• Wheelchair tennis

Vergeer quits after unbeaten decade

ESPN staff
February 12, 2013
Esther Vergeer won 470 consecutive matches over the past decade © PA Photos

Esther Vergeer has quit wheelchair tennis after an unbeaten run stretching back over a decade.

The Dutch Paralympian, who has won 470 consecutive matches and held the world No. 1 ranking from 1999 until she skipped January's Australian Open, was last defeated by Daniele di Toro in Sydney on 30 January 2003.

In that time she faced a single match point, in the 2008 Paralympic wheelchair tennis final. She claimed a fourth Paralympic title in 2012, and finishes with 169 titles to her name.

The 31-year-old won every grand slam singles event she ever entered, claiming 21 singles and 23 doubles crowns.

"Esther Vergeer is a tremendous ambassador not only for tennis but also for disability sports," ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti said in a statement.

"She is an inspiration to many. Wheelchair tennis owes her a huge debt of gratitude for her professionalism and her quality as a player."

Vergeer, who took up wheelchair tennis because of complications after spinal surgery at the age of 12, won 700 matches and lost just 25 during her career.

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