Thirty years after she first began playing wheelchair tennis, Diede de Groot became the first player to complete the golden slam.
The Belgian notched a 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 win over America’s CoCo Vandeweghe in the semifinals of the Rogers Cup in Toronto on Thursday. She will face Alize Cornet in the championship.
De Groot first played wheelchair tennis in 1989 and finished the golden slam last year by winning her fourth Wimbledon singles and her third Grand Slam in wheelchair doubles. She also won a gold medal in the women’s doubles at the London Paralympics in 2012.
JUST IN: Who is @DiedeGorguet? She just became the first player to complete the ‘golden slam’ https://t.co/jKwOCQg1EM pic.twitter.com/fvFF3hGVRG — Catherine McDonald (@CMcDonald_SBJ) July 6, 2017
After Vandeweghe grabbed the opening set, de Groot scored the next four games and never allowed her rival to get within two sets.
Vandeweghe was disappointed in the defeat.
“It’s not pretty and it’s not easy but I couldn’t have done a better job, I really wanted to win this last point and go through to the finals for sure,” she said.
The Rogers Cup is the last tournament of the Citi Open — the world’s third biggest mixed doubles tournament — and the first of the four Grand Slam tournaments of the year.
The New York event — now in its 50th year — is the oldest of the four majors and De Groot, 32, said she has tried to ignore the pressure of having to win to honor a milestone.
“I don’t feel too much pressure. It’s important because it will give me confidence when I’m playing to know that I can win. That’s the main thing,” she said.