Australia, 25 January 2022 | Tennis Australia

Dylan Alcott is yet to compete in his eighth consecutive Australian Open quad wheelchair singles final, but the world No.1 is already celebrating another milestone title as Australian of the Year.

In a whirlwind day for the 31-year-old, Alcott secured his spot in the Australian Open 2022 quad wheelchair singles final before travelling to Canberra to attend the Australian of the Year awards ceremony.

After victory over Great Britain’s Andy Lapthorne, Alcott spoke about the significance that the Australian of the Year honours would hold.

“I hope it means a lot to a lot of people. Even just being nominated,” the Melburnian enthused.

“So many people with disabilities have been nominated in the past … Kurt Fearnley I thought was a shoo-in. He lost to very worthy people.

“I’m not downgrading anyone who has won it. I’m always like, ‘it would just be so cool for a person with disability to get up there and be able to have that’.”

Alcott was named Victorian of the Year after completing a Golden Slam – winning all four Grand Slam quad wheelchair singles titles and a Paralympic Games gold medal – in the 2021 season.

The world No.1, who is contesting his final professional tournament at the Australian Open, currently holds 15 Grand Slam singles titles, and another eight in doubles.

But even as the first man in tennis to achieve those heady milestones, Alcott takes the greatest pleasure from the example he sets for other people.

“My purpose is changing perceptions so people with disability can live the lives they want to live,” said Alcott.

“I’m forever grateful. … I’m a better tennis player because of that.”