“In Australia, people used to stare at me because I was in a wheelchair. Now they stare at you because you’re Dylan Alcott and know who you are.”
That was the proud assertion on Saturday of Dylan Alcott, who is three-quarters of the way to a calendar Grand Slam, 50 years after fellow Australian Rod Laver completed the sweep.
“That’s like the coolest thing because they could not care that I’m in a wheelchair.
“Today, everyone there did not care I was in a wheelchair. They’re like, How good is this match? How good is he playing? He’s a good bloke. Whatever it is.”
Alcott, 28, had just defeated his doubles partner Andy Lapthorne in the final of the Wimbledon quad wheelchair singles final 6-0, 6-2.
Having won the Australian and French Open, the Melbourne-born Alcott now just needs the US Open to seal the deal.
The omens are good for the world No 1 who is the defending champion in New York.
“I’m going to be working my butt off to win the US Open. Then we can put on another show. I don’t think ESPN has put on wheelchair tennis yet. ESPN, you’re up next,” he said.
A paraplegic since birth, Alcott is a celebrity on and off the court in Australia.
He has won a ‘Logie’ award for his television appearances and has his own TV and radio show. He is also original and amusing in his opinions.
On Saturday, he compared the Wimbledon grass to the famed arena of the Melbourne Cricket Ground and nearby Lord’s.
Alcott also joked about becoming a life member of the All England Club, an honour reserved for all champions at the tournament.
“I just want to know who I need to sleep with or hang out with to get a membership, the All England Club, so I’m very excited.
“That was a joke,” he added. “My dad said, Congratulations on your eighth Grand Slam. I said, That’s nine, champion!”
Just moments after his win on Saturday, his achievement was already trending on social media as the ‘Dylan Slam’.
Alcott admits that his career trophies – which include gold medals from the 2016 Paralympics – are evenly spread around his home and his parents.
“You get a Tiffany crystal vase at the US Open. Why not put delicious, beautiful flowers in it, like we do?,” he said.
“We actually use them. And it’s cool. Then they’re around the house. You don’t look like as much of a wanker as well.”
The Wimbledon trophy, however, will get pride of place in the home he shares with partner Chantelle.
“This is the Holy Grail of tennis, isn’t it? We’ll be ditching the Logie. Sorry TV Week, if you’re listening.”