‘I was proud of how I played, proud of my team and proud of the support I got from back home’10 Jul 2021
CUP OF JOY: Dylan Alcott of Australia celebrates with the trophy after winning his Quad Wheelchair Singles final against Sam Schroder of Netherlands.
ⒸMike Hewitt/Getty Images
By ITF - Ross McLean
Champion Dylan Alcott vowed to savour the moment after expanding his already colossal trophy haul by defeating doubles partner Sam Schröder at the Wimbledon Championships and collecting his 14th Grand Slam singles title.
Alcott’s name continues to dominate the quad singles honours board at the All England Club, with the Australian also scooping the title here in 2019 – the only previous occasion the quad division has featured at SW19.
Victory over Schröder, achieved by a 6-2, 6-2 scoreline, also keeps Alcott in the hunt for a Golden Slam with him already triumphing at the Australian Open and Roland Garros this term, while the Paralympic Games are fast approaching.
The 30-year-old spoke earlier this week of adopting a new approach following time spent with renowned mindset coach Ben Crowe, having admitted to “choking it up hard” when thinking and speaking about a potential calendar Grand Slam in 2019.
As such, Alcott had little interest in discussing any future tournament, preferring instead to revel in the here and now after claiming a third successive Grand Slam singles crown.
“Sometimes you forget to enjoy the moment,” said the world No. 1. “After my match, I don’t know if you noticed but I looked up. Usually, I don’t take time to soak it all up and I miss it. When I did, I just thought to myself, ‘how good is this?’
“People eating strawberries and smashing Pimm’s, there is something here which is special and I just love it so much. For me, the Australian Open is the holy grail because I am Australian, but I respect and love Wimbledon so much.
“To win back-to-back titles here – the only two opportunities to have played here – is incredible. I’m not thinking about the calendar slam or Golden Slam or any of that, all I am thinking about is today.
“I was proud of how I played, proud of my team and proud of the support I got from back home. The amount of people that messaged me about the Barty-Alcott double-header was incredible. It’s special to be involved.”
Reiterating his revelation earlier in the week, Alcott once again suggested this might be the last occasion he dons his whites and takes to the courts of Wimbledon, prompting further speculation of a potential retirement from the game.
“Never say never but I am definitely nearing the end because I also have a foundation where I help kids with disabilities, work on tv and radio, have businesses and want to do some acting and other stuff,” added Alcott.
“I love tennis because it has given me the platform for what I am passionate about and that is changing perceptions so people with disabilities can live the lives they deserve to live.
“It’s also hard getting up and training every day. I am missing my partner and it’s been tough travelling this year. Who knows? All I do know is that I am going to live in the moment and, at the moment, I have got this trophy which is pretty cool.
“I am proud of it. I wish I could keep it with me at all times.”
HEWETT AND REID IN A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN
Also still in the hunt for a Golden Slam are Great Britain duo Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid as the pair continued their blistering form in the men’s wheelchair doubles courtesy of a 7-5 6-2 victory over Belgium's Joachim Gerard and Tom Egberink of the Netherlands in final.
It is a remarkable run of form for a partnership which is set to travel to Tokyo for the Paralympic Games in the coming weeks on the back of seven successive Grand Slam doubles triumphs dating back to the 2019 US Open.
“Our expectations coming here were high,” said Hewett. “When you’re winning a lot, you have this aura and confidence and, as individuals and a partnership, we believe we can go out and dominate every match.
“That comes from years of working together and being in those moments where we’ve not succeeded and that haven’t gone well. We’ve learnt from those.
“Right now, we’re riding this real good wave and carrying this momentum which means we don’t rest on our laurels, put our feet up and say, ‘job done’.
“We have ambitions and goals for this year and each Grand Slam title we win means a lot to us and the people around us.”
If there were familiar faces within the winners’ enclosure for the men’s doubles, the same applied to the women’s as Japan's Yui Kamiji and Great Britain's Jordanne Whiley chalked up their fifth Wimbledon doubles crown and their 12th Grand Slam title together. The duo defeated Great Britain's Lucy Shuker and South Africa's Kgothatso Montjane 6-0 7-6(0).
That said, it was their first Wimbledon title since 2017, when Whiley triumphed while 11 weeks pregnant. Fast-forward to the present and her son, Jackson, was there to witness his mother’s latest victory.
“I’d forgotten how long it had actually been since we won a title here and it was really special today,” said Whiley. “The last time I won here with Yui, I was pregnant and now he [Jackson] is doing a lap of honour around the court, which was lovely.
“He has been asking me all week if I am going to win the big trophy and not the small trophy, so he is very happy I have got that. It took me back to when I was three years old. I did exactly the same with my dad at a doubles event in Israel. It just brought back so many memories.”