Legendary Australian sports star Dylan Alcott retired following his Australian Open final defeat – and was reduced to tears by a text from Andy Murray.
Alcott, the tennis champion and Australian Paralympian, was defeated in the final at Melbourne Park by Sam Schröder. The Dutchman ensured he left with the silverware following a 7-5 6-0 win.
The loss was the final match of Alcott’s career, with the result coming after he was named Australian of the Year for his role in promoting opportunities for disabled people. He drank beer from a water bottle as he reflected on his title-laden career and legacy during the post-match press conference.
The 31-year-old became overwhelmed with emotion as he read out a text from three-time Grand Slam champion Murray.
“I hope he doesn’t mind this but Andy Murray just messaged me: ‘I don’t know if I’ve articulated that well but you’re an absolute rock star and inspiration. Thanks for everything that you’ve done’,”Alcott read.
“That kills me. Makes me want to cry. Special. Like you’re just apart of it … they don’t even care you’re in a wheelchair.”
Alcott finishes his career with 15 Grand Slams and became the only man to ever complete a Golden Slam, winning all four major titles as well as a Paralympic gold medal in 2021.
After composing himself, the Australian legend added: “It’s special. It’s like that everywhere. I never thought that would happen. It’s cool. That’s better than winning a tennis tournament.
”That’s a legend of the sport getting around wheelchair tennis. If it’s good enough for someone like that, it’s good enough for everyone.”
Alcott’s retirement brings to an end one of Australia’s greatest sporting careers.
Since winning the 2015 Australian Open, Alcott won 15 singles and eight doubles titles at the majors. As well as the unprecedented Golden Slam, Alcott claimed three Paralympic golds.
His remarkable sporting career also included winning gold at the 2008 Paralympics in Beijing as a member of the victorious Australian men’s wheelchair basketball squad.