“You know with us, we love to play, we love the game. We have a lot of pleasure on the court which is maybe why we keep going.”
There was British success at Wimbledon on Sunday (6 July) as Britain’s Jordanne Whiley, together with Japan’s Yui Kamiji, won the Wimbledon wheelchair ladies’ doubles title.
The top seeded pair beat two-time defending champions and second seeds Jiske Griffioen and Aniek Van Koot of the Netherlands in a thrilling three set battle 2-6 6-2 7-5 to add to the Australian and French Open titles they won earlier this year.
For Whiley, who was wearing strawberry drop earrings, it was her first Wimbledon title after two previous final defeats.
“What did I tell you the other day that these were third-time lucky earrings and today they’ve done me proud,” said Whiley.
When Kamiji and Whiley made it to 6-5 in the final set, Whiley was so jittery she was concerned she might get sick on the court.
“I said to Yui I thought I was going to vomit because I felt excited, nervous and was so scared,” Whiley said. “Then when we won I was just elated.”
The men’s wheelchair men’s doubles final took place on Court 16 in front of a packed capacity crowd and was broadcast live to the fans on Henman Hill.
Top seeds Stephane Houdet of France and Shingo Kunieda of Japan defended their title with a 5-7 6-0 6-3 win over Dutch second seeds Maikel Scheffers and Ronald Vink.
“Next year I think we should play over there because we have enough fans,” said Houdet looking at Court 18, one of Wimbledon’s show courts.
Houdet and Kunieda raced to a 5-1 lead, but it took two match points to get the title. The winners had one match point on Scheffers’ serve in the eighth game at 30-40, but the Dutch duo held firm. They closed out the match on Houdet’s serve in the ninth game.
“We’re very happy to be able to defend this title,” Houdet said. “You know with us, we love to play, we love the game. We have a lot of pleasure on the court which is maybe why we keep going.”
And as Kunieda suggested so succinctly, becoming a Grand Slam champion never gets old: “Every time we win is exciting for us,” he said.
For full details of all the results, please visit the Wimbledon website.