Australian wheelchair champion Dylan Alcott has announced his retirement from tennis.
Alcott, who won a rare calendar year ‘golden slam’ earlier in the year after taking all four major titles and Paralympic or Olympic gold at the US Open, will quit tennis after January’s Australian Open.
“There no way I could finish my career [in New York] a few weeks ago because the US Open was not my home,” an emotional Alcott said announcing his retirement at Melbourne Park on Tuesday
“This is my home and the Australian Open changed my life. I owe it everything.”
The 30-year-old Melburnian said he would save his “big thank-yous” for when he did retire, “which is not today, it is just the announcement. I feel like John Farnham announcing today, one more time”.
“The time has come, I feel redundant, I feel old, washed up. The next generation is here, and it is their turn to dominate and get the recognition they deserve,” he said.
He had already announced that this year’s Tokyo Paralympics would be his last, after he clinched gold in the quad singles final.
Alcott started his Paralympic career as a teenager, winning gold with the men’s basketball at the 2008 Beijing Games, and declared 2021 was his fourth and final.
He finishes with four gold and two silver medals from his tennis and basketball entries.
“I’m not coming back to the Paralympics ever again and I love it so much, it means so much to me,” he told Channel Seven after the medal ceremony in September.
“When I was 17 I got to go with the Rollers and we won gold and it was life-changing but Paralympic sport in general, it saved my life.
“It was the best thing that ever happened to me and I owe it so much so I took a moment to look around because I’m so grateful it came into my life.”
-more to come