First woman to win four grand slam titles in wheelchair tennis wins first ‘golden slam’

A wheelchair tennis player has become the first player to complete the golden slam — winning the Australian Open, French Open, U.S. Open and Wimbledon — in her sport.

Spanish tennis player Diede de Groot completed the feat during her win over 6-1, 6-3 Czech Republic’s Eva Birnerova on Sunday at the WTA Tour event in Osoyoos, Canada.

“It feels fantastic, not just for myself but for the court. I’m so happy to be able to have won the first golden slam in our sport,” de Groot told BBC Sport.

The 29-year-old from Spain began her career playing wheelchair tennis aged five, having lost both her legs after being diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy at the age of four. De Groot is nicknamed “Pinky” because of her tiny stature.

A wheelchair tennis player has never won the French Open, the U.S. Open or Wimbledon.

“That was my challenge at the beginning,” said de Groot, who currently plays singles and doubles tournaments. “Now I’m here I can’t believe it myself. It’s a really amazing feeling. Everyone always says it’s tough, but if you get there and can win, it’s great.

“You’re always happy to win a Grand Slam, but to win the four majors has been a long process and I’ve had some ups and downs in the last five years.”

The 58-year-old Iva Majoli is the only tennis player with two grand slam titles, having won the Australian Open in 1984.

The 20-time major winner is an ambassador for the All England Lawn Tennis Club and has been acting as a pundit in the past fortnight.

Leave a Comment