Photo: Tommy Hindley / Professional SportRonald Vink (NED)
LONDON, GREAT BRITAIN: Ronald Vink won his first Paralympic Tennis Event medal on Saturday when he avenged his Beijing men’s singles bronze medal match loss to fellow Dutchman Maikel Scheffers after an exciting three set contest at Eton Manor that Vink eventually won 46 76(5) 64.
Both players comfortably held serve in the first two games of the match, but Vink looked the more solid player as he opened up a 4-1 lead. However, Scheffers fought back and served out another comfortable service game to level the set at 4-4
A beautiful backhand down the line put the Beijing gold medallist one game away from the opening set and with three set point s in his favour Scheffers produce a big serve that Vink returned with a backhand that landed just long over Scheffers’s baseline to give the world No. 3 the set 6-4 39 minutes, with Vink having made 11 unforced errors, twice as many as Scheffers.
Vink stopped Scheffers’s sequence of six successive games as he levelled the second set at 1-1 and a poor service game from Scheffers in the sixth game of the set gave Vink a 4-2 lead, which he converted into a 5-3 lead.
Scheffers went on to save two set points before forcing a second set tiebreak with a dominant service game, but Vink created his third set point opportunity at 6-5 up in the tiebreak and subsequently slotted away a backhand down the line to force a deciding set.
Vink took the momentum into the third and final set, opening up a 4-0 lead and although Scheffers retrieved one break to make it 4-2 he put in an untimely double fault, allowing Vink break point for a 5-2 lead which Vink seized when he fired a forehand winner down the line.
A backhand winner down the line set up two match points for Vink, but he missed with another attempt at a backhand down the line before double faulting on the second of his match points.
Scheffers saved a third match point with his own backhand down the line winner and Vink momentarily seemed to lose his focus as Scheffers snatched two games back for 5-4.
However Scheffers’s defences finally gave way and Vink clinched victory and the bonze medal on his fourth match point after two hours and 15 minutes of play.
"After finishing fourth twice (in singles and doubles) in Beijing, in 2009, I decided to stop my job and focus on only the tennis, year by year. I think it paid off. I feel great," said Vink. “I’m glad the doubles was yesterday so I had a whole day and a good morning to focus on the singles and it worked. The crowds, it's unbelievable what's happened here. It's a really, really big tennis country."
Review the scores from the Paralympic Tennis Event on the Schedule page.