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Page last updated at 17:18 GMT, Sunday, 4 July 2010 18:18 UK

Wimbledon 2010: Dutch dominate wheelchair finals

Shingo Kunieda

Wheelchair doubles 32-shot rally

By Elizabeth Hudson
BBC Sport at Wimbledon

Robin Ammerlaan claimed his third Wimbledon wheelchair doubles title as he and Stefan Olsson beat Stephane Houdet and Shingo Kunieda.

The Dutchman and his Swedish partner worked hard for a 6-4 7-6 (7-4) victory over Frenchman Houdet and Kunieda from Japan, the tournament's top seeds.

Women's world number one Esther Vergeer won her second women's doubles title.

Vergeer and fellow Dutchwoman Sharon Walraven beat Britain's Lucy Shuker and Daniela di Toro of Australia 6-2 6-3.

Ammerlaan, who won the title in 2007 and 2008 with compatriot Ronald Vink, and first-time winner Olsson held their nerve superbly against the top seeds, who had won at both Melbourne and Roland Garros earlier this year.

The Dutch/Swedish pair trailed 3-1 early on but recovered well and Houdet lost his serve in the ninth game to give them a 5-4 lead. An ace by Olsson and a neat volley at the net from Ammerlaan helped them take the set.

Again Houdet and Kunieda, both previous winners of the Wimbledon title, went ahead 3-1 in the second set but Houdet was broken again and Ammerlaan held his serve to level the match at 3-3.

In a tense encounter with both teams playing some top-class shots, it came to a tie-break and a Houdet mis-hit handed the initiative to his opponents and the Swede hit a forehand winner into the corner to clinch the win, much to his delight.

"It's hard to explain in words - it's awesome," he told BBC Sport. "This is one of the biggest tournaments in the world and to win it against Stephane and Shingo is one of the proudest moments of my career.

"We knew we needed to keep to our game plan and we played well on the important points."

Ammerlaan revealed that he and Olsson had lost in a practice match to Houdet and Kunieda on Friday so they were keen for revenge.

"We just wanted to play our game and not adjust to our opponents and I think it worked. We just played some steady tennis," he added.

"As a team we both like to play at the net and the baseline but I also think my experience helped Stefan to be calm at the key moments.

"We all know each other well and we know what to expect and that they will play a lot of top-spin but the ground was firm and the ball was bouncing high so we just went out to attack and go for the middle of the court."

"To win another Wimbledon at the age of 42 is special."

In the women's final, Vergeer and Walraven, who were playing only their seventh tournament together and lost in the decider at Roland Garros, were just too strong.

Esther Vergeer and Sharon Walraven

Lucky drop-shot pushes top-seeds to title

Di Toro and Shuker, who were beaten by Vergeer and compatriot Korie Homan in last year's final, battled well early on but Shuker missed a simple-looking smash which put the Dutch pair 4-2 up and in control.

Errors started to creep into the British/Australian partnership's game and they were soon a set and a break down.

Trailing 5-3 in the second set, di Toro hit a shot long to give the Dutch duo their first match point and a rasping Walraven forehand on the next point had too much power for Shuker to return.

"I'm really proud to have won another title here," Vergeer told BBC Sport afterwards. "Because I was here last year I didn't think I would be nervous today but I was at the start. However, after a couple of games we started to play well and take control.

"It feels different to last year because I have a different partner and it is also my second time here but the whole atmosphere here makes it so special. "

But a downcast Shuker was keen to put the defeat behind her.

"I didn't play well at all and I'm really disappointed," she said. "Nothing worked today and I really struggled so I just have to forget about it and move on."



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see also
Top seeds book doubles final spot
03 Jul 10 |  Disability Sport
Shuker reaches wheelchair decider
02 Jul 10 |  Disability Sport
Vergeer and Homan create history
05 Jul 09 |  Disability Sport
A-Z of Paralympic classification
28 Aug 08 |  Disability Sport
Disability Sport on the BBC
02 Nov 09 |  Disability Sport


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