Two new sets of champions were crowned on the last day of the Wimbledon Wheelchair Doubles Event, part of the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour as reigning Doubles Masters champions Tom Egberink of the Netherlands and Michael Jeremiasz of France won the men’s title and the all-Dutch pairing of Jiske Griffioen and Aniek van Koot, the 2011 runners-up, claimed the women’s title.
Egberink and Jeremiasz, who arrived in London with t-shirts announcing themselves in fluorescent pink writing as ‘The Boom Boom Boys’, lived up to their light-hearted nickname as they took their unbeaten winning streak as a partnership to ten matches across three tournaments.
In their first tournament and just their second match together this season, Egberink and Jeremiasz made the first crucial breakthrough of the men’s final as they took a 5-3 lead against top seeds and two-time Wimbledon champions Robin Ammerlaan and Ronald Vink of the Netherlands.
Egberink and Jeremiasz then led the second set 2-1, but were 40-0 down in the fourth game when a heavy rain shower caused play to be suspended and kept the players off court for an hour.
Egberink a Jeremiasz won the first point after the resumption, but Ammerlaan and Vink then got the point they needed to draw level. However, that was to be the 2007 and 2008 champions’ last major success and some tremendous court coverage and solid shot making brought a regular flow of winners for Egberink and Jeremiasz, while forcing their opponents into a series of errors
With the Dutch-French duo 5-2 up and a game away from victory Jeremiasz hit a forehand winner to give them their first and only match point and with Ammerlaan subsequently unable to control an overhead forehand the ball flew wide of the court to complete a 64 62 victory for Egberink and Jeremiasz. Victory brought them their first Grand Slam title, ended Ammerlaan and Vink’s bid for a third Wimbledon title and saw Egberink and Jeremiasz ended the tournament having beaten both seeded partnerships.
“We were solid today for and for me it shows what you can achieve when you play like brothers. I look at Tom as a 19-year-old and I feel like his big brother and when I can tell him what to do and he does it, then that makes us a successful partnership as we both know what the other is doing. We were not slow to start today, we made sure we imposed ourselves on them and didn’t let them impose themselves on us. The Boom Boom Boys are still unbeaten.”
With Griffioen having twice been a semifinalist at Wimbledon in 2009 and 2010 and van Koot also being unable to get beyond the 2010 semifinals before they paired up to reach the 2011 final, the all-Dutch duo finally got themselves on the roll of honour at the third Grand Slam of the season as they dominated British duo Lucy Shuker and Jordanne Whiley.
Griffioen and van Koot won four of the first five points to take the opening game before the rain that has delayed the start of the match briefly took the players off court.
When play restarted the second game went to deuce, but Griffioen and van Koot edged it en route to taking a 4-0 lead as they continued to put pressure on Whiley time and time again.
Whiley found the right angle for the decisive forehand winner in the next game as the Brits got on the scoreboard, but despite van Koot’s service game deserting her in the seventh game she came up with an unreturnable serve to clinch the opening set for the Dutch pairing.
After having five break points in the second game of the second set Shuker and Whiley levelled the set at 1-1, but it was the sixth game that was to prove vital as van Koot held serve to give her and Griffioen a 4-2 lead.
It was Whiley’s turn to have problems with her service in the next game as Griffioen and van Koot extended their lead to 5-2 and they came from break point down in the final game to seal a 61 62 victory after Shuker over hit a backhand.
“It’s an incredible feeling to win our first Grand Slam together and to win my second Slam after I won Roland Garros in 2010 with Dani di Toro,” said van Koot. “It’s very special to do it at Wimbledon after being so close last year and I had a great doubles partner when I got stressed,”
“I’m very excited,” said Griffioen. “We play great together and have fun on court and are good friends, so I’m looking forward to many more times playing together with Aniek in the future.”
In the third and fourth play-offs, second seeds and US Open champions Stephane Houdet and Nicolas Peifer of France beat British duo Marc McCarroll and Gordon 61 76, while in the women's event top seeds and Roland Garros champions Esther Vergeer and Marjolein Buis off the Netherlands eased past Annick Sevenans of Belgium and Sharon Walraven of the Netherlands 61 61.