Australian of the Year and tennis legend, Dylan Alcott, has joked that he’s now a “washed-up athlete” after retiring from tennis revealing what life is like after he hung up his racquet.
After an impressive professional tennis career, which included achieving a Golden Slam and being named Australian of the Year, Alcott retired from tennis and now in an interview with New Idea has spoken about being “more present” following years of his life being consumed by the sport.
“I missed years of birthdays, celebrations and simple moments, so I’m enjoying being able to be more present, now I’m a washed-up athlete,” he said.
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Being able to enjoy the “simple moments” is a well-earned reward for Alcott who had an impressive career on the court. At the young age of 16, Alcott showed a talent for tennis, ranking among the top five juniors in the world.
He won the New Zealand Open in 2014 and in July of the same year he defeated world number three Andy Lapthorne in the British Open Wheelchair Tennis Championship final in Nottingham to win his first Super Series crown.
He finished 2015 ranked number one after winning eight titles which included two grand slam titles.
Alcott made history in 2021, becoming the third professional tennis player to achieve a Golden Slam after securing wins in the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, the US Open and the singles gold medal at the 2020 Summer Paralympics.
He retired from tennis in January 2022, after his Australian Open 2022 quad wheelchair singles final on January 27 against Sam Schroder.
Not my day today – but can’t begin to tell you how grateful I am for every single one of you for changing my life.
— Dylan Alcott (@DylanAlcott) January 27, 2022
Despite all his incredible achievements, Alcott remains grounded and doesn’t view himself as a role model.
“I don’t consider myself a role model, I just try to be authentically me,” he said.
“If through doing that I can change the life of even one person living with a disability, then I’ve done my job.”
Not content with just taking it easy in retirement, Alcott has launched the Leave Your Mark Campaign alongside Grant Burge Wines which raises money to provide tertiary scholarships to people with disabilities.
“I used to doubt my ability and what I was capable of, and then I changed my mindset,” he said.
“It made me a better person, a better advocate, and opened doors for me to help instigate real change.”