Golden Slam champion will retire after 2022 Australian Open
World number one Quad player Dylan Alcott has announced he will retire after the Australian Open, feeling it is “the next generation’s turn to dominate.”
In 2021, the 15-time Grand Slam quad singles champion became the first man in any form of tennis to complete a Golden Slam, winning all four Grand Slam titles and Paralympic gold at the rescheduled 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Should Alcott win the Australian Open, it will be a record-extending eighth successive wheelchair quad singles title.
After receiving surgery on a tumour attached to his spinal cord immediately after being born, Alcott was left requiring the use of a wheelchair.
The quad World number one has also won Paralympic gold and silver medals in wheelchair basketball with the Australian national team, and is also a radio DJ and TV commentator.
This is why @DylanAlcott gets out of bed every day.
“I don’t do it to win the titles. I do it for my main purpose, which is changing perceptions so people with disability can live the lives they want to live.”
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) November 9, 2021
Australian tennis great Alcott will make one final appearance at the Australian Open, saying “there was no way I could finish my career a few weeks ago because the US Open was not my home.
“This (Australia) is my home. What better way to finish than in my home in front of crowds.
“The Australian Open changed my life, tennis changed my life. Without tennis I wouldn’t be here sitting and talking with you today, potentially sitting here at all,” Alcott told reporters in a press conference at Melbourne Park.
“I owe it everything, and what better way to finish in my home city in front of crowds, big, big crowds after the year that we had, the last couple of years. It’s going to be incredible.”
30-year-old Alcott is passing the torch onto the next generation of quad players, saying “I’ve known this day was coming for a while.
“I feel redundant, I feel old, I feel a bit washed up. It’s the next generation’s turn to dominate and get the recognition they deserve, so really looking forward to getting out there and doing my thing one more time, and hopefully making it 16 [Grand Slam singles titles].
“It’s been an incredible ride and I think the time has come to move onto other things that I do. In saying that, I’m going to train my arse off for the next two months and try and go out on a high.”
The Golden Slam winner has also used his platform to be a vocal advocate for disability rights and to raise awareness of mental health.
“Not every person with a disability can be a Paralympian but they can be a doctor, a lawyer, a mum, a dad, a teacher, an educator, politician whatever it is.
“I am so proud of the work we have done, to be honest. Being a good tennis player is not the priority of my life. Being a good person is.”
“Being a good advocate and changing perceptions for people like me so they can live lives they deserve to live and get the opportunities I have had. I am so lucky.”
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