At the end of her presentation Sinterklaas (the Dutch traditional version of Santa Claus, celebrated at December 5) came on the stage and handed a cheque of Euro 4455 to a completely flabbergasted Sonja on behalf of all members of Foodservice Network and the participants of the congress!!!! Sonja was speechles for a few moments, something that does not happen very often! She found it fun to give a contribution and afterwards good a number of positive reactions and had quite a few interesting talks.|
The photograph of the happily smiling Sonja with cheque (showing the logo's of the companies) tells it all. This contribution will certainly help her in making the right preparations for the Paralympics in Athens in order to achieve optimal performances.
|By reaching the singles finals of the Austrian Open last week, Sonja has moved up to the second spot of the ITF world ranking list, her best ranking ever. Needles to say that Sonja is as pleased as punch, the reward for hard work and excellent performances.
The results certainly are impressive. This year Sonja has won the Cajun Classic (USA), Slovakia Open, Czech Open and French Open and was runner-up at the British Open and Austrian Open. In the doubles she was victorious at the Classic 8's (Melbourne), Sydney Open, Australian Open, French Open and British Open while she reached the finals another four times.
Nearly a tradition, Sonja has perrformed very well at the British Open. This Super Series tournament suits her fine and she reached the finals twice.
In the singles semi-finals she had another win on Maaike Smit with a quite convincing score: 3-6, 6-1, 6-1. "In the first set I played a little tense. After that I just did not look where the ball was going, but merely played by feeling and that just worked out perfectly". In the finals she lost to Esther Vergeer in a match that was nice to watch for the public and which Sonja rated herself as "not bad, but also not very good." After the match she had a treatment by the physio for an oppressed nerve in her back that was particularly a nuisance playing services and backhands. It made her fit enough for the doubles final that she won together with Daniela di Toro in an extremely tight match from Esther Vergeer and Maaike Smit: 7-6(7), 3-6, 7-6(7).
Coming Tuesday Sonja will depart to the Austrian Open, after which she can take it a little easier for a short while.
|Together with the Dutch women's team Sonja has won the Invacare World Team Cup without even dropping a set. This world championship wheelchair tennis for national teams was held in Sopot, Poland. The Dutch team existed of Esther Vergeer, Maaike Smit, Sonja and coach Piet Hermans. In the finals against the United States Maaike Smit defeated Karin Korb 7-5, 6-2 and Esther Vergeer secured the title by beating Sharon Clark 6-3, 6-0, so Sonja did not have to get into action for the doubles. Earlier matches against Sweden, Poland and Great Britain were also won convincingly. This 16th Women's title underlines the dominance of the Netherlands in Invacare World Team Cup Women's competition.|
Sonja has won the finals of the Slovakia Open in Bratislava through a walkover. Her opponent, British Janet McMorran withdrew before the match. Earlier Sonja quite easily won the previous rounds, in the semifinals she defeated British Kay Forshaw 6-3, 6-1. In the doubles Sonja also reached the finals together with Mette van Dongen. It was an all-Dutch final that was won by the couple of Betty Klave/Monique de Beer: 6-4, 6-2.
After the Cajun Classic, Sonja has now scored a second consecutive win, which forms a good basis for the qualification for the Paralympics in Athens in 2004.
Coming week Sonja will play the Czech Open, the third tournament that was supplemented to her schedule.
|In the doubles Sonja and team mate Esther Vergeer reached the finals against the strong couple of Maaike Smit and Daniela di Toro. "It was so incredibly hot that it was decided to play inside. Temperatures were measured of up to 48 degrees in the shade. However in the course of the afternoon it cooled down to 32 degrees within 3 minutes. I think this can only happen in Melbourne! Because the temperature was below 40 degrees, the heat rule no longer applied, so we had to go outside to play. Ten minutes before the announcement I had been outside and nearly burst due to the heat. But it really had cooled down that fast and it was even nice to play outside! De double went quite well. Esther had a real off-day, I did not know that she could even play bad, but notwithstanding that we were relaxed and won quite a number of points. We lost the first set 7-5, but after that Esther started to play more solid. I played quite good all match, as did Danni, while Maaike was the weak point at their side. We quite easily won the second set 6-2. In the doubles the third set is not played, but a super tiebreak that ends at 10 and which we won 10-8. It was nice to beat Maaike and Danni here, just like we did last year. It gives a good feeling."|