Dylan Alcott won his first wheelchair tennis Singles Masters as the year-end competition concluded on 2 December in Orlando, USA.
Australia’s Paralympic champion defeated world No. 3 Andy Lapthorne of Great Britain 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 in the quad final to return to world No. 1 after USA’s 2017 world champion David Wagner failed to reach the semi-finals.
“It’s cool, man, it’s great. I’ve not been No. 1 for a while. I didn’t play enough last year, so it’s good to be No. 1 again. I knew I’d have my chances today, it was about whether I took them or not and I almost didn’t,” said Alcott.
”Everyone’s played really well this week and the quad division’s really strong. It’s been really windy a lot of the week, so if you can play decent in this wind, good on you and I played pretty decent today.”
Belgium’s Joachim Gerard beat Japan’s world No.1 Shingo Kunieda 6-1, 6-7 (3), 6-3 to collect his third men’s Singles Masters title.
“I think I played my match, my game until 3-1 in the second set and then I got really stressed and nervous. In the wind that’s not good, so it’s something I need to change for the future,” he said.
“If there’s a small hole, Shingo will take it and make it bigger and I put him back in the match. But from 3-1 down in the third I started to be more aggressive, like I did in the first, because the first set was unbelievable for me. I really wanted this match and I think everyone saw it.”
De Groot retains crown
Arriving in Orlando the week before the Masters started certainly paid dividend to world No.1 Diede de Groot. The Dutch completed this year’s event without dropping a set after defeating world No. 2 Yui Kamiji 6-3, 7-5.
“I had a really good preparation being here a few days before the tournament to get used to the courts and the wind, so to finish like this is great,” said de Groot.
“What really helped me is that I stayed calm even though the wind was really present. I like the chase, I don’t like being chased, so when I had a chance to get 5-2 up I still tried to stay calm.
“And even though it was 4-3 and 5-5 I just tried to keep going and I managed to do that that really well, so I’m really happy about that.”