Esther Vergeer

Esther Vergeer is the most successful wheelchair tennis player in history and owns one of the longest streak ever in world sport. By August this year she had won more than 450 consecutive unbeaten matches since her last loss in January 2003.

She started to play wheelchair tennis at age 12 after a surgery on her spinal cord went wrong. She played her first tournament in 1994 and became world number one for the first time in 1999.
In 2011 she became World champion for the 12th consecutive year and captured her 14th successive singles titles at the Wheelchair Tennis Masters.

Esther is a five-time Paralympic gold medallist, having won singles and doubles gold medals at Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004, singles gold and silver doubles in Beijing 2008.
She has been coached by Sven Groeneveld – who has worked with players like Monica Seles, Arantxa Sanchez, Ana Ivanovic…- since 2009.

My parents brought me up to be a good goal-setter, I know what I want to achieve and I know what I hace to do for it. Of course it’s hard to say I would have the same spirit, the same abilities and the same talent if I was an able-bodied girl, but there is a part of me that is a fighter.
If I got my gold medals out of their box and I hold them and look at them again, then I do realise it’s amazing what happened to me, what I’ve done and what I could achieve.

Pic: ITF Olympic Book