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Jiske Griffioen, a wheelchair tennis athlete, that has been in the top 8 of the international women ranking for years. Follow her Tennis career, read her blog about her training days, physical work off court and social events. Make sure you stay up to date on her achievements in high level events, such as Grand Slams, Super Series and Paralympics. 

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NEWS

Read about the latest news on Jiske Griffioen.

 

Preparation at the Paralympic Venue

jiske griffioen

On the 1st of september we are leaving to Rio. Finally! Can’t wait to leave. I’m ready and looking forward to participate in my 4th Games. A lot of athletes from Team NL are leaving on the same day and everybody is excited to go!

On the first day in Rio we have some time to explore the Paralympic Village. The setup is always similar, but it’s nice to know your way around. We visit the tennis venue to drop our competition chairs. The tennis stadium looks absolutely amazing! 

I have 8 more days to prepare for the Games. A lot of hours of tennis to get used to the courts. We have really hot days, windy days and play at night to get used to play with lights. It’s important to get used to all the different conditions. Cause an athlete doesn’t like surprises!

And what else do we do in this final week before the tournament will start? Cause most of the time it’s eat, train, sleep, repeat. But luckily there is an afternoon free so we can meet the family, who are in Rio to support me. One afternoon I’m at the NOS studio with Esther Vergeer, on the couch with Herman van der Zandt. And of course we enjoy the swimming pool at our appartment. Have a look at the images below to have some insight what it’s like at the Paralympic Village.

At the NOS studio

At the NOS studio

Meeting the family in Rio

Meeting the family in Rio

Fun at the swimming pool with Diede de Groot at the Paralympic Village.

Fun at the swimming pool with Diede de Groot at the Paralympic Village.

Preparation Paralympic Games 2016

jiske griffioen

Wimbledon has come to an end and how exciting it was to play singles at this wonderful event. The third grand slam of the year is done. And after that the focus is on the Paralympic Games in september. Two more months before this tournament will start. Two more months to prepare for the event we have all been waiting for.

Part of my preparation is one last tournament. At the British Open I have one more chance to play matches against top players. After playing on the grass courts at Wimbledon, it is important to play matches on hard court again, as it’s really different. It’s a chance to focus on how I want to play at the Games in Rio and build my game. Winning might not even be the main goal at this event, but building my tennis is. I’m happy with the tennis that I’m playing, even though I lose the semi final against Jordanne Whiley in three sets. In doubles we play some really good matches and win the final against Buis/de Groot, the team that will be competing at the games in Rio as well.  

After that I have one more month of preparation ahead of me. As it’s going to be my fourth Paralympic Games in tennis, I know whats important in the last couple of weeks. One of the hardest thing to do, is to take time to rest and relax. Trust on the things you’ve been working on for the last four years. Trust on the plan you’ve made with your team. 

The first week I focus on physical training only. I put my rackets aside and don’t spent any time on court. This might sound strange a month before the biggest tennis event starts. It’s great to work on the physical stuff, without having to worry it might effect your tennis training the day after. And it makes you ‘hungry’ to go back on court after that week. In the weekend I spent my time at the sailing boat of my parents. The best way to relax for me is on the water. Rest and staying relaxed are two other key elements when you have to perform at the highest level.

Then I have three weeks of training ahead of me. I spent a lot of time on court and in the gym. I have to make sure every aspect of my game is perfect. The last week we have a training camp in Amsterdam with the four women who are competing at the games in Rio. It is bloody hot in Amsterdam this week, so we couldn’t have asked for a better forecast to get ready for some Brasilian weather. To me, it is amazing that we spent a good week of training together, even though we will be each others opponents two weeks later. We are all willing to work and train together. Two weeks laters we will be each others biggest ‘enemies’.

Training camp in Amsterdam.

Training camp in Amsterdam.

Wimbledon

jiske griffioen

For a long time Wimbledon was the only Slam where we were only able to compete in the doubles event. But 2016 is a special year, cause it's the first time they have a wheelchair tennis singles draw at Wimbledon. It's exciting that all four Grand Slams have singles and doubles events for us wheelchair tennis players! 

As we have no grass courts in the Netherlands were we can train, we fly to London early and prepare on the grass courts at the national training centre of the LTA. It is exciting to play singles at Wimbledon but I also feel nervous. I've never played an official singles match on grass court. What if the points are going to be really short, what if we have no rallies at all? The grass court are hard to push on. It's a challenge for sure. I always love the atmosphere at Wimbledon and I have good memories here as Aniek and I won the doubles event twice (in 2012 and 2013).

In the quarter final I play Sabine Ellerbrock. She has more difficulties to push on the grass court. It's close match but I win in straight sets. 

