De Groot the latest Dutch player to win NEC Masters women's title


| NEC Wheelchair Masters

Diede de Groot brought the curtain down on the 2017 NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters with a 7-5, 6-4 win over world No. 1 Yui Kamiji of Japan in the women’s singles final at Loughborough Sport Tennis Centre.

World No. 2 de Groot becomes the seventh different Dutch player to win the women’s title at the ITF’s’ year-end championship for the world’s leading singles players since the event’s inception in 1994.

With top seed Kamiji going into this year’s final as the only non-Dutch player to have won the women’s singles title, the 2013 champion came back from 4-1 down in the opening set to lead for the first time at 5-4.

However, with de Groot’s backhand proving particularly impressive the reigning Wimbledon champion regrouped to snatch the advantage.

De Groot took another 4-1 lead in the second set before Kamiji fought back once again. However, Japan’s reigning Australian Open, Roland Garros and US Open champion was unable to draw level at 4-4 this time and de Groot moved a game closer to victory t 5-3.

In just her second NEC Masters 20-year-old de Groot completed victory with a crisp backhand cross court winner on her first match point, inflicting what was only Kamiji fifth singles loss of the season.

“To win it is a super feeling. Whenever I play Yui it’s such a big, tough battle and both of us need to play our best tennis to win against each other. But I’ve been training hard for this and these are the matches I’m wanting to win,” said de Groot, who ends 2017 as the only player to have beaten Kamiji more than once. Sunday’s victory was her third of the year over Kamiji, who went into the final having won 58 of her 62 matches this season.

“I got quite tight at 4-1 in both sets and she got back and managed to get me off my rhythm a bit. She hit a lot of balls to my backhand, so that had to be good today.

“I saw the trophy and I saw all the (Dutch) names on it. So many great players have won this trophy and I’m so happy to be one of them. It’s an incredible feeling. Of course I’m aiming to be the new best player but I’m not aiming to compare myself with any of them.

“I was quite cross with myself towards the end of the first set because I was 4-1 down and I was just thinking about too many things,” said Kamiji. “I’ve made quite a few changes this year, including having a new chair and I am going to change my chair again next year, as I need to keep getting better.” 

Share article

  • Print