Australian tennis legend Dylan Alcott was brought to tears during his final post-match press conference on January 27, following an unexpected text message.
Alcott became emotional mid-question when he was distracted by a text message from British tennis star Andy Murray.
“This just sums up how it’s changed,” Alcott said as he read the message.
“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.’”, he said.
“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.
“It’s special. So nice. It’s like that everywhere. I never thought that would happen, like it’s cool. It’s really cool.
“That’s better than winning a tennis tournament. There’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. Sorry I didn’t mean to cry.”
The tennis legend and 2022 Australian Australian of the Year had earlier discussed how much the sport had changed since he started competing. He reminisced on how his first match only had a few spectators and now he was playing on Rod Laver Arena in front of thousands.
Alcott lost his final professional match, beaten by world number 2 Sam Schroder during the Australian Open 2022 quad wheelchair singles final on January 27. Schroder spoiled Alcott’s farewell by posting a 7-5 6-0 victory.
He had been going for a record eighth consecutive Australian Open title but Schroder took control and raced to a 5-0 second-set lead. Despite the Rod Laver Arena crowd willing Alcott to a win, Schroder proved too strong and claimed his second career Grand Slam singles title.
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
Schroder was quick to heap praise on Alcott during the trophy ceremony.
“You’ve done a great job inspiring the world,” he said.
“I hope to one day to be able to do just one small part of that as well. So thank you for all that you’ve done.”
Alcott was gracious in defeat as he thanked his team and many supporters
“Congratulations to Sam, mate you deserved to win today. You were definitely the better player,” he said.
“I’m really the luckiest guy in the world and I didn’t need to win today to realise that.
“It would have been nice to win, to be honest. But I’m still the luckiest person I’ve ever met. I’m the luckiest guy in this country, if not the world, to live the life that I live.”