De Groot wins Paralympic title

Source: Diede de Groot keeps an eye on a historic Golden Slam. The 24-year-old wheelchair tennis player won the singles gold medal at the Paralympic Games in Tokyo on Friday, her first title at the Paralympics. Late on the Japanese evening, in the singles final, the first-seeded De Groot dealt with  the second-ranked home player Yui Kamij i: 6-3 and 7-6 (1).

At the Ariake Tennis Park The Japanese player made it very difficult for the top favourite. De Groot took a 3-1 and 5-3 lead in the second set, but Kamiji didn’t give up. The second seeded eliminated six match points, but the Dutch still finished it in the tiebreak.

Five years ago, De Groot finished fourth in singles at the Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro. Since then she has been almost unbeatable. She has won eleven Grand Slam singles titles and is the number one ranked player in the world.

The female player from Utrecht was already the best at the Australian Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon earlier this year. If she also wins the US Open next week in New York, she will achieve the first Golden Slam in wheelchair tennis: winning all Grand Slam tournaments in singles  and winning gold at the Games in one year.

With her Paralympic title, De Groot follows in the footsteps of Monique van den Bosch (1992), Maaike Smit (1996), Esther Vergeer (2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012) and Jiske Griffioen (2016). Until now, the gold in the women’s singles has always been won by a Dutch paralympic athlete.