Today the BMW Malaysian Open welcomed a very special guest in the form of legendary Dutch wheelchair tennis player Esther Vergeer. The 33-year-old Vergeer brought much cheer and delight to a group of Malaysian wheelchair tennis players when she talked and gave vital tips to them during a coaching clinic conducted on the hard court of The Royal Selangor Golf Club.
Known for her ultimate dominance of wheelchair tennis, ‘Undefeatable Champion’ Vergeer has won a staggering 42 Grand Slam tournaments, 22 year-end championships and 7 Paralympics titles in both singles and doubles competition. Vergeer was also the undisputed number one wheelchair tennis player for fourteen years from 1999 till she retired in February 2013. In singles competition, she reigned supreme and was undefeated for ten years from January 2003 till the she called time on her wheelchair tennis career, with a winning streak of 470 matches.
Current World No 1 Novak Djokovic commented, “Vergeer’s career is one of the most remarkable and outstanding careers in the history of sport”. Vergeer has won everything there was to win and has become an inspiring role model both on and off the court. As spontaneous and insecure as she is, she is one outstanding individual who knows her limits and involves others in her success and her crusade for the integration of disabled sport. It’s what makes her a living legend.
Vergeer gave a talk and reminded those with aspirations and dreams of becoming professional sportsmen and sportswomen to do whatever it takes to realize what they truly want. “You have to set a goal and work very hard towards it. Self-discipline and motivation is important. Never think you can’t achieve something. It’s always within reach if we work hard,” she said.
She also related how she applied the same advice with her long and distinguished career, “That was how I kept myself going in the sport for so long. It has even helped me a great deal in life after I retired from professional tennis.”
She continued by saying, “There may be tough and challenging times but that is part and parcel of life. Nothing comes easy. Sometimes you may feel like giving up, but that is not how winners think, as winners are born with a strong will to succeed no matter what.”
Vergeer also stressed on the importance of teamwork as working together and helping each other out is beneficial and rewarding for all who are involved at the end of the day, “If you are training in a group, stick together. Motivate each other. Everyone there is important. Everyone will stand to benefit,” she said.
Dutch footballing legend Johann Cruyff had this to say about Vergeer, “She is not just an ambassador for sport but also for life. She is simply awe inspiring.”
During the talk, The BMW Malaysian Open tournament director Keld Kristiansen proudly announced that a wheelchair tennis tournament would be organised to run concurrently with the main tournament next year to promote wheelchair tennis in Malaysia and the ASEAN region.
Admission is free for the BMW Malaysian Open from the start of the qualifying rounds on February 28th, 2015 until March 4, 2015. Tickets are priced between RM33-RM73 from March 6th to 8th, 2015 respectively.
For more ticketing information, visit www.ticketcharge.com.my or call +603-92228811.
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