If you needed a reminder of Dylan Alcott’s dominance on the tennis court, look no further: the man has reached his seventh consecutive Australian Open quad wheelchair singles final after a straight-sets victory over Dutch star Niels Vink.
Alcott, the top-seed in the quad wheelchair singles competition, has appeared unstoppable in recent months, and it’s clear that this wheelchair title is an important part in seeing him push towards another major goal in 2021: another Paralympic gold in Tokyo.
In the semi-final against Vink, Alcott showed just why he’s considered the best in the game right now. He claimed the victory in straight sets, cruising through 6-4, 6-3 in a display of dominance that left spectators speechless. There were the typical flourishes of form and perfected technique that Alcott’s supporters have come to known and love of his game, and now the Aussie will meet with Sam Schroder in the final.
It’s set to be a match-up that will test each player, particularly the mental aspect of their game. While Alcott is certainly buoyed by consistency when it comes to a high-level of performance and consecutive wins when it comes to the Grand Slam played on his home soil, it was Schroder who denied him a third US Open singles championship in 2020. Schroder defeated our Aussie Golden Boy in three sets in the tournament decider and now, Alcott will need to ensure his mental game is ready for a match that will be sure to demand everything from its players.
In his post-match interview following the semi-final victory, Alcott said he’s needed to draw on his own resilience and energy since lockdown has meant he can’t feed off the energy of a live crowd. “My energy wasn’t there [in the first set] and I played a lot better in the backend of the second set because I was bringing that energy,” he said.
Alcott added that he’s grateful for the opportunity to play at the Grand Slam, particularly amid the chaos caused by the global coronavirus pandemic. “I don’t take for granted that I live eight minutes away from here and I just want to say that I feel really lucky to be doing this at the moment, obviously with everything going on in the world.”
Already, Alcott has won 11 major singles titles and seven doubles crowns. When he steps onto the court for the final against Schroder, it’s clear that he’ll have a whole nation behind him, urging him on from their living rooms, wishing and hopeful for another Alcott triumph.