Reigning Newcombe medallist Dylan Alcott has taken out the Australian Open quad wheelchair title for a third consecutive year, winning the final in straight sets.
The Melburnian needed just an hour and nine minutes to defeat British rival Andy Lapthorne 6-2 6-2 at Melbourne Park on Saturday.
Alcott was delighted to receive his trophy from Australian great Pat Rafter.
“I still, at my family house, have a poster of Pat Rafter on my wall,” Alcott said.
“And I’m 26. That was very cool.”
Saturday’s final at Rod Laver Arena was the first wheelchair tennis match to be played on centre court at a grand slam.
The 26 year old declared the “beers are on me” tonight after hundreds answered his call on Facebook to attend the final.
Alcott said he hoped to see wheelchair tennis added to Wimbledon and the French Open in the future.
“The standard of our tennis back in the day wasn’t high enough but you can’t tell me that wasn’t high enough,” he said.
'We're changing perceptions of disabilities…'
— #7TENNIS 🎾 (@7tennis) January 28, 2017
“We are changing perceptions of disability together … you couldn’t play this match on court seven because you’re about 4000 seats short.”
It is the latest accomplishment in a glittering stretch for the top-seeded Alcott, who took out the 2015 US Open quad wheelchair title and won gold medals in the men’s quad singles and doubles at last year’s Rio Paralympics.
Alcott became the first wheelchair star to win the Newcombe Medal, the highest accolade in Australian tennis, in November.
He had previously won Paralympic gold in wheelchair basketball in 2008.
– with AAP