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Travel Insured Salutes Esther Vergeer of Holland, World's Wheelchair Tennis Champion

Jun 15, 2007
On Friday, June 8th, Esther Vergeer won the final of the French Open Tennis Championships in Paris in the Women’s Singles Wheelchair division, defeating her French opponent Florence Gravellier in three sets at Roland Garros Stadium in Paris. Vergeer is now the first and only person in her sport to win the career Grand Slam by winning all four major world tennis championships.
This is the first year the wheelchair tennis event has been added to the French Open, the last of the four majors to do so. Travel Insured International (, the travel insurance partners of the Society for Accessible Travel & Hospitality, is proud to salute Vergeer’s accomplishment and bring it to the attention of SATH members.
Americans familiar with the tennis success of Venus and Serena Williams of the U.S., Justin Henin of Belgium and Maria Sharapova of Russia in women’s tennis, or Roger Federer of Switzerland and Rafael Nadal of Spain, now battling for supremacy on the men’s side, probably do not yet know Esther Vergeer. Wheelchair tennis is only recently emerging into public visibility due to her success.

At 25 years old, Vergeer is the top athletic champion of any sport in her native Holland. Paralyzed during surgery for a blood disorder at the age of eight, she decided to devote her life to athletics and has become the undisputed queen of her sport. Vergeer’s victories include Paralympic Gold medals at both the Sydney Olympic Summer Games in 2000 and the Athens Olympics in 2004. In addition to her 2007 French Open title, Vergeer’s other championships include six U.S. Open titles, four British Open titles, three Australian Open titles, one Japan Open title and seven other Masters Series titles.

At this writing, Vergeer is undefeated over the last four years, having won 250 straight matches since 2003! She was the top-seeded favorite to win the French Open final. Vergeer’s success gives every sports fan, including SATH members, the inspiration to follow her progress and learn from her determination.

SATH members involved in sports travel may note that Vergeer will defend her U.S. Open title at the 2007 championships in New York, which begin Aug. 27, 2007, and will defend her two-time Paralympic Gold Medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China, which begin Aug. 8, 2008. According to Vergeer’s comments during this month’s French Open, she is undecided whether to continue playing beyond the Beijing Olympics, but is considering competing until the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, when she would reach the ripe old age of 31.
Travel Insured salutes Esther Vergeer, an inspiration to every athlete, sports fan and undaunted traveler. She is living proof that there is no obstacle to those determined to reach their destinations. We hope to see her in London in 2012!

SATH members wanting to learn more about Esther Vergeer and world championship wheelchair tennis should visit the following sites. –Esther Vergeer site with English language version. - The association for wheelchair tennis. – Beijing Olympics site. – Information on Paralympic sports and games.

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Travel Insured shares SATH’s vision of expanding travel accessibility to persons with disabilities in serving the insurance needs of all travelers. SATH offers Travel Insured’s comprehensive Worldwide Trip Protector, Worldwide Trip Protector Gold and Airline Ticket Protector plans.
Visit and click on the Travel Insured International name and logo to link to more information about Worldwide Trip Protector, to book a policy online or contact our Customer Care representative. Learn how to qualify for coverage of a Pre-Existing Medical Condition.
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