NEWSLETTER NO. 13, AUGUST 2000
SONJA PETERS IS GOING TO SYDNEY!
Paralympic dream comes true
Her goal is reached
Sonja Peters has reached her goal to take part in the Paralympics. With a wildcard from the ITF her participation is now assured. Her results so far prove that Sonja is in top form: five tournament wins, with as highlights the British Open and becoming world champion together with the Dutch team.
Wildcard for the Paralympics
On July 19 the International Tennis Federation granted Sonja a wildcard for the Paralympics. Sonja was overjoyed. This made one of her major ambitions, taking part in the Paralympics, come true. It is the reward for her many years of incredibly hard work, perseverance and dedication. This season she really did everything in her power - and with success! But it is also thanks to the wonderful support of all the sponsors and the many donors and fans.
Sonja earned this wildcard for her excellent performance. She was the highest ranked player in the singles who did not qualify directly. Furthermore she leads the world ranking in the doubles together with her regular partner Esther Vergeer.
Excellent continuation of the season
After a number of excellent results earlier, including three tournament wins, Sonja continued to be hard to beat. In each tournament she reached the last four, as in the Far West Regional Championships in Reno, USA, the Belgian Open, the Dutch Open and the French Open. In Austria she won the Dornbirn Cup. A real highlight was the British Open that Sonja managed to win in a quite sensational way. In the semi-finals of this highest ranked Super Series tournament she defeated, for the very first time, the world's number one, Australian Danieli di Toro, with 3-6, 6-4, 6-3. In the final against her doubles partner, friend and world's number two, Esther Vergeer, she was again the best in three sets: 5-7, 6-1, 6-0! "She was playing so extremely well, and because of the pressure she put on me I made a lot of mistakes, said Esther.
Sonja herself was a bit dazed by these fantastic results, which have also boosted her confidence for the Paralympics. Now she has shown that she can beat everyone! Sonja also moves up to a firm third slot in the world ranking at the expense of reigning Olympic Champion Maaike Smit.
In the doubles Sonja and Esther are developing a more offensive play to also assure their superiority in the future. Because of this, competitors in the person of Daniela di Toro and Maaike Smit have closed in on them, but as far as Sonja and Esther Vergeer are concerned this is only very temporary!
Together with the Dutch women's team Sonja has won the World Team Cup. This world championship for countries can be compared to the Davis Cup (men) and Fed Cup (women). It was held in Paris and numbered 230 participants from 32 countries. The Dutch team, coached by Aad Zwaan and Fred Hendrikse, successively defeated Malaysia, Japan and Britain with a very convincing 3-0. In the final against Australia Sonja defeated Branka Pupovac. Esther Vergeer then finished the job against Daniela di Toro. The other team members were Maaike Smit and Sharon Walraven.
With less than eighty days to go the countdown for the Paralympics is in full swing. Sonja will first take a few weeks well-deserved break from tennis before playing the German Open (23-27 August), the Disporta International in Goirle, the Netherlands (8-10 September) and finally the US Open (25 September-1 October). The Paralympics will be held immediately after the Olympic Games in Sydney, from 18-29 October.
We wish Sonja every success!