good to hear uplifting stories from young players. As an aside, reading that made me think Turkey = UK. The same class differences apply.

Oh, and isn't 14 really late to start playing tennis? Even more props to her for that.

tom2791
Nov 19th, 2004, 09:35 PM
Aaw I hope she has sucess

xcrtbckhnd
Nov 19th, 2004, 09:40 PM
Nice story. thanks for posting it. I'll be watching out for her next year now!

flyingmachine
Nov 19th, 2004, 09:45 PM
This is a nice story. You never too old to play tennis. :worship:

DevilishAttitude
Nov 19th, 2004, 09:57 PM
Ipek :hearts:

14 when she started :eek: :eek: :eek: wonder if she can have an Asagoe-like career (Shinobu started at 13 ;))

deep bass
Nov 19th, 2004, 10:34 PM
Shinobu started at 13 ;)

I didn't know that. It's amazing when most players apparently start playing at 5 or 6. Good for her.

Hayato
Nov 20th, 2004, 12:10 AM
i got bad rep. from ti_online for this :confused:

AimeeLizAni
Nov 20th, 2004, 12:31 AM
I like her.

JohnBoy
Nov 20th, 2004, 09:02 AM
Lovely Story !! She could be an ispiration to a whole lot of Muslim Girls who think that sport is out of their reach..

Tenisci
Nov 20th, 2004, 10:55 AM
i got bad rep. from ti_online for this :confused:

DON'T MIND. TI-ONLINE DOES THIS ALWAYS. SINCE HE DOESN'T WANT TO HEAR ANY NEWS FROM A TURKISH PLAYER

Tenisci
Nov 20th, 2004, 12:08 PM
FOR MORE INFORMATION REGARDING IPEK SENOGLU, YOU CAN

VISIT REST OF THE WORLD THREAD IN WTAWORLD.COM PREPARED BY ME
VISIT www.ipeksenoglu.com
OR YOU CAN SEND AN E-MAIL TO ipek@ipeksenoglu.com (SHE GENERALLY ANSWERS)

Brian Stewart
Nov 20th, 2004, 12:20 PM
It's always great to see players emerging from places with little or no prior tennis tradition. Perhaps she can be like Dally Randriantefy of Madagascar, and essentially put her country's tennis program on the map. Here's hoping she soon has her singles ranking up where her doubles ranking is now.

"Honey, you're in a Grand Slam now." One of the alltime great lines.

Sammm
Nov 20th, 2004, 12:34 PM
Aaahhhh. That's so sweet :)

PointBlank
Nov 20th, 2004, 03:24 PM
Lovely Story !! She could be an ispiration to a whole lot of Muslim Girls who think that sport is out of their reach..
Hopefully..Palestinian girls also need to start with tennis..Theres about 2 Muslims at my tennis club here(I live in Arad,Israel) and they are really great but they cant afford alot of it and the Israel Tennis isnt really gonna help them much..Its sad that much talent can be wasted because you are poor

MisterQ
Nov 20th, 2004, 05:20 PM
that's a nice story, thanks for sharing it!

:)

Hayato
Nov 20th, 2004, 11:04 PM
I have written to Ipek a few times and she has responded- she is very nice!

http://www.ipeksenoglu.com/images/us21.jpg

http://www.ipeksenoglu.com/images/us6.jpg

http://www.ipeksenoglu.com/images/us3.jpg

http://www.ipeksenoglu.com/images/china/strings.jpg

http://www.ipeksenoglu.com/images/athens1.jpg

IMO, this is the best thing tennis brings :)

Tenisci
Nov 21st, 2004, 11:38 AM
thanks ranadalara

TS
Nov 21st, 2004, 12:58 PM
That's awesome, thanks for posting that :)

The 1/8 of Turk that I have in my blood is very proud ;)

Here's to a successful 2005 for Ipek Senoglu.

Fantastic
Nov 21st, 2004, 03:05 PM
Ipek, give me a hug. :)


Oh my. Lol. That was so corny. :o

gmak
Nov 21st, 2004, 03:22 PM
great story :D

and she's so cute as well :kiss:

good luck to Ipek in 2005 :yeah:

Paldias
Nov 21st, 2004, 03:47 PM
Good luck Ipek! :)

skanky~skanketta
Nov 21st, 2004, 07:31 PM
awwww!i hope she has some success!

Tenisci
Nov 22nd, 2004, 12:23 PM
[QUOTE=TS]

The 1/8 of Turk that I have in my blood is very proud ;)



REALLY? VERY GOOD

Tenisci
Nov 23rd, 2004, 01:32 PM
Ipek Senoglu Is Sometimes In Wtaworld.com ;)

Ekkekko
Nov 23rd, 2004, 01:38 PM
:awww: what a truly inspiring story...I hope players like Ipek would change the mindset of young people in Turkey who would like to take up tennis and be a future pro. At least, they've got a wonderful role model to look up to ;)

TS
Nov 23rd, 2004, 01:57 PM
[QUOTE=TS]

The 1/8 of Turk that I have in my blood is very proud ;)



REALLY? VERY GOOD

Yes, on my maternal grandfather's side :)

PointBlank
Nov 23rd, 2004, 04:25 PM
Ipek Senoglu Is Sometimes In Wtaworld.com ;)
:)

rhz
Nov 23rd, 2004, 07:16 PM
Great story! Good luck Ipek!

~MaRt~HiNgIs~F@N
Nov 23rd, 2004, 08:17 PM
Ipek Senoglu Is Sometimes In Wtaworld.com ;)
What's her nickname?

Tenisci
Nov 24th, 2004, 07:12 AM
What's her nickname?

i think she guests

Tenisci
Nov 27th, 2004, 01:09 PM
Hope To Do Better In Raanana

tigerfan99
Nov 28th, 2004, 12:05 AM
Ipek :hearts:

14 when she started :eek: :eek: :eek: wonder if she can have an Asagoe-like career (Shinobu started at 13 ;))

Clarisa Fernandez started playing tennis when she was 15 years old. And she is a Roland Garros Semi-Finalist! :bounce:

Nimi
Dec 3rd, 2004, 05:31 PM
That's quite unbelivable but today I met her :D
I was taking some pictures of Lazar Magdninchev (who won the sattelite circuit in Israel today) when she asked me to email her the pictures, because Lazar is "like a brother to her". We chatted for a few minutes and she's really nice, I told her of the article (her first reaction was "oh my, an article, they always write shit about me"), then I told her that she was described as Turkey's best ever tennis player, and she smiled and said "oh, finally something positive".

Just had a good time. Took a picture with her, but I won't post it as we both look pretty bad there and it's too big anyways lol :p

She's playing in the doubles final tommorow, hope I'll be able to go and watch.

Tenisci
Dec 4th, 2004, 10:05 AM
you are so lucky that you met her :)

Tenisci
Dec 10th, 2004, 03:55 PM
Good Luck Ipek In Canberra And Australian Open

Tenisci
Dec 17th, 2004, 02:13 PM
Ipek Senoglu Said To Me That The Tournaments She Will Play Next Year Are Not Certain Now. But She Wants To Play In Australian Open And Tokyo [Pan Pasific]

Hayato
Dec 18th, 2004, 09:03 PM
Good, hope to see her at AO :D

Tenisci
Dec 23rd, 2004, 10:15 AM
Good, hope to see her at AO :D

she will be in Aus Open but don't play with Laura Granville unfortunately :sad:

sarza
Dec 23rd, 2004, 06:05 PM
she will be in Aus Open but don't play with Laura Granville unfortunately :sad:


They make a good pair thats unfortunate :sad: