Esther Vergeer, The World’s Most Dominant Athlete (Yeah, I Said It!), Retires
Esther Vergeer retired today. I AM SADZ.
The vast majority of people have never heard of the wheelchair tennis player, but they should. I’m aware this will sound like complete hyping/Kool-Aid drinking but she was the most dominant athlete of her sport and probably ever other sport as well.
She won all 21 Grand Slams she entered. For perspective, Federer, widely considered one of the most dominant athletes of our generation, ‘only’ won 17 of the 55 slams he’s entered.
The last time she lost a match was 10 years ago, a 470-match winning streak. The top song on Billboard when she last lost was ‘Lose Yourself’ by Eminem.
She has been the world number 1 of her sport for over 12 years, from April 6 1999 to January 21 2013 (668 weeks!). Willow Smith wasn’t even born when she first climbed the rankings to world No. 1.
She won 169 singles titles and 158 doubles titles. I don’t really need to qualify how absofuckinglutely ridiculous this is, right?!
Good. Esther Vergeer (also, awesome fucking name alert!) is a league apart, and rather than go the tired, trite route, saying ‘how inspiring she is’ (which is a condescending argument to people with disabilities), I just want to say that her achievements are unbelievable, unforgettable and will likely go unmatched by anyone else, in any other sport, for many years to come.
Love you, Esther. Kick retirement’s ass!
(fun fact from the AP: “Vergeer’s retirement means she will not surpass what is widely believed to be the longest run of consecutive wins in sport - 555 by Pakistani squash great Jahangir Khan from 1981-6).
photo credit: WTA