Thirty-Three Points Won In A Row? It Happened.
When a professional tennis player gets in a groove, it can be a breathtaking sight. For Stefano Napolitano, it was quite the surreal experience.
The 20-year-old Italian turned in a near-flawless performance during his 6-0, 6-3 second round qualifying victory at the ATP Challenger Tour event in Todi, Italy, on Monday. Napolitano was in the zone in the first set against countryman Augusto Virgili, winning a perfect 24 of 24 points played.
“After the first two or three games, I realised that I hadn’t lost a point,” Napolitano told ATPWorldTour.com. “But to be honest I was focused on winning the set and how I was playing the match.”
Failing to relinquish one point in an entire set is quite rare and the Biella native did not stop there. He proceeded to claim the next nine before eventually losing his first point of the match with Virgili serving down 6-0, 2-0 0/15. Napolitano’s total: a stunning 33 consecutive points won.
“I didn’t know how many points I won in a row but then they told me it was 33. It’s hard to win that many points in a row. I was serving and returning very well.
“After the match I talked to my coach and I went to check the stats. I won 100 per cent points on my first serve and second serve in the first set. It was ridiculous. But he is a good player. In the second set we had a normal match.”
Napolitano, at World No. 356 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, fell to Portugal’s Frederico Ferre Silva in the final round of qualifying, but he believes the performance will help him going forward.
“Of course it gives you confidence but you also know that it is not going to happen again in the next match. I’m trying to play more Challengers to get some confidence and improve my game. I would like to be in the Top 200 by the end of the year.
“I look up to (Nick) Kyrgios and (Thanasi) Kokkinakis. They are good examples for me. Also (Elias) Ymer and (Karen) Khachanov. They are a bit lower but they’re playing very well. They are the guys I want to follow. I know them very well and I know I can make it like they did.”