08 Jul 2012

Unseeded pairings win Wimbledon titles

Match Report

Photo: Ian FarrantAniek van Koot and Jiske Griffioen (NED)

Two new sets of champions were crowned on the last day of the Wimbledon Wheelchair Doubles Event. Tom Egberink of the Netherlands and Michael Jeremiasz of France won the men’s title while the all-Dutch pairing of Jiske Griffioen and Aniek van Koot went one better than last year to claim the women’s title.

‘The Boom Boom Boys’ remain unbeaten

Egberink and Jeremiasz, who arrived in London with t-shirts announcing themselves in fluorescent pink writing as ‘The Boom Boom Boys’, lived up to their light-hearted nickname as they took their winning streak to ten matches.

In their first tournament together this season, Egberink and Jeremiasz made the first crucial break in the men’s final as they took a 5-3 lead against top seeds and two-time Wimbledon champions Robin Ammerlaan and Ronald Vink of the Netherlands.

Egberink and Jeremiasz then led the second set 2-1, but were 40-0 down in the fourth game when a heavy rain shower caused play to be suspended for an hour.

Egberink and Jeremiasz won the first point after play resumed but Ammerlaan and Vink then got the point they needed to draw level. However, that was to be the 2007 and 2008 champions’ last major input and some tremendous court coverage and solid shot making brought a regular flow of winners for Egberink and Jeremiasz, while forcing their opponents into a series of errors.

With the Dutch-French duo 5-2 up and a game away from victory Jeremiasz hit a forehand winner to give them their first match point and with Ammerlaan subsequently unable to control an overhead forehand the ball flew wide to complete a 64 62 victory.

“We were solid today for and for me it shows what you can achieve when you play like brothers. I look at Tom as a 19-year-old and I feel like his big brother and when I can tell him what to do and he does it, then that makes us a successful partnership as we both know what the other is doing," explained Jeremiasz. "We were not slow to start today, we made sure we imposed ourselves on them and didn’t let them impose themselves on us. The Boom Boom Boys are still unbeaten.”

Griffioen and van Koot claim first Grand Slam title

Griffioen and van Koot finally got themselves on the roll of honour at the All England Club when they produced a routine 61 62 victory over the British duo of Lucy Shuker and Jordanne Whiley.

The all-Dutch pairing won four of the first five points to take the opening game before the rain that had delayed the start of the match briefly took the players off court.

When play restarted the second game went to deuce, but Griffioen and van Koot edged it en route to taking a 4-0 lead as they continued to put pressure on Whiley time and time again.

Whiley found the right angle for the decisive forehand winner in the next game as the Brits got on the scoreboard, but despite van Koot struggling with her serve in the seventh game she came up with one unreturnable serve to clinch the opening set for the Dutch pairing.

After having five break points in the second game of the second set Shuker and Whiley levelled the set at 1-1, but it was the sixth game that was to prove vital as van Koot held serve to give her and Griffioen a 4-2 lead.

It was Whiley’s turn to have problems with her service in the next game as Griffioen and van Koot extended their lead to 5-2 and they came from break point down in the final game to seal a straight sets victory after Shuker over hit a backhand.   

“It’s an incredible feeling to win our first Grand Slam together and to win my second Slam after I won Roland Garros in 2010 with Dani di Toro,” said van Koot. “It’s very special to do it at Wimbledon after being so close last year and I had a great doubles partner when I got stressed.”

“I’m very excited,” said Griffioen. “We play great together, have fun on court and are good friends,  so I’m looking forward to many more times playing together with Aniek in the future.”

In the third and fourth place play-offs, second seeds and US Open champions Stephane Houdet and Nicolas Peifer of France beat British duo Marc McCarroll and Gordon 61 76, while in the women's event top seeds and Roland Garros champions Esther Vergeer and Marjolein Buis of the Netherlands eased past Annick Sevenans of Belgium and Sharon Walraven of the Netherlands 61 61.

Wimbledon Wheelchair Doubles Draws