Sport Dylan Alcott reaches seventh straight Australian Open final in quad wheelchair singles draw
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Dylan Alcott reaches seventh straight Australian Open final in quad wheelchair singles draw

Dylan Alcott got past Niels Vink in straight sets in their semi-final. Photo: ABC/AAP/Dean Lewins
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Dylan Alcott’s quest to win a seventh consecutive Australian Open quad wheelchair singles title remains on track following a straight-sets victory over rising Dutch star Niels Vink.

The top-seeded Alcott got past the 18-year-old Vink 6-4, 6-3 in Monday’s semi-final on Margaret Court Arena.

He will meet Vink’s countryman Sam Schröder in the final.

Schröder denied Alcott a third US Open singles championship last year when he beat the Australian in three sets in the tournament decider.

He qualified for the Australian Open final by defeating British second seed Andy Lapthorne 6-1, 6-4 in their semi-final.

As with every player at the Australian Open the last few days, Alcott had to adjust to playing in front of no spectators because of Victoria’s five-day coronavirus lockdown.

He has always been an energetic competitor on court, but said he needed to pump himself up a little bit more against Vink without the presence of a 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,” Alcott said in his on-court interview.

“I might look like a bit of an idiot at times but that’s what I have to do to try to get myself up.”

Alcott won his sixth consecutive Australian Open singles title in 2020. Photo: AP/Lee Jin-Man

Alcott said he was grateful for the opportunity to contest the Australian Open amid the 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,” he said.

Alcott had reached the semi-finals after beating fellow Australian and doubles partner, Heath Davidson, 6-0, 7-5 in his opening match.

He has won 11 major singles titles and seven doubles crowns.

-ABC