Considering the excellent results so far and gaining fourth slot on the world ranking list, Sonja Peters really is in top form for the Paralympics. Her chances of qualifying are excellent, but we'll have to wait until August before we have complete certainty.
For her number one world ranking in the women's doubles last year, Sonja was awarded the sports medal of the city of Eindhoven.

[Photo caption: prospects for the Paralympics are bright!]

Sports medal of the city of Eindhoven
For her terrific performance in 1999, Sonja received the coveted sports medal of the city of Eindhoven. In that year Sonja was number one on the world ranking list in the women's doubles (with a wide margin) together with her partner Esther Vergeer. Sonja was in good company at the award ceremony. (Inter)national swimming champions Inge de Bruijn and Pieter van den Hoogeband (a former classmate of Sonja) and the 4x100m medley relay team were voted sportswoman, sportsman and sports team of the year.

Results so far
Sonja has already played in eight tournaments this year. In the singles she twice reached the quarter-finals in Australia and in Florida she won through to the semi-finals and the quarter-finals. Then came America, where Sonja really got into her stride. She won three CS2 tournaments in a row: the Cajun Classic in Baton Rouge, the USTA Outdoors Championships in Atlanta and the Roho Gateway Classic in St. Louis. Her reward for these achievements was fourth slot on the world ranking list, at the expense of her rival Sharon Walraven. Lastly, she reached the finals of the Lakeshore World Challenge, a CS1 tournament, in Birmingham, thereby further consolidating her No. 4 ranking. "I am tremendously happy with this," an elated Sonja tells us. "This year I have really made progress, also mentally. My level of play in the matches is as good as the tennis I play at the training sessions organized by Aad Zwaan". There are still a number of important tournaments to follow before certainty about qualification for the Paralympics is obtained.

Based on the results of the World Team Cup in 1999, the Netherlands has qualified for participation in the Paralympics tennis for women. The two highest ranked women on the world ranking list of the International Tennis Federation (ITF) (selection date July 10, 2000) qualify directly. At the moment these are Esther Vergeer and Maaike Smit (numbers 2 and 3 on the world ranking list). Sonja recently climbed to fourth place... but a number of major tournaments are still to come. In addition, the ITF grants four wildcards to individual women players, this time at the latest by the 15th of August. An informal indication has been given that two Dutch women will receive a wildcard. If that really is the case, then it can be assumed that Sonja will be eligible. But as we already mentioned, we'll have to wait until August to be absolutely certain!

Further tournament schedule
Sonja will do everything possible to finish as high as possible in the rankings. Whatever the outcome, it certainly won't be for want of trying by Sonja, as is shown by the tournament schedule that is still to come: Farwest Regional Championships USA (15.06-18.06), Dornbirn Cup Austria (21.06-25.06), Belgian Open (27.06-02.07), Dutch Open Utrecht (04.07-09.07), French Open (12.07-16.07), British Open (25.07-30.07) and US Open (25.09-01.10). Other tournaments will be planned depending on participation in the Paralympics.

Sonja has in any event been selected for the Dutch team that will be competing for the World Team Cup, which will be held in Paris from 17 to 23 July.

Want to keep in touch?
Up-to-date information on Sonja's tournament schedule and results can be found on her homepage: A recent innovation that you will find on this site is a brief report on each tournament.