Vergeer defeats Di Toro in final
Esther Vergeer has defeated Australian Daniela Di Toro in the final of the Australian Open women’s wheelchair 6-0 6-0.
Long-time undisputed women’s wheelchair tennis champion Esther Vergeer of the Netherlands could do no wrong as she won her 17th consecutive Grand Slam wheelchair singles trophy, taking out the Australian Open 2011 title by defeating second-seeded Australian Daniela Di Toro, 6-0 6-0.
The 45-minute match with its double bagel score line was a repeat of Vergeer’s win over Di Toro in the wheelchair singles final at last year’s US Open.
At her post-match press conference the Dutchwoman, currently on a 405-match winning streak in wheelchair singles since she last lost a match in early 2003, said the key is to stay motivated.
“The secret is to find your motivation every single time – your inner motivation – so I always want to improve myself; there’s always room to get better,” she said.
When asked what she will most look forward to at the London 2012 Paralympic Games – Vergeer won the Gold medal in wheelchair singles at the last three Paralympics – the wheelchair tennis champion was frank.
“My Gold medal ceremony – it’s a little bit arrogant!” She laughed.
“Probably the crowd; the Paralympics are really alive in England – it’s going to be huge, it’s going to be popular – so I think the crowd is going to be crazy. And of course it’s so close by Holland that there’s going to be a lot of Dutch people, I’m hoping.”
The 29-year-old also acknowledged while there are weaknesses in her tennis, if her competitors wanted to break her incredible unbeaten run in singles they would need willpower.
“I think it’s going to take a lot of mental strength because if somebody’s going to get close then it’s also going to be a mental game,” she said.
“If they’re going to smell that there might be a chance to defeat me there’s going to be a whole mental part to it as well, so it’s not only tennis.”
Vergeer said she didn’t want to think about when she would retire but she said she would like to see more wheelchair tennis tournaments played alongside able-bodied events.
She also had advice for anybody considering taking up the sport she has virtually owned since 2002.
“Just get out there and do it; don’t take it too hard on yourself,” she said.
“Especially in the beginning because it’s really hard; you have to do so many things with your upper body that it’s confusing almost.
“So just keep on trying and have fun and then if you want to take it seriously, go see a specialised wheelchair tennis coach and really work on your mobility, your chair skills.”
Vergeer hit 63 per cent of her first serves in and Di Toro hit 69 per cent.
Vergeer won 80 per cent of points on her first serve and Di Toro 33 per cent.
Vergeer converted six break points and Di Toro none.
Vergeer won 51 points and Di Toro 20.