10-time grand slam champ Dylan Alcott has slammed the U.S Open over their decision to leave the wheelchair event out of the 2020 event.
The 29-year-old took to Twitter to air his frustrations after it was officially announced that the comp would be going ahead without qualifying tournaments or fans in attendance due to strict bio-security measures. The pared-back version of the open will be held from 31st August to 13Tth of September in New York, one of the hotspots for COVID-19.
“Just got announced that the US Open will go ahead WITHOUT wheelchair tennis.. Players weren’t consulted,” he wrote. “I thought I did enough to qualify – 2x champion, number 1 in the world. But unfortunately I missed the only thing that mattered, being able to walk. Disgusting discrimination.”
He continued: “And please do not tell me I am a ‘greater risk’ because I am disabled. I am disabled yes but that does not make me SICK. I am fitter and healthier than nearly everybody reading this right now. There are no added risks.”
“And for sure there are far more important things going on in the world, but that choice should’ve been up TO ME. It is blatant discrimination for able bodied people to decide on my behalf what I do with my LIFE AND CAREER just because I am disabled. Not good enough.”
Tennis Australia have offered their support over Dylan’s disappointment and expect to be running a full programme at January’s Australian Open.
“Dylan Alcott is a tremendous ambassador for tennis and has done a huge amount for our sport both here and around the world,” Tennis Australia chief executive Craig Tiley said in a statement on Friday.
“We understand how disappointed he is at not being able to compete at the U.S. Open this year and we look forward to seeing him back on the court soon.”
Meanwhile, world no.1 Ash Barty has weighed in, saying she wants more answers about the situation in the US before committing to taking the court.