Unbeaten Since 2003, Wheelchair Champ Retires


Esther vergeerAnother Good article from Ben Rothenberg of the New York Times:

Esther Vergeer … , a Dutch wheelchair tennis juggernaut, announced her retirement at 31 on Tuesday in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

She retires with an active win streak in singles of 470 matches, her last loss coming a little more than 10 years ago, in January 2003. Vergeer lost only 18 sets during the streak, and she won more than a third of her sets by the score of 6-0. She had 95 6-0, 6-0 victories in her career.

“I’m hugely proud of my performances, my titles and can look back on my career with a great feeling,” Vergeer said. “Keeping going would not add anything.”

Vergeer spent 668 weeks at No. 1, including every week from Oct. 2, 2000, to Jan. 21, 2013.

She continued to push to improve even after years of uninterrupted supremacy. In 2009, she began working with the Dutch coach Sven Groeneveld, who coached Monica Seles, Mary Pierce and Ana Ivanovic.

“To work with someone who has been that long undefeated took a little time to adapt,” Groeneveld said. “Because what do you work on? What can be better if you’re undefeated for so long?”

Read More – HERE

Local Pro and Catholic Central Girls High School coach Russ Hessleton says of Vergeer “

 I remember when she first came to the US and played the Florida circuit.
She has always been an outstanding tennis player. She understood that if you want to play at the highest level you have to work at the highest level.
She understood this even when other wheelchair players, both men and women, did not.
The wheelchair tennis community will long await another athlete that will be able to come close to her accomplishments, in fact the tennis community in general will likely never have anyone come close to what she has accomplished. “
Russ, himself, is a very accomplished Wheelchair Athlete.  Former President of the United Spjnal Asociation
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