The SportingJournal

Esther Vergeer quits tennis on ultimate career high

On Tuesday, Esther Vergeer announced her retirement at age 33 after having dominated women’s wheelchair tennis for much of her 18-year long career.

After grasping hold of the position as No. 1 in the wheelchair tennis rankings as early on in her career as 1999, the sports superstar has not since relinquished her title.

She has also quite unbelievably managed to have not undergone a loss since January of 2003 when she had been overcome by Australia’s Daniela Di Toro during the Sydney International.

It would not be untrue to suggest that there are few professional athletes who have left the field having imposed such a significant and lasting impression on their sport as Esther Vergeer.

Now at the conclusion of her career, the Dutchwoman will ever hold an absolutely breathtaking run of 470 consecutive matches where she prevailed undefeated; a winning streak that persisted throughout a remarkable period of ten years.

The inspiring years where Vergeer continued on, undefeated, encompass not only 470 consecutive wins, four successive Paralympic singles titles and an incredible 95 double bagels, but also a period of 26 months and 120 matches whereby the Dutchwoman failed to drop even a single set.

It is almost inconceivable for such a flawless statistical record to be true, but Vergeer certainly had a way of making the impossible possible; be it on the court from point to point or producing the final results when they count to show for her unrelenting efforts.

“I’m hugely proud of my performances, my titles, and can look back on my career with a great feeling,” Vergeer said at the ABN AMRO tournament in Rotterdam.

“Keeping (on) going would not add anything.”

With an overall record of 148 singles titles and 136 in doubles, Vergeer has left an overwhelming imprint in the tennis history books.

More than this, however, is the indescribable feeling that she has given spectators and tennis fans far and wide as they have witnessed her gracing the court with her powerful presence and have been left in utter awe and admiration for her stunning talent.

She will be greatly missed in the professional tennis circuit, but her leave will enable her competitors at the upper end of the ranking spectrum such as Aniek Van Koot, Sabine Ellerbrock and Jiske Griffioen to too have their rightful time to shine in the spotlight at the top of the leader board.

Vergeer will now transfer her focus to promoting her foundation which aids those with disabilities to pursue their love for sport.

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