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‘I’m shaking’: Alcott keeps ‘Golden Slam’ dream alive

LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 10: Dylan Alcott of Australia celebrates after winning his Quad Wheelchair Singles Final match against Sam Schroder of Netherlands on Day Twelve of The Championships – Wimbledon 2021 at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 10, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Australian Dylan Alcott has claimed a third-straight Grand Slam title of the year as he continues to march towards an unprecedented ‘Golden Slam’.

Alcott beat Dutch rising star and reigning US Open champion Sam Schroder 6-2 6-2 in a little over an hour, his second Wimbledon title and his 14th singles crown.

“I’m cooked, that was hard,” Alcott said after the match.

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“How’s the atmosphere, it’s unbelievable, I know the UK’s been through a tough time, everybody has all around the world, to be able to have crowds back has been incredible.

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“It’s a real Australian crowd,” he added.

“I get emotional thinking about Wimbledon,” Alcott said. “To get to play here was an absolute privilege, to be a dual Wimbledon champion, I’m shaking.”

Then he had the English fans eating out of the palm of his hands when he declared: “Wimbledon’s coming home with me, so I hope football’s coming home for you.”

Alcott with the trophy.
Alcott with the trophy.

Alcott continued his perfect 2021 as he claimed a third-straight grand slam title, having previously beaten Sam Schroder in the finals of the Australian Open and Roland Garros.

Once again, the world number one faced 21-year-old Schroder – also Alcott’s Quad Doubles partner this week – with silverware on the line, and once again it was the Australian who came out on top.

It is Alcott’s second win at Wimbledon, having won the inaugural competition in 2019. And it is a 14th grand slam singles crown for Alcott, who is now three-fifths of the way to a ‘Golden Slam’ – winning all four majors plus Paralympic gold in a calendar year.

“I’d have a thousand beers and be the happiest guy in the world if I did the golden slam — so I’m gonna try and do it but all I can do is give it my best,” Alcott said before the final.

“Mate, it’d be unbelievable — but it can be a dangerous game when you’re thinking too far ahead, so I try not to. I got burned once before doing that in 2019.”

Schroder was the reigning US Open champion after beating Alcott last year, and had claimed the pair’s most recent meeting at the French Riviera Open last month.

But the pair don’t always face off on opposite sides of the net. They paired up in the Quad Doubles competition at Wimbledon this week, and reached the final, where they lost 6-1 3-6 6-4 to Andy Lapthorne and veteran David Wagner.

HOW IT HAPPENED

After a rain delayed the start of the match by over an hour, Alcott started nervously by sending down a double fault to start the match.

But he held on to win the first game, having won the toss and opted to serve. His opponent, Dutch rising star Sam Schroder, hit back by holding serve the following game.

Then there were scary moments for the Aussie as he faced a break point at 30-40 on his next service game. But a ripping serve to the body saved it, and Alcott fought out of the hole with two sublime points to hold serve.

And he broke serve immediately after to take a 3-1 lead, only to hand it back the following game with a double fault on break point.

But Alcott broke again to make it 4-2 in a gruelling game that went to four deuces before a double fault from Schroder on break point. Alcott held quickly to move to 5-2, and closed out the set with a third break as Schroder sent a backhand sailing past the baseline.

Alcott comfortably kicked off the next set by holding serve. But he fluffed the chance to go 2-0 up when he had multiple break points in Schroder’s first service game – including an unforced error when he had the full court at his disposal on a volley.

Schroder held, and continued his surge with three break points in the next game, only for Alcott to stave him off.

The pair traded breaks of serve as Alcott moved to 4-2, before the Australian broke again and held on for a 6-2 6-2 win.

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