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One to watch: Ane Mintegi, Spain's second female Wimbledon champion this century Save
13 July 2021 @ 13:45

A NEW name to watch out for in the future has emerged on the global tennis circuit – and is now branded on social media users' minds after the recently-appointed minister for sports spelled it wrong on Twitter.

Ane Mintegi, from the Basque town of Idiazábal in the province of Guipúzcoa – the capital of which is San Sebastián – is just 17 years old, and has already made history after winning Wimbledon on Sunday.

Her victory in the Junior tournament makes her only the second Spanish woman to win at the All England event this century; the first to do so was Garbiñe Muguruza, now 31, who took home the trophy in 2017.

Only four Spanish women have won Wimbledon at all – Arantxa Sánchez-Vicario, who netted the doubles title along with Czechia's Jana Novotná in 1995, and the year before, Garbiñe's own coach Conchita Martínez won the singles championship.

At the start of the match, Ane was now the first Spanish female to get to a final in the Junior category since Magüi Serna did so in 1996; as she stepped onto the court on Sunday, she was ranked at WTA world number 715.

And she lost the first set 2-6 to her German rival Nastasja Schunk, so had no reason to believe her name would be a trending topic before the weekend was out.

But Ane's game turned around fast – a fairly narrow second-set win, 6-4, meant the match looked as though it could go either way; then a comfortable 6-1 victory in the third set clinched the title for her.

Culture and sports minister Miquel Iceta had only just taken up his new post that day following Spanish president Pedro Sánchez's cabinet reshuffle, so his congratulatory tweet to Ane was one of his first messages after taking the reins from his predecessor José Manuel Rodríguez Uribes and leaving his job as minister for territorial policy and public function.

Unfortunately, he made a grammatical mistake with the first word, and a spelling mistake in the second.

Iceta's 'congratulations', or “Enhorabuena, Ana!” unleashed a flood of criticism – firstly because he had neglected to follow the uniquely Spanish-language rule of an upside-down exclamation or question mark to open a clause which has a 'right-way-up' one at the end, and secondly, because he had called the young star by the Castilian Spanish translation of her Basque-language name.

The message should have read, “¡Enhorabuena, Ane!”

But the minister's error and the 'feedback' it earned him have meant Ane Mintegi has become even more famous and talked-about, and will ensure nobody forgets in a hurry who was the first Spaniard ever to win the girls' Junior singles title at Wimbledon.

And Ane has yet to come down from Cloud Nine, telling reporters, “This is really special for me. Being the first girl in Spain to win Wimbledon...I'm really pleased and it's incredible. Having this trophy at home is really special to me. I'm so excited about being in the newspapers. This is really important.”



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