In the semifinal I play against Marjolein Buis. The first set is close and I don't take my chances. Marjolein takes the first set 7-6. But in the second set I step it up. I play offensive tennis again and I race to a 6-0 win in the second set. In the third set I play a little to defensive again and it is a real struggle. But eventually I win the third set in a tiebreak and I'm so happy be in the first Wimbledon singles final.

copyright Mathilde Dusol photography

copyright Mathilde Dusol photography

On the same day Aniek and I win the semi final against Shuker/Ellerbrock 6-1 7-6. So another doubles final and we will meet Kamiji/Whiley in the doubles final on sunday.

But on saturday the 9th of july we play each other in an all Dutch final. It is windy on saturday. The grass is hard to push on and the wind makes it a bigger challenge. Aniek and I both struggle with the wind in the first set, but Aniek handles the conditions better than I do in the first set. Aniek takes the opening set 6-4. In the second set I keep focussing to play offensive tennis, even though the wind makes this hard. Like in the semi final I win the second set 6-0. In the second set I take a 4-2 lead and I'm 40-0 up. Aniek plays some really good points and instead of taking a 5-2 lead it is 4-3. But I win my next two service games and take the third set 6-4. What an amazing feeling winning the first Wimbledon singles title!!! 

Copyright Mathilde Dusol photography

Copyright Mathilde Dusol photography

Copyright Mathilde Dusol photography Together with my coach Dennis van Scheppingen

Copyright Mathilde Dusol photography

Together with my coach Dennis van Scheppingen

On sunday Aniek van Koot and I play the doubles final against Whiley/Kamiji. Another windy day on court and Aniek and played more singles matches than our opponents, so we feel a bit fatigued. We have no real shot of winning in this match. Disappointed that we couldn't put on a bigger fight and we lost the final 6-2 6-2.

Sunday evening I'm invited to the Wimbledon Champions ball. Wimbledon celebrates and honors the winners and finalists at this dinner. It is great to celebrate together with Gordon Reid who won the singles title at the wheelchair mens division. And great that we are at this dinner together with winners like Serena and Andy, to celebrate our wins at this amazing game called tennis!!

Celebrating the singels title with Gordon Reid, who won both singles and doubles at Wimbledon. 

Celebrating the singels title with Gordon Reid, who won both singles and doubles at Wimbledon. 

French Open

jiske griffioen

After two weeks of training I drove back to Paris for the l'Open de France, another Super Series event.

In the second round, after having a bye the first round, I beat Pauline Helouain 6-0 6-0. The day after I played Sabine Ellerbrock. It was a good match, in which I made a lot of pressure and not a lot of unforced errors. I won the match 6-2 6-0 and was pleased with my performance. On the same day Aniek and I won the quarter final against Mathewson/ Ellerbrock 6-2 6-1.

On friday Aniek and I played the doubles semi final against Krüger/Spaanstra and won this match 6-2 6-1. We had a day off in singles.

On saturday I played the semi final against Diede de Groot. And it turned to be a thriller. Diede raced to a 4-0 lead. She hit a lot of winners and I wasn't doing enough to put pressure on her. But I fought back to 4-4. I played two sloppy games after and lost the first set 6-4. In the second set I made less mistakes and won this set 6-2. The third set was very close. I had 6 matchpoints but couldn't convert. And eventually I lost 8-6 in the tiebreak. I won more games in this match, more points, but lost the match. The cruel part of tennis.

After this disappointment Aniek and I played the doubles final later that afternoon against Diede de Groot and Marjolein Buis. We played a phenomenal first set. One of the best sets we played this year and took the opening set 6-0. In the second set we had to fight back as Buis/de Groot took the lead. But we won the tiebreak 7-3. A good week in doubles!

Roland Garros

jiske griffioen

Last year it was so hot at Roland Garros. And this year it is raining, and raining, and raining! So not a lot practice time on clay for me. It was hard to switch from hard court to clay and the level of my first match is poor. I play against Jordanne Whiley. The first set I cannot find my rhythm at all. I lose the 6-0! Somehow, I can fight myself into the match, but still not the level I want to show. I win the second set 6-2. In the third set I don't take my chances to take te lead and find myself battling from behind, but I fall short. I lose the third set 6-3 and my dream of defending my title here at Roland Garros is over. 

We are still competing in doubles. Aniek and I win the semi final against Ellerbrock/Famin 6-3 6-4. In the final we have another battle against Whiley/Kamiji. We don't have a good start of the match and lose the first set 6-3. In the second set we play better, and we win 6-2. In the final match tiebreak we take 5-3 lead, but lose the tiebreak and the match 10-6. 

 

World Champions Dinner

jiske griffioen

What an honor to receive my world champion trophy here at the champions dinner in Paris. A moment to reflect on what a great season 2015 was. It was great to celebrate this succes together with my team. And always fun to dress up :-) Read more...

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