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Wimbledon dream: Dylan Alcott finally gets his chance on the famous grass

6 July 2018 12:22 PM
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‘‘I’ll be that excited and nervous because ... ‘a dream come true’ is a lame thing to say, but it really is, do you know what I mean?’’ said the 27-year-old.

Wheelchair tennis already features at all the slams but the quad category - catering for competitors who have impairments to both upper and lower limbs - has only been played at the Australian Open since 2008 and at the US Open since 2007 (excluding the years when the Paralympics were held).

Alcott was born with a tumour wrapped around his spinal cord which was operated on during the first few weeks of his life. The tumour was successfully cut out, however it left him a paraplegic, leaving him a wheelchair user for life.

He is now a household name and, remarkably, replaced Novak Djokovic as the face of major sponsor ANZ, splashed across billboards and on your TV screens, at the Australian Open last January.

And it was his wheelchair quad match with close friend Heath Davidson, hastily rescheduled to centre court, that got top billing on Channel Seven’s main channel.

The Melburnian has long been a vocal advocate for his sport and he understands the chance to finally play at Wimbledon is momentous.

‘‘Wimbledon was the last grand slam to get any wheelchair tennis in there at all,’’ Alcott said.

‘‘There was this idea that it was going to be slower, the players wouldn’t be good enough, it wouldn’t be as good to watch for spectators.

And he said Seven and Open organisers’ move to grant wheelchair tennis prime-time exposure in January wasn’t a mistake.


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