10sBalls.com • TennisBalls.com

Sven Groeneveld helps Esther Vergeer win Gold –THE BADGE CHRONICLES #6 of the Series

The “Tennis Architect”, Sven Groeneveld has worked with many tennis players one of his biggest successes was working with Esther Vergeer. Together he helped her focus and eventually won a gold medal in the Paralympics. My readers that know Sven always ask him about his time with Esther and hopefully in his future book Sven will give more details on how he helped Vergeer – here is a small story shared by Sven.

Sven Groeneveld and Esther Vergeer


Esther Vergeer

In late 2009 I was asked by then De Koninklijke Nederlandse Lawn Tennis Bond national Coach Marc Kalkman‪ if I would take on a new challenge as a coach. Marc asked me if I would be interested in co-coaching Esther Vergeer.

Esther had won her 3rd gold medal in 2008 in Rio Paralympics and was in doubt if she would continue for her 4th London in 2012. Marc felt she needed a new impulse and a new perspective. So he envisioned that I could make that difference to extend the career of Esther. My role at Adidas Tennis allowed me to take on Adidas players and since Esther was the only Adidas sponsored (wheelchair) player there was no conflict and I could also give my private time to her. Together with the help of Marc and Marijin Zaal (physical trainer) we sat out a plan to get Esther ready for the 2012.

Sven Groeneveld’s Roland Garros Credential

Now remember, Esther was undefeated for almost 10 years when I started so the pressure was on all of us. I told her we should focus on building her game and not focus on anything else but HER GROWTH (not on winning/loosing or opponents) and the rest will follow. Esther stayed undefeated and won her 4th Gold Medal at the London 2012 Paralympics (as a token of appreciation Esther gave all of her supporters a replica of her 4th Gold Medal) and the rest is history.

Sven Groeneveld’s replica of Esther Vergeer;s Gold Medal
Sven Groeneveld’s replica of Esther Vergeer;s Gold Medal

*All the information for this article was attained through explicit permission from Sven Groeneveld to be published on 10sBalls.com – no lifting or reusing is permitted.