470th consecutive win for Esther Vergeer as she claimed her fourth Paralympic women’s singles gold medal in the all Dutch singles wheelchair tennis final against Aniek van Koot.
Van Koot was down 0-6 0-4 before she broke Vergeer, who wins 6-0 6-3.

Eton Manor

Eton Manor

Eton Manor

London Paralympics from Tennis Buzz on Vimeo.

Dutch fans

Esther Vergeer

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I spent a few days in London last week and I was thrilled to have tickets for the wheelchair tennis event on Friday and to take part to the Paralympics as a spectator.

Victoria Gate

On my way to the Olympic Park:

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A swift and hassle-free passage through security and here I am.

Olympic Stadium

The 80,000 capacity Olympic Stadium played host to the Olympic and the Paralympic Athletics as well as all the opening and closing ceremonies.

Olympic Stadium

Olympic Stadium

Olympic Stadium and the Orbit

London 2012 Megastore

London 2012 Megastore

McDonalds

World’s largest McDonalds:

McDonalds

Olympic Park musicians

Olympic Park

Following Dutch fans on my way to Eton Manor for the women’s singles finale between Esther Vergeer and Aniek Van Koot

Olympic Park

RUN

RUN

Panasonic 3D Theatre

There were lots of free activities provided by Paralympic sponsors, like the Panasonic Theatre, Samsung booth, Coca Cola Beatbox… but I was there to watch some sports and I’m not a huge fan of lines, so I can’t report on them.

Panasonic 3D Theatre

Coca Cola Beatbox

Coca Cola Beatbox

Park Live

British Airways have sponsored a giant screen perched in the middle of the River Lea. Park Live is the only place to catch up on sport if you’re not inside a venue.

BT Park Live

Mascot House

Mascot House

The Olympic Park is really big, from one end to the other it’s about two kilometres. It took me more than 20 minutes from the Olympic Stadium to Eaton Manor, at the northern end of the park.
For people having trouble getting around, there were stacks of Games Mobility Vehicles parked up, with Games Makers ready to spring into action.

Olympic Park

Basketball Arena

Basketball Arena

Velodrome

Velodrome

Velodrome

Olympic Park

And finally, Eton Manor, where I spent most of the aftenoon watching the women’s singles final and the women’s doubles bronze medal match.

Eton Manor

Eton Manor

Eton Manor

Esther Vergeer vs Aniek Van Koot

Dutch fans

Esther Vergeer

Enjoy more pics and videos of the final between Esther Vergeer and Aniek Van Koot here.

When is the Paralympic Wheelchair Tennis competition?

1-8 September

Where will the Paralympic Wheelchair Tennis take place?

The Paralympic tennis event will take place at Eton Manor, the only purposed-built London 2012 Paralympic venue.
Situated towards the north end of Olympic Park, Eton Manor features nine competition courts, all designed in striking blue color, and four practice courts. The venue is based on the grounds of the old Eton Manor Sports Club, once a popular community sports facility in the 1990s.

When did Wheelchair Tennis first appear in the Paralympics?

After featuring as an exhibition sport at the Seoul 1988 Paralympic Games, Wheelchair Tennis was introduced as a full medal event at the Barcelona 1992 Games, and has featured at every Games since then.
Quad events have been added in Athens in 2004.

How is Wheelchair Tennis played?

Wheelchair tennis follows the same rules as able-bodied tennis. Except the ball is allowed to bounce twice. The second bounce can be either inside or outside the court boundaries.

How many gold medals are up for grabs?

6. There are six medal events to be contested: men’s and women’s Singles, men’s and women’s Doubles, Quad Singles and Quad Doubles. Quad players have an impairment that affects three or more limbs.

Who are the favorites?

Women: Unbeaten in over 460 singles matches since 2003, Dutch Esther Vergeer is a sure thing for the podium. She bids for her fourth successive singles medal at London 2012. Her toughest competitors will be compatriots Aniek van Koot and Jiske Griffioen, as well as Sabine Ellerbrock from Germany.

Men: The competition is wide open in the men’s event. Shingo Kunieda of Japan could become the first player to win two men’s singles Paralympic titles. But he has plenty of strong challengers. They are headed by world number one Stéphane Houdet of France and Maikel Scheffers and Ronald Vink of the Netherlands.
Young Argentinian Gustavo Fernandez could also cause a surprise.

Quad: This could come down to a duel between two longtime rivals: American David Wagner, who earned a bronze at Beijing and gold at Athens, and Great Britain’s Peter Norfolk – nicknamed The Quadfather – who took the gold in Athens and Beijing.

Best of January 2012:

Australian Open 2012

The Australian Open: 2 fantastic weeks of tennis.

Esther Vergeer‘s winning streak continues: she notched her 444th consecutive win, defeating Aniek Van Koot 6-0, 6-0 to capture the Women’s Wheelchair singles title.

Victoria Azarenka claims her first Grand Slam title and becomes the new WTA number 1.

Novak Djokovic has now won 4 or the last 5 Grand Slams.

Andy Murray hires tennis legend Ivan Lendl as his new coach, wins his first title of the year in Brisbane, and reaches the Australian Open semifinals. And there’s even more: he seemed to have fun on court!

Bernard Tomic: winner in Kooyong, semifinalist in Brisbane, he reached the fourth round of the Australian Open. He’s perhaps the real deal after all…

Lleyton Hewitt‘s incredible run, and Nadal’s nice words about the Australian veteran.

I always liked him, his spirit of competition. Today he is an example to follow for a lot people. He deserves all the respect of the people who love this sport and respect and admiration of everyone

January tournament winners: Kaia Kanepi (Brisbane), Andy Murray (Brisbane), Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (Doha), Milos Raonic (Chennai), Zheng Jie (Auckland), David Ferrer (Auckland), Victoria Azarenka (Sydney), Jarkko Nieminen (Sydney), Mona Barthel (Hobart)

2 blogs to follow: The Grand Slam Gal and I have a tennis addiction

Worst of January 2012:

Margaret Court‘s well-known homophobia has reached new heights. Read more about it here: A disappointing irony behind Court’s comments. I mean, they really should rename the Margaret Court Arena into Evonne Goolagong Arena, it would sound so much better, no?

Caroline Wozniacki. No need to add more. At least, she’s not the number one anymore, a really good news for the WTA.

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