Unbeaten in 10 years, wheelchair tennis ace Esther Vergeer retires

(CNN) -- After 10 years unbeaten, and an incredible 470 successive victories, Esther Vergeer is hanging up her racket.

The 31-year-old has dominated wheelchair tennis for more than a decade, winning seven Paralympic gold medals, 13 world titles and all 21 of the grand slam singles events she entered, plus 23 in doubles.
"A special day: officially stopping tennis," Vergeer wrote on her Twitter page Tuesday.
She won 169 singles titles overall -- 120 of them consecutively -- plus 159 in doubles, and helped the Netherlands win the World Team Cup 12 times.
    "I am impressed I got this far. I sometimes still cannot believe that in all these years I did not have a breakdown. But for now it's enough," Vergeer told reporters.
    She was hailed as an inspirational figure by the head of the International Tennis Federation, Francesco Ricci Bitti.
      "Esther Vergeer is a tremendous ambassador not only for tennis but also for disability sports," Ricci Bitti said.