|Sonja has made it through to both finals at the Dutch Open in Rotterdam. In the singles she reached the finals through a hard fought and nerve wrecking win over world's number two Danila di Toro: 6-4, 3-6, 6-4. Sonja has played Daniela many times and most of the time Danni proved to be the strongest in the past: 17-5, however the score for 2004 is 2-2, so that really looks good.
In the finals Sonja had to face Esther Vergeer, but Esther proved to be a class of its own: 2-6, 0-6. "I played good tennis", Sonja tells after the match "but Esther just was better and I just did not get a chance to get a grip on the match. Quite frustrating".
The finals of the doubles was a clash beteen the two Dutch Paralympic doubles teams. Sonja and Sharon Walraven lost with small margin to Esther Vergeer and Maaike Smit: 3-6, 3-6.
Together with the Dutch women's team Sonja has won the Invacare World Team Cup for the fifth time in her tennis carreer. This world championship for national teams which can be compared to the Davis Cup and Fed Cup has been held last week in Christchurch, New Zealand with tems from more than 30 countries. The Dutch team was seeded first and with coaches Aad Zwaan and Ton Jansen reached the finals against fourth seed Sitzerland without dropping a set. In the finals Sonja easily defeated Sandra Kalt 6-1, 6-2. Team member Esther Vergeer finished the job and beat Karin Suter-Erath just as easily with the same figures. The doubles was not played anymore, the win was theirs. Other team members were Maaike Smit and Jiske Griffioen.
The dominance of the Dutch wheelchair tennis was underlined further by the title win of the mens team and the junior team as well as the runner-up position of the Quads.
|Early November, Sonja visited South Africa for two weeks as a player-ambassador of the ITF Wheelchair Tennis Silver Fund. This fund assists and supports less developed countries in setting up a wheelchair tennis programme through the donation of wheelchairs and other tennis equipment. An experienced coach, in this case John Noakes, visited the country for a period of eight weeks, assisted by Sonja as player -ambassador. Funding is done by the Johan Cruyff Welfare Foundation and the Dutch Ministry of Sports.|
Below are some of Sonja's impressions of this trip.
|Another one that impressed me deeply was Rafael, a 24 year old guy from one of the Townships around Johannesburg. He has got Cerebral Palsy and had little coordination but for 2 hours he kept working as hard as he could to be able to hit that tennisball over the net. He kept saying how unbelievable it was that he was actually playing tennis and was dreaming about how he would come to my country to play tennis with me. We put him in one of the sportschairs we had brought and he was beaming all over. We even let him do pushing drills and when I wanted to take a break to have a drink he refused and wanted to keep going!|