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She rose to No. 1 in the wheelchair rankings in 1999 and never relinquished the top spot.

Esther Vergeer is a tremendous ambassador not only for tennis but also for disability sports. She is an inspiration to many,” ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti said. “Wheelchair tennis owes her a huge debt of gratitude for her professionalism and her quality as a player.”

The last time she lost a match was to Daniele di Toro in Sydney on Jan. 30, 2003.

“To be honest, I don’t really know or remember what it feels like losing in singles,” Vergeer said. “I’ve lost a couple of times in doubles, so I know what it’s like to lose.

“And I know what it’s like to lose a Monopoly game and I don’t like losing. But this doesn’t feel like something I lose. This is not the same thing at all.”