For almost her whole career, wheelchair tennis player Esther Vergeer remained undefeated. Esther won 470 consecutive singles matches, which made her one of the most successful athletes in Dutch sport history.
She started her sport career as a wheelchair basketball player in the mid-nineties, made it to the Dutch national team, and surged to victory in the European championship with her teammates in 1997. Having already played wheelchair tennis at a high level during that period, a couple of months later she chose tennis as her number one sport. Not only did she win the US Open, but also the Dutch Open and the Swiss Open. Then, she became the world number one and spent 668 weeks in that position.
Apart from all her singles victories, Esther celebrated several wins playing doubles: the first singles and doubles wins that resulted in gold medals at the Paralympics followed in 2000 (Sydney). She showed her supremacy again the first few years after the Paralympics. The last time she faced defeat was in 2003, where after she triumphed in all her matches. This brought her five more gold medals at the Paralympics. Winning the last gold medal, during the London 2012 Paralympics, turned out to be her last match in singles tennis.
On February 12 2013, Esther, who was awarded the Laureus World Sports Award in 2002 and 2008, ended her impressive career. In December 2016, she was awarded with the Fanny Blankers-Koen Career Award, an award for the biggest Dutch sports heroes.