Diede de Groot and Niels Vink win European titles at Schouwburgplein

Wheelchair tennis players Diede de Groot and Niels Vink won the European singles titles at the European Para Championships in Rotterdam. At the Schouwburgplein in Rotterdam, De Groot defeated compatriot Aniek van Koot 6-3 6-1. Vink grabbed the gold by defeating fellow Dutchman Sam Schroder 6-4 6-2 in the quadsfinal.

De Groot during final at Schouwburgplein in Rotterdam
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De Groot during final at Schouwburgplein in Rotterdam

De Groot, who will play the doubles final with Van Koot later in the day, looked back on her victory with satisfaction. "It's not just a win on a regular tennis court, but in one in the middle of the city. That makes this title extra special," De Groot said.


For Vink, it was his second gold medal, having won gold with Schroder in the doubles final in the quads on Saturday. "To win the European title in front of the home crowd is great," Vink said. "Winning an European Championship title is not just something, it is an important title and I am extremely happy about that. This weekend was great. The fact that we played our final in town and also in front of a big home crowd is something that doesn't happen often in wheelchair tennis."


Schroder described his weekend after the silver in singles as ‘almost perfect’. "If I had taken the gold it really would have been a perfect weekend," Schroder laughed. "Unfortunately that didn't work out, but I'm still immensely proud."


Maikel Scheffers captured the bronze medal in the men's singles. Scheffers defeated Briton Ben Bartram in three sets: 3-6 6-1 6-1. He came back after losing the first set. "I know about myself that I'm a 'slow starter,'" Scheffers said. "My body just needs some time to get going, but once it does then I know it’s possible (to win).”


Later today, De Groot and Van Koot will compete in the women's doubles final against British tennis players Cornelia Oosthuizen and Lucy Shuker. Ruben Spaargaren will take on Martin de La Puente from Spain in the singles final.


In the doubles final, Spaargaren and Scheffers will take on Nicolas Charrier and Geoffrey Jasiak from France.


In Boccia, the Netherlands will compete against Great Britain in the team final of the BC1/BC2 category.


Further coverage to follow.


Flash quotes and photos are available for free to the media and can be found via the Newsroom: https://europeanparachampionships.pr.co/.


The mission of the European Para Championships is to create a new standard for Paralympic sports events worldwide and to inspire people – with or without disabilities, rich or poor, young or old and regardless of background – to take up sports and exercise. We believe that only cooperation can help us succeed in this mission. By making connections, thinking big and believing in opportunities where others see limitations, we want to give adaptive sports the attention it deserves.

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