Dylan Alcott bows out with Open final defeat | Liverpool City Champion

Dylan Alcott’s farewell party was ruined by the wheelchair tennis legend who retired from the sport with a loss in the Australian Open final.

After a whirlwind 48 hours, the 2022 Australian of the Year was upset by Dutch second seed Sam Schroder in Thursday’s decider quad at Rod Laver Arena.

After all the accolades and applause of the past few days, Alcott fought hard but couldn’t resist an irresistible charge from Schroder in the second set, losing 7-5 6-0 to end a seven-game streak. years of dominance at Melbourne Park.

The 31-year-old admitted before the game that he was ‘fried’ after rushing to Canberra on Tuesday night fresh from their semi-final victory, soaking up the honor that was his and preparing for what which he said was his “last dance”. “.

Schroder worked Alcott all around the pitch, forcing the home hero to commit 31 unforced errors.

“Australian Open, I love you so much…thank you for changing my life but also for supporting someone who is disabled to be the front of your brand,” said the world number 1.

“You have changed my life, but judging by this award I received a few days ago, I may have helped change other lives as well.”

Alcott received an incredible level of support in the stands, with last year’s Australian Grace Tame watching.

But what pleased Alcott the most was the number of people with disabilities, including a large number of children, who were able to make it to the final.

Host broadcaster Nine Network even held off TV newscasts across the country to stick with Alcott’s game until the end.

“I really am the luckiest guy in the world and I didn’t need to win today to realize that,” Alcott said.

“It’s because you, everyone watching here, that people like me, people with disabilities, are recognized and we are integrated and involved in society.

“If you look up there in the stands and the number of disabled people who are here.

“That’s the reason I get out of bed, really.

“To my community, thank you for always supporting me, I hope I will do you proud over the next 12 months as Australian of the Year.”

Alcott is retiring and a busy year ahead in his new role as AOTY with 15 Grand Slam titles.

He achieved an unprecedented golden slam last year, winning all four major tournaments as well as the Paralympic event in Tokyo.

Alcott’s last words on center court at Melbourne Park as a tennis player were: “Should I come back? No, just kidding”.

Australian Associated Press

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