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Monday, July 6, 2009

Dutch pair win ladies' wheelchair title

Photo Titled Glory for Homan and VergeerGlory for Homan and Vergeer
©Getty Images / H. Blair

Top seeds Esther Vergeer and Korie Homan of the Netherlands made Wimbledon history by winning the inaugural ladies wheelchair doubles title.

The Australian Open and Roland Garros champions did not drop a game in their semi-final and maintained their sparkling form into the final as they saw off Briton Lucy Shuker and Australia’s Daniela Di Toro 6-1, 6-3 in 54 minutes.

Shuker and Di Toro may have disposed of the second seeds in the previous round to eke out their final day place, but they were having trouble with the pace and sheer accuracy of the balls delivered by the experienced top seeds.

When the Dutch duo held two set points at 5-0 in the first set, it looked ominously like they would go on anmd repeat their semi-final scoreline. But great defending by Shuker and Di Toro and two errors by Vergeer and Homan enabled the underdogs to claim their first game.

The British/Australian combination consequently lost the next game and the set but Shuker was in great spirits – jokingly calling a challenge on a close ball – much to the amusement of the near capacity Court 4 stand.

Unusually, Homan became a flustered in the second set and errors began creeping into her play. She hit two doubles faults to lose her service game and a few points later missed an easy smash, shaking her head in disbelief.

Very soon the Dutchwomen were 3-1 down – a position Vergeer is not used to being in. The 28-year-old is on one longest winning streaks in world sport, having been unbeaten in 360 singles matches since January 2003. She is also unbeaten in all wheelchair singles and doubles matches she has played at Grand Slams.

But it proved only a momentary scare as Homan managed to regain concentration and move like clockwork around the court with partner Vergeer to level the set at 3-3, and drop no further games on their way to their first Wimbledon title.

Court 4 - Ladies' Wheelchair Doubles - Finals
Korie Homan NED /
Esther Vergeer NED
Daniela Di Toro AUS /
Lucy Shuker GBR

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