Diede de Groot has made history in New York. The Dutch wheelchair tennis player accomplished a so called Golden Grand Slam by being the best at the Australian Open, Roland Garros, Wimbledon, the Paralympic Games and now also the US Open in the same year.
She defeated her Japanese rival Yui Kamiji in the final 6-3, 6-2. Yesterday, De Groot also won the women’s doubles title at the US Open together with Aniek van Koot. For the fourth year in a row De Groot is the strongest at the US Open. More than a week ago, De Groot, the number 1 in the world, also took the Paralympic title in Tokyo at the expense of her Asian rival. “I can’t wait to go home and celebrate with family and friends, who took the time to watch all the matches in the middle of the night. What am I most looking forward to? Doing nothing at all. It has been such a tough trip, also because of the pressure i experienced, being the number one and on the verge of accomplishing a golden slam. But I did not let the pressure get to me,” said De Groot. ,,Immediately after the last point there was relief, and a bit later came the joy. I wanted this so badly. I’m looking forward to enjoying the rest of the season a little more and playing with a little less pressure.” De Groot is the first tennisplayer to win a Golden Grand Slam since Steffi Graf in 1988. The German won Olympic gold in Seoul and won all grand slam tournaments that year, like De Groot.
For De Groot, the win in New York is her twelfth grand singles slam title in total. She also took the doubles title in New York yesterday with Aniek van Koot.
Novak Djokovic (34) can surpass Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer tonight by winning his 21st Grand Slam. After Don Budge (in 1938) and Rod Laver (in 1962 and 1969), the Serb could become the third male tennis player to win all four Grand Slams in a calendar year. In the women’s league, Maureen Connolly (in 1953), Margaret Court (in 1980) and Steffi Graff (in 1988) managed to capture all four Grand Slams in a calendar year. The latter also won gold at the Olympic Games that year. In doubles, there were fourteen players who won a Golden Slam.