Australian wheelchair tennis star Dylan Alcott has won his second US Open, but this time with only his and his opponent’s coaches watching.
There were no fans courtside to witness Alcott, a three-time Paralympic Gold medallist, beat world No.1 David Wagner in just 75 minutes in New York City on Monday (AEST).
Alcott fought back from 3-0 down in the first set to win 7-5, 6-2.
The bittersweet victory in the wheelchair quad division – his sixth grand slam – came on an indoor practice court that could not accommodate the hundreds of Australian spectators who wanted to see the consecutive Australian Open champion in action.
“It was pretty sad because the word got out over here in New York and there was about 100 or 200 Aussies that came that I didn’t know that they couldn’t get into watch, which was a real bummer,” Alcott, the world’s No.2, told the Today show.
“They told me I had to play on an indoor [court] and spectators weren’t allowed. It was just my coach, myself, my opposition and his coach, and I said, ‘That’s ridiculous’,” he said.
The march was originally set down for an outside court at Flushing Meadows. But rain and a scheduling mix-up put paid to that.
“They had a lot of matches to finish, so we had to come into an indoor practice court,” Alcott said. “Otherwise we wouldn’t have got on.”
He said the practice court was a cheaper option for Open organisers.
“They could have kept Arthur Ashe or Louis Armstrong [courts] open a little bit longer but they chose the cost was too much, which is a real bummer,” Alcott told the ABC.
Despite hitting out at Open organisers, Alcott conceded he was not going to “sook” about the change of venue.
“I was in a weird mood all day considering we had to play out here. But … you know what, I’d be in a worse mood tomorrow if I looked back tomorrow and said ‘you were being a sook’.”