20 Oct 2017

Jiske Griffioen announces end of glittering career

News Article

Photo: Anibal Greco/Sergio LlameraJiske Griffioen (NED)

Double Rio Paralympic gold medallist Jiske Griffioen has this week announced the end of her glittering wheelchair tennis career after 18 years as a player.

Griffioen, 32, revealed her decision on social media on Tuesday, bringing the curtain down on a career during which she earned five Paralympic medals, four Grand Slam singles titles and 10 Grand Slam doubles titles.

She said: “Even the great stories come to an end...I hereby announce that my tennis career is over. After five Paralympic medals, 4 Grand Slam Singles titles and 2 years as world number one I look back on many amazing years on court. I would like to thank my team!!!”

Griffioen was crowned ITF World Champion twice and won three NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters titles, including the last two editions of the ITF’s year-end singles championship.

A multiple BNP Paribas Wold Team Cup champion, representing Netherlands in both the junior event and the women’s event at the ITF’s flagship wheelchair tennis team event, Griffioen also won a total of 59 singles titles and 106 doubles titles.

Her last two women’s singles titles on the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour were at Super Series level, with victories this season at the Apia International Sydney Open in January and the BNP Paribas Open de France in June. They were Griffioen’s only two titles in seven tournaments this season. 

Formerly a member of the Dutch National wheelchair basketball team, Griffioen played in her first ITF-sanctioned tournament in 1999. Still playing basketball at the time, she represented Netherlands in wheelchair basketball at the Sydney 2000 Paralympics.

However, she would go on to focus her efforts on tennis and she made her Paralympic debut as a wheelchair tennis player in Athens in 2004. However, Griffioen would have to wait until Beijing in 2008 before earning her place on the podium for the first time, winning the women’s doubles silver medal alongside Esther Vergeer.

Griffioen won her first Paralympic singles medal at London 2012, joining gold and silver medallists Vergeer and Aniek van Koot on the podium, while also partnering van Koot to the women’s doubles silver medal.

She finally realised her ambition to win Paralympic gold in Rio, defeating van Koot in the women’s singles final before partnering van Koot to the women’s doubles gold medal the following day.

Griffioen made her world Top 10 women’s singles ranking debut in March 2004. At the end of May 2005 she became world No.2 for the first time and, just over ten years later, in June 2015 she became world No. 1 for the first time after winning her second successive Grand Slam singles title at Roland Garros.

She went on to claim her second Australian Open women’s singles title in 2016 and made history in July 2016, becoming the first women’s singles wheelchair tennis champion at Wimbledon.

Griffioen spent a total of 106 weeks as world No. 1 women’s singles player in between June 2015 and July this year. This included 104 consecutive weeks at the top of the rankings and resulted in Griffioen being named ITF World Champion in both 2015 and 2016.

She also spent long periods of time as world No. 1 in the women’s doubles rankings, won the Doubles Masters title seven times with two different partners and was year-end No. 1 women’s doubles player five times, most recently in 2015.

In 2012 Griffioen became the first player to win the women's singles at the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters after the 14-year reign of Vergeer. She went on to win two further NEC Masters titles in 2015 and 2016.