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May 1, 2017

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Vergeer wins singles title for 4th Paralympics

LONDON--Dutch wheelchair tennis star Esther Vergeer on Friday won the women's singles title for the fourth successive games, to stretch her unbeaten run in the game to 470 matches.

The top seed beat compatriot and second seed Aniek van Koot 6-0, 6-3 in 59 minutes on the blue hardcourts of Eton Manor in east London. Third seed Jiske Griffioen, also of the Netherlands, beat Germany's Sabine Ellerbock for bronze.

Vergeer, who first won the singles title in Sydney 12 years ago, described the win as "amazing" and a relief after huge expectations going into the match.

"It's what I dreamed about, though about and did everything for. There was so much pressure," she told reporters before breaking down in tears.

"Everybody expected me to win gold and that I would win but I still had to work hard, to go to training, to be at the top of my game. A lot of people forget that."

Vergeer said she could not say definitively whether she had plans for a fifth, straight gold.

"First of all I'm going to enjoy this one. I'm not promising anything that I'll be here in four years. I don't know if I'll be going to Rio (de Janeiro). I don't know what's going to happen in that social, private part of my life."

Vergeer has also won the Paralympic doubles title twice and has a chance to win again with Marjolein Buis when they take on Griffioen and Van Koot in the final, again ensuring gold and silver for the Dutch.

Britain's Lucy Shuker and Jordanne Whiley, beaten by Griffioen and Van Koot in the semifinal, took bronze by defeating Athens 2004 silver medallists Sakhorn Khanthasit and Ratana Techamaneewat of Thailand 6-7 (8/10), 7-6 (7/2), 6-3.

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