NEWSLETTER NO. 11, DECEMBER 1999
SONJA PETERS FOCUSES ON THE PARALYMPICS IN 2000.
For Sonja Peters the past Masters tournament was a splendid conclusion of a successful tennis year.
Although she did not manage to make the finals, her place among the last four was again proof of her world class. The fact that she was the only one to defeat Esther Vergeer - who later won the tournament - gave this achievement additional lustre.
Wheelchair Tennis Masters
For Sonja, the Wheelchair Tennis Masters in Eindhoven represented a successful conclusion of the season. Two weeks earlier she had also reached the semi-finals in the singles at the US Open.
Together with Esther Vergeer, they again proved to be the world's best double by winning this Super Series tournament.
In her first match of the Masters Sonja had a tremendous surprise in store by being the only one to defeat Esther Vergeer, who later won the tournament. The match was a real thriller. After a hesitant start by both players, Sonja won the first set 6-4. In the second set Esther came back strongly and won 6-3. The tennis was of a high level and the many sponsors and other fans really enjoyed themselves. When Sonja was down 0-4 in the third set things were looking bad, but she fought back point by point to 4-4.Esther then made it 5-4 and at 40-0 in her advantage the match seemed to be hers with three match points. But not for Sonja: she wiped out all the match points. In the end the tiebreak had to decide and Sonja decisively made that hers with 7-1, under loud applause of the enthusiastic spectators who had been watching the match with sweat in their hands!
"This is really fantastic", Sonja said after the match. "I have played Esther so many times over the past two years and never won. We have often played three sets, but now at last I succeeded. I was very relaxed during the match. I only became slightly nervous at 6-5 advantage in the third set but I soon got over that."
Against Djoke van Marum Sonja played very concentrated, precise and fast tennis: 6-4, 6-2. That made her certain of a place in the semi-finals, so losing 4-6, 2-6 against Sharon Walraven was of no real importance.
In the semi-finals she finally had to acknowledge the superiority of Olympic champion Maaike Smit, who played exceptionally well and won 6-0, 6-3. Yet Sonja looks back with great satisfaction on this tournament, in which she played very good and consistent tennis.
Focus on Sydney
Sonja is now setting her sights on next year's Paralympics, which are being held in Sydney from 20-29 October. Sonja's chances are good but qualification is not certain yet. Sonja will obviously do her level best to be there. That is why a large number of major tournaments are planned for the coming year, starting at the end of January with the Sydney International Open and the Australian Open in Melbourne.
Come join the challenge in 2000!
Sonja and the Foundation "Friends of Wheelchair Tennis Player Sonja" wish to thank all of you very much for the tremendously enthusiastic support over the past season and during the Masters.
We wish you and your loved ones a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year. Come join the challenge in 2000!