With Esther Vergeer having retired, there is a vacancy for a new queen of women’s wheelchair tennis. And after Aniek van Koot’s win at the Australian Open, it was Sabine Ellerbrock’s turn to write her name in the Grand Slam annals. The German, who lost to Van Koot in Melbourne, defeated Jiske Griffioen in a tough three-setter on Friday, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1, to win the women’s French Open.
Motivated by her revenge victory over Van Koot in the semi-finals (6-4, 6-4), Ellerbrock took an early break to lead 3-2 and closed the opener out in half an hour. Griffioen came back in the second, seizing on a handful of unforced errors and levelled the match – same score, same time. The deciding set hinged on an epic game at 2-1, where Ellerbrock held via three deuces despite being 0-40 down. This knocked the wind out of Griffioen’s sails, and the German won the final three games to seal the title.
"It’s incredible, I’m so happy,” said Ellerbrock, who is also a teacher. “It’s my biggest win to date. I don’t know how I’ve managed to train, work and play at the same time through these past few weeks, but right now it feels great!"