Where’s home and how much of the year are you there?
Home is always where my family is in Adana, but since I’m traveling a lot throughout the year, I learned to make myself feel comfortable everywhere. Except for one or two days between tournaments, I spend no more than one month at home.
Proudest moment of your career?
I’m proud of everything I have done in my career so far but the US Open Junior Doubles Championship is something I will never forget. Winning that trophy put a lot of pressure on me, but it also showed me who I really am and what I am capable of.
What makes you feel ‘at home’ when you’re traveling?
I love reading and listening to music. I spend most of my time on court, even if I’m at home, and I feel most relaxed at night when I have time to read a book. So whenever I find time while traveling, I try to read to relax and feel like I’m home in my bed.
Are you able to switch off during your travels?
It can be really difficult traveling constantly from one place to another, especially when you need to adapt yourself to time differences as quickly as possible. Being away from home and dealing with the pressures of the game is also tough. However, if I switched off, I would be more likely to lose, even before I start.
Most memorable destination for playing tennis in?
Although I feel great when I play in the US Open, Wimbledon has always made me feel special. This is probably because there are a few grass-court tournaments and I was able to play in the main draw until the third round in my junior career.
Where is your favorite place to play when you are home?
I usually practice in my club, but if the upcoming tournament is on clay, I definitely practise at Conrad Istanbul Bosphorus’ tennis courts and stay at the hotel to experience the peaceful atmosphere, great food and, of course, the wonderful spa.
You arrive at a place you’ve never been before. What’s the first thing you do?
It depends on why I’m there of course. I’m used to traveling for tournaments so the first thing I do is find out how to reach the tournament site. But if it is a holiday destination, the first thing I do is find the wellness center in the hotel, get some information about the area, look for the biggest bookstore, and make a reservation at a nice restaurant for dinner.
What do you need for a perfect holiday?
My sister and some books are great companions for a perfect holiday.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
I have received a lot of advice since I became a professional tennis player and I try to listen to all of it. But the most important lesson I have been taught is to never give up, whatever happens.
What are you looking forward to this year?
I have goals, like everyone, and this year I want to make the most of every tournament and be more successful than previous years.
Why do you love what you do?
Apart from being keen on sports, I love competing with my opponents and also with myself. Tennis makes me discover the strengths and weaknesses of the real İpek Soylu . It is also great to see my fans supporting me even if I lose and I can see the influence I have on children who realize they can also be successful players. That’s why I try to attend every conference I’m invited to at schools and universities, to show people that sport can be a very difficult path to follow, but once you start, you will discover that nothing can stop you from becoming the person you really want to be.