We are very proud of SotoTennis Academy player Evan Hoyt for reaching the quarter-finals of the Mixed Doubles at Wimbledon with partner Eden Silva. Evan is the first Welsh person to reach the quarters since Gerald Battrick in the Men’s Doubles in 1975.
Evan has been part of the Academy for two years, and has grown into a cultural leader, from the way he lives the Academy’s values and behaviours to his openness and readiness to support his ‘team mates’ at the Academy. Evan often joins in with mini tennis sessions, inspiring young tennis players at STA.
The British pair gained their first senior Wimbledon win by beating doubles legends Leander Paes and Sam Stosur 6-4 2-6 6-4 in the first round. Veteran Paes is a four-time Wimbledon mixed doubles champion, while Stosur has won two titles in the event. This win meant Evan became the first Welsh player to win a senior match at Wimbledon since Sarah Loosemore in 1990.
“It was the first point of the match where the crowd went wild and it was a Goosebumps moment. You learn things about yourself in a first set like that. I’m really proud of the way we came back, especially the way Eden played.” Evan Hoyt
In the 2nd round Evan and Eden took out the 16th-seeds Divij Sharan and Yingying Duan in straight sets 6-3 6-4.
Evan and Eden came from a set and a break down to win an exciting 3rd round match against Joran Vliegen from Belgium and China’s Saisai Zheng.
The British pair started well taking a 4-1 lead in the first set, before the Belgian-Chinese pair staged a comeback. In the second set Evan and Eden were also behind, but managed to force a tie-break after recovering from being broken, and edged it 7-5.
Evan, said that dramatic first-set point gave him “Goosebumps”. “It was a bit of a scrappy point, we were both running around the court switching sides, and when that dropped in to go 4-1 up in the first it was an unbelievable feeling.”
The final set was tightly fought but their single break proved the difference as they won in just over two hours, 5-7, 7-5, 6-4.
#TeamSoto was watching and supporting from round the world!
“We have tried in each match to have fun out there and I have reminded Eden every match to just enjoy it and not have any expectations because it is our first Wimbledon here. At times if you do get too serious you lose that energy and buzz and the bond you have out on the court. So we have tried to have that bit of fun.” Evan Hoyt
Evan and Eden came up against the 8th seeds Ivan Dodig of Croatia and Chinese Taipei’s Latisha Chan in their quarter final match. They had a flying start opening up a 4-1 lead by breaking Chan’s serve, but Silva was broken twice as Dodig and Chan fought back to win the opening set.
Evan served for the second set at 5-3, but unfortunately the pair could not force a set point and four games in a row left Chan serving for victory.
A great returning game from the British pair gave them another life as they forced a tie-break and they looked to be taking it to a decider as they led 4-1 and 5-3.
But Dodig and Chan rallied and saw it out in straight sets winning four successive points to win 7-5 7-6.
What a couple of weeks Evan and Eden had at Wimbledon and their positive, fun, energetic and passionate attitudes were exemplary. We couldn’t be prouder of Evan!
“It’s amazing, it is still sinking in, I have thoroughly enjoyed an amazing first experience of senior Wimbledon. If somebody had told me I would be in the quarter-finals of the mixed doubles I would have jumped at the opportunity” Evan Hoyt