Qualifying begins: 26 June
The Draw: 30 June
Pre-event Press Conferences: 1 & 2 July
Order of Play: 2 July
Championships begin: 3 July
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Ruthlessly aggressive and calm until victory was within sight, Diede de Groot steadied to take her first Grand Slam title in the ladies' wheelchair singles final on Saturday.
The 20-year-old Dutchwoman closed out a 6-0, 6-4 result over German Sabine Ellerbrock on No.3 Court to avenge an Australian Open defeat earlier in the year.
She stormed through the opening set on 15 winners to her opponent’s six and soon surged to 4-2 in the second set.
When she served for the match at 5-3, however, the nerves quickly took hold. She was broken with the finish line in sight but saved the need to serve for it a second time, channelling her aggression with four straight winners to break the German’s serve and bag that maiden slam.
“We played first round at the Australian Open … but it was all very new to me and I struggled finding my rhythm so yeah, knowing that I now felt very well and I really like this surface I just felt very confident so that helped a lot,” De Groot said.
“I was very nervous so that didn’t help me but I did manage to keep control and stay focused and hit my own shots.
“I like short rallies. I like to just hit the return quite deep and make sure I make a lot of pressure from the beginning of the rally and I think that really suits the court.”
Ellerbrock had taken down Japan’s No.2 seed Yui Kamiji in the semi-finals and brought a wealth of experience to the court, having won the French Open in 2013 and the Australian Open in 2014.
“She played very smart and I really had to find my way around,” de Groot said of the German.
She admitted the thought of closing in on her first Grand Slam title was a momentary distraction.
“Too much nerves,” de Groot said. “When I get nervous I just step off the aggressive game so that’s how she managed to take it over for two more games. At 5-4 I tried to stay relaxed and go back to my own shots and try to hit the return very well and that helped me.”
Earlier, in a battle of the top two seeds, the all-British duo of Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid claimed the men’s wheelchair doubles final with a near three-hour 6-7(5), 7-5, 7-6(3) upsest victory over Frenchmen Stephane Houdet and Nicolas Peifer.
“It feels absolutely amazing to do it in such a close battle against the French,” Hewett said.
“It’s when you have four match points and they save them all and you have to go into a tie-break it’s tiring and you have to restart. We played instinctively and it’s one of the best tie-breaks we’ve played.”
It marked the pair’s second Wimbledon title together, having contested the past three finals as a tandem.
“Yeah we don’t like to do it the easy way that’s for sure,” Reid said of Saturday’s marathon win. “I’ve been playing for 12 years and never once did I think we would fill out a stadium like this at Wimbledon.
“That’s what it’s all about and since last year the sport has grown massively … Maybe we’ll be on Centre Court in a few years.”