Double Dutch Delight in Wimbledon Wheelchair Tennis Doubles Finals

04 Jul 2011 By IPC

There was double Dutch success on Sunday as the wheelchair tennis doubles events at the 125th Championships, Wimbledon, came to a close with Maikel Scheffers and Ronald Vink winning their first men's doubles title and Sharon Walraven and Esther Vergeer retaining their ladies' doubles title after coming from 5-2 down in the third and deciding set of their final.

Top seeds Scheffers and Vink managed to reverse the result of the 2009 men's doubles final as they took the last two games of the opening set off French duo Stephane Houdet and Michael Jeremiasz before easing through the second set to secure a 7-5, 6-2 victory and end Houdet and Jeremiasz's hopes of regaining the title.

"It's an amazing feeling to finally be a Wimbledon champion," said Scheffers, who was winning his first title at The Championships, while his doubles partner Vink was winning his third doubles title after previously partnering another Dutchman, Robin Ammerlaan, to back-to-back victories in 2007 and 2008.

Scheffers and Vink knocked defending champions Ammerlaan and Stefan Olsson of Sweden out with a 6-0, 6-3 victory in Saturday's semi-finals and Scheffers admitted it was the perfect platform for Sunday's final.

"Our semi-final was the best warm-up for today and gave us lots of confidence. We played well yesterday, but we were awesome today, especially against the quality of the opposition we had."

The women's doubles final was an enthralling contest that began with top seeds Vergeer and Walraven missing game points to take a 4-2 lead, but they finally moved ahead by a clear break at 5-3 and maintained their advantage to take the set.

However, second seeds Jiske Griffioen and Aniek van Koot maintained their hopes of repeating their Florida Open victory over their compatriots in April this year as they won the last four games of the second set, with Vergeer reaching for a backhand that flew out of court on set point.

Vergeer's bid for a third successive Wimbledon title looked like it might fail in the deciding set as Griffioen and van Koot took a 5-2 lead, but Vergeer and Walraven remained calm and slowly chipped away at the deficit en route to retaining the title with a run of five games in succession to round off a 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 victory,

"Our game plan is usually for me to hit deep from the baseline until Sharon can come in and finish the points at the net, but at times today that didn't work," said Vergeer. "It wasn't our best tennis, but we won and that's the main thing, to be Wimbledon champion again."

Lucy Shuker and Jordanne Whiley, the first all-British pairing to contest the ladies' wheelchair tennis doubles at Wimbledon, ended their campaign in fourth place after a 3-6, 6-7(8) loss to Marjolein Buis of the Netherlands and Annick Sevenans of Belgium.

Shuker and Whiley slipped 1-4 down in the first set, but held a 3-0 second set lead before their opponents came back with the kind of tennis that had seen them take Vergeer and Walraven to three sets in Friday's semi-finals. However, Shuker and Whiley managed to take the set to a tie-break, fending off a series of match points and having set points of their own before their opponents wrapped up victory,

After losing their title on Saturday, last year's men's doubles champions Ammerlaan and Olsson ended their tournament on a winning note as they took third place with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over young Dutchman Tom Egberink and Shingo Kunieda of Japan.