/ 10 November 2021

A grand Aussie Open farewell

Image source: Getty
Image source: Getty

Dylan Alcott, the most successful men’s quad tennis player of all time, will retire after the Australian Open in January. A long time world #1, Alcott has accumulated 3 US Open, 2 Wimbledon, and 3 French Open titles – and he’s won 7 Aussie Opens. This year, he became the first male player to complete a Golden Slam – a clean sweep of the major events + Paralympic gold in a calendar year. Before his tennis triumphs, Alcott won gold with the Rollers – our wheelchair basketball team – at the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games and a silver medal in London in 2012. And now, the 30yo says it’s time to wind it up because “I feel like I’ve done everything I need to do on the tennis court”.

Alcott was born with a tumour wrapped around his spinal cord. It was successfully cut out when he was 3 weeks old, but the operation left him a paraplegic. And after a childhood of endless operations and teenage years of self-loathing, he says sport saved him. Tennis was his first love before basketball took him to Paralympic glory at 17yo. Then in 2012, a bloke with “a few drinks under his belt” at a function tried to pick up his chair, he fell out and severed an artery in his hand on broken glass. Months of recovery followed – and a switch to para tennis. And the rest is history, along with his locker room encounter with Roger Federer’s man bits… Looking forward, Alcott will be kept busy as an advocate for people living with disabilities, along with his burgeoning media career. He did win the Logie for Most Popular New Talent in 2019, after all… 

You betcha. And Alcott is planning to bring it. “The Australian Open changed my life … I owe it everything, and what better way to finish than in my home city in front of big, big crowds,” he said yesterday. Also looking forward to it is our other world #1 player, Ash Barty. “I hope we can put on a good show for the Aussie fans and particularly the people of Melbourne who have had a rough time with lockdowns,” she said earlier this week. A fully-clothed Federer, Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem are also gearing up for the event. Still in doubt over his vaccination status: Novak Djokovic

Know someone who'd be interested in this story? Click to share...

The Squiz Today

Your shortcut to being informed, we've got your news needs covered.

Get the Squiz Today newsletter

Quick, agenda-free news that doesn't take itself too seriously. Get on it.