Roger Federer and wheelchair player Esther Vergeer take part in the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament opening ceremony in Rotterdam on Monday.
DUTCH wheelchair star Esther Vergeer announced her retirement yesterday after an astonishing unbroken run of 470 wins spanning more than 10 years.
"A special day: officially stopping tennis," Vergeer, 31, wrote on the micro-blogging site Twitter, without elaborating on her reasons for retiring.
Vergeer, who won four Paralympic tennis singles gold medals and three golds in doubles, was to hold a press conference later in the day at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam.
Vergeer won her first gold medal in Sydney in 2000. She has been ranked No. 1 in the world since 1999 and has not lost a singles match since January 2003. She has always insisted that she was not chasing the record of squash great Jahangir Khan, who tallied 555 consecutive wins between 1981 and 1986.
Vergeer was just a "little girl" when she started out in wheelchair tennis after losing the use of her legs aged eight following surgery, and she has grown up alongside the sport as it blossomed and gradually became more professional.
Vergeer's retirement comes after British wheelchair ace Peter Norfolk, dubbed "The Quadfather", announced last month that he was giving up full-time competition and would most likely not be at the next Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
Norfolk, who won gold at the 2004 and 2008 Games in Athens and Beijing in the quads tournament for players with impairments to three or more limbs, carried Britain's flag at the London 2012 Games.