Diede de Groot wins Roland Garros title, takes Grand Slam tally to 10
Dylan Alcott and Alfie Hewett secure quad and men’s singles crowns, respectively, in Paris08 Jun 2021
Diede de Groot has confirmed her status as the world's best once again
ⒸAmelie Laurin / FFT
Dutch sensation Diede de Groot took her tally of career Grand Slam singles titles to 10 at Roland Garros on Sunday (6 June).
The women's world No. 1 sealed her second title in Paris with a 6-4 6-3 victory over world No. 2 and defending champion Yui Kamiji after an hour and 12 minutes, winning the opening set after trailing 2-0 and earning the all-important breakthrough for a 4-2 second set lead.
It was a cushion that she would maintain to add to her maiden Roland Garros title in 2019, having lost out in three sets to her Japanese counterpart last year.
“I think every slam that I win becomes more special because there's so much more pressure that comes with it every time,” said the 24-year-old De Groot. “People are expecting you to win. You have to sort of fulfil that expectation, otherwise you failed. That's something that is difficult to have, that pressure. At the same time I'm doing well in just handling it, just focusing on my own thing.”
Following on from her Australian Open title in February, where she also beat Kamiji in the final, De Groot insists she is focusing on not entertaining any thoughts of the calendar Grand Slam - or a Golden Slam, with the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics now a little over 50 days away.
“The Golden Slam or the Grand Slam, they're not really like specific goals for me," said De Groot, whose victory at Roland Garros in 2019 saw her become the first wheelchair player to hold all four singles crowns at once.
"I really don't have that in my mind, like that's what I want to get. I had that in 2019. It didn't really work for me. I put too much pressure on winning Wimbledon. It just wasn't working. Right now I'm just playing week by week.”
De Groot ended the second major of the year with her fourth successive women’s doubles crown in Paris partnering fellow Dutchwoman Aniek van Koot.
Returning to the scene of their first ever Grand Slam doubles titles in 2018, the top seeds beat two-time Roland Garros champions Kamiji and Great Britain's Jordanne Whiley 6-3, 6-4 to claim their eighth career major doubles title together.
DYLAN KEEPS DOMINATING
Australia’s Paralympic legend extended his unbroken run of quad singles titles with a third triumph since the event made its Roland Garros debut in 2019.
The world No. 1 claimed his 13th career Grand Slam singles title with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Dutchman Sam Schroeder, who provided stern early resistance and opened up a 4-2 lead before the Australian came roaring back to win 10 of the last 12 games.
“I really love clay,” said Alcott, who now has 21 singles and doubles majors to his name. “I love Roland Garros. I feel very lucky to be here at the moment with everything going on in the world.”
In the quad doubles, British player Andy Lapthorne completed a career Grand Slam of quad doubles crowns, partnering the USA’s David Wagner to defeat Australian Dylan Alcott and Dutchman Sam Schroeder 7-6(1) 4-6 [10-7].
The 30-year-old had previously won three Australian Open titles and two US Open titles partnering Wagner, and the 2019 Wimbledon title with Alcott.
A SECOND SWEEP
Great Britain’s Alfie Hewett secured back-to-back men’s wheelchair singles crowns with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Japan’s world No. 1 Shingo Kunieda.
Victory in Monday’s final (7 June) completes a second sweep of the Roland Garros titles for the 23-year-old, who defended his doubles crown with compatriot Gordon Reid the previous day.
And while the drama of the contest could not hope to match his semi-final comeback against Gustavo Fernandez – a contest he rates as the match of his life – his fifth Grand Slam singles victory still ranks among his finest performances at the majors.
“After playing that sort of match against Gustavo, it would be a shame to not go into today and try and play better tennis,” Hewett said. “I think the quality dipped in and out of that last one but today the quality was one of the best finals I have played, just dealing with the conditions, dealing with the fact that it was a final.
“I have played four or five recently and felt very nervous and tense at the beginning. I felt like I came out of the blocks really well, and that was a big thing I was looking at.”
In the men’s doubles final, top seeds Hewett and Gordon Reid became the most successful all-British doubles partnership in Grand Slam competition.
With their 6-3 6-0 victory over French second seeds Stephane Houdet and Nicolas Peifer, Hewett and Reid not only successfully retained the Roland Garros title they won last October, they won their 11th Grand Slam title together to break a national record that has stood since 1905.
“I think what we're doing as a doubles partnership is very special within wheelchair tennis. We've created a good bond on court. Obviously the last four or five slams have proved that,” said Hewett.