Twenty-two-year-old Diede de Groot solidified her spot as the No. 1 wheelchair tennis player in the world on Saturday, when she captured the 2019 Australian Open women’s wheelchair titles in both singles and doubles.
The Netherlands native successfully defended her singles crown in Melbourne with a 6-0, 6-2 win over world No. 2 Yui Kamiji. De Groot started the match strong, hitting 13 winners and only three unforced errors in the opening set, and she eventually took the match in a speedy 54 minutes.
In doubles, de Groot teamed with compatriot Aniek van Koot to topple the No. 2-seeded doubles team of Marjolein Buis and Sabine Ellerbrock, 5-7, 7-6, [10-8].
De Groot’s latest Grand Slam title is her third in a row, as she also captured the US Open and Wimbledon titles in 2018.
Here’s more on the woman atop the wheelchair tennis rankings.
The Diede de Groot File
Birthplace: Woerden, Netherlands
Residence: Oudewater, Netherlands
Current Rank: 1
Career-High Rank: 1 (March 2018)
Best US Open Finish: Winner (2018)
- De Groot and Kamiji have a long-standing history. The players, who are ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the world, respectively, have faced off in the last four major wheelchair singles finals, with de Groot winning three of those matches. Kamiji prevailed over de Groot in the 2017 US Open final, and the following year, de Groot upended the defending champ in the championship match. The pair have met twice so far in 2019, and with de Groot’s Australian Open crown, are split at 1-1 this season.
- De Groot started playing on the ITF Wheelchair Tennis Tour in 2009 as a junior player. She won the Cruyff Foundation Junior Masters in singles and doubles in 2013, and the following year, captured the doubles title at the Junior Masters tournament. She was the No. 1-ranked junior player in the world in 2013.
- In 2017, de Groot made her Grand Slam debut at the Australian Open, reaching the quarterfinals, and she took home her first Grand Slam title later that summer at Wimbledon. In total, she holds nine Grand Slam titles in both singles and doubles, winning three of the four majors, with the exception of Roland Garros. In 2018, she reached the final in Paris but lost to Kamiji.
- To date in her career, De Groot holds an impressive 219-55 record in singles and a 137-46 mark in doubles.
They Said It!
“I don’t think I’ve played a better set. I just wanted to go out there and have fun, and the tactics I had, I just wanted to continue with them and find the right mode again. I noticed how it was working, and it went really well.” – de Groot said, on her performance in the 2019 Australian Open final