Photo: Paul ZimmerSabine Ellerbrock (GER)
Germany's Sabine Ellerbrock, who captured her first Grand Slam title at Roland Garros, has today become the third woman in 2013 to top the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Rankings. The 37-year-old from Bielefeld takes over the No. 1 ranking from Aniek van Koot of Netherlands, who replaced her compatriot, 13-time ITF World Champion Esther Vergeer, in the top position in January.
The German was defeated by Japan's Yui Kamiji in the final of last week's BNP Paribas Open de France in Paris, but van Koot's defeat to Kamiji in the semifinals saw her lose top spot to the German.
Ellerbrock spent 25 years playing as an able-bodied tennis player before she picked up a foot infection after an operation in 2007. She first played wheelchair tennis competitively in 2009, and made an immediate impact on the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour, reaching the semifinals of her first tournament, the German Open. In July 2009 the German won her first singles event at the Bavarian Open, and has gone on to capture a total of 26 singles titles.
Ellerbrock, who balances her wheelchair tennis career with a career as a mathematics and science teacher, will contest this week's Wimbledon Wheelchair Doubles event with Sharon Walraven of Netherlands. The event takes place on 5-7 July.