Photo: Tommy Hindley / Professional SportEsther Vergeer and Marjolein Buis (NED)
LONDON, GREAT BRITAIN: Esther Vergeer and Marjolein Buis are through to the women’s doubles final at the Paralympic Tennis Event after recording a routine 60 61 victory over Thailand’s Sakhorn Khanthasit and Ratana Techamaneewat on Thursday.
In a one-sided affair, the Dutch No. 1 seeds never gave their weaker Thai opponents a chance to get a foothold in the match, ruthlessly finishing them off after 54 minutes on Eton Manor's Court 1.
Vergeer and Buis immediately established control in the first set and it was clear from the contrasting styles of play that it was going to be a tough day at the office for the Thai pair, and for Techamaneewat in particular.
The Dutch duo were always in the ascendency, hitting their shots with power and purpose, while the Thai players were happy to defend and just get the ball back. The first set went by in a heartbeat and it looked like the second set would follow in the same vein when Vergeer and Buis opened up a 2-0 lead.
Khanthasit had other ideas, however, and did her best to turn the tide. The world No. 51, ranked 17 places higher than her partner, started to have more influence on the match and hit a purple patch that lasted for a few games.
The Thai left-hander inspired a break of serve against Vergeer, which is no mean feat, and nearly helped the pair draw level in the next game, only for the Dutch couple to regain their composure and for normal service to be resumed.
"We were focused, but we wanted to enjoy it as well," said Buis. "The Thai women use high and soft balls, so we needed to get the rhythm right. We stayed focused. We stayed happy."
Vergeer and Buis now await the winners of the second semifinal between Jiske Griffioen and Aniek van Koot, the Dutch No. 2 seeds, and Lucy Shuker and Jordanne Whiley, the British No. 3 seeds. That match is scheduled for later in the day on Centre Court.
Vergeer is a serial Paralympic medallist having triumphed at the last three Games in Sydney, Athens and Beijing. Her current medal count stands at five golds and one silver between the singles and doubles events, and the world No. 1 will be favourite to add two more golds to her collection having already reached the singles final.
Buis, on the other hand, is making her Paralympic debut at London 2012. The 24-year-old was knocked out of the singles in the quarterfinals so this will be the first medal of her career, although she’ll be hoping the colour is gold and not silver.
Follow the scores from the Paralympic Tennis Event on the Schedule page.