In the women’s wheelchair competition at Wimbledon, Diede de Groot added yet another trophy to her incredible collection when she took the singles title.
The 25-year-old Dutch player defeated Yui Kamiji of Japan, 6-4 6-2 in one hour and 13 minutes to clinch her 15th Grand Slam singles title, fourth Wimbledon singles title and seventh Grand Slam in succession.
Remarkably, she can now boast a Golden Slam, all four major titles, a match-winning streak of 55 and a Paralympic gold medal.
In the latest episode of the Power of Sport on Eurosport and discovery+, De Groot spoke about another remarkable experience and achievement at the top of the sport.
“I’m number one seed, so the chances of getting a title are very big, so for me to just continue to do it is still very special,” she told the show.
“Finding happiness in smaller things is easier than just trying to win. I know what I’m capable of so managing that, still trying to just play tennis, because it’s a tricky game. Yeah, it’s hard sometimes.
“Wheelchair tennis has grown so much over the last few years. I hadn’t imagined that it would be in my career that I would already have such big differences, like bigger draws, for example. I can really see the movement. It’s really happening at the moment, but there are always better improvements I think.
“I think the challenges for wheelchair athletes are still we’re a small part of tennis, I think, in the world. But for paralympic sports, we’re quite a big sport and I think we deserve a lot. Getting to a grand slam two days early is sometimes difficult, and using certain practice courts is not possible sometimes.
“I think we’re not prioritised the same way still. I absolutely do not want to complain because we’re treated better and better each year. But certain simple things I think we can still improve on very, very much. I feel like the biggest change is definitely the way that we are viewed now as actual professional athletes.
“Players say hi to you. Players acknowledge the fact that you did something very good. Whereas back then, I think it was really just, oh yeah, they’re here too, the wheelchair tennis players. And I think that’s also a very important step that we need to accomplish to be seen as professional athletes because that’s what we are.
“We train every day. We’re just as excited to play those grand slams. So those are the kind of differences that are already happening and I’m just so happy to hopefully see it grow even more.”