For Victorian Institute of Sport’s Dylan Alcott and Heath Davidson, Wimbledon was a tournament to remember.
Alcott made history at the famous tournament on Saturday as part of the first group of players to contest a quad wheelchair tennis match at the All England Club.
Alcott was partnered with South Africa’s Lucas Sithole, but failed to defeat Brit Andy Lapthorne and American David Wagner in an exhibition quad doubles match.
The pair went down 6-2, 6-3 in just one hour, however, every moment out on the court was a “dream come true” for VIS’ Alcott.
“Dream come true' gets thrown around a lot, but it was. It was almost like an out-of-body experience for me there,” Alcott said.
“I’m not trying to sound like a legend but everyone said how hard it is (to play on grass), but its way easier than I thought. I expected it to be really tough. I’m lucky that I’m really fast in my chair, but I love it – it suits my game. I’ve got good hands, and my topspin backhand – I was playing with Heath – it really kicks up.”
“The vibe here, it’s so different to back home (at the Australian Open). We get 110,000 people on the Middle Saturday – it’s like a party. Here, it’s a party in a different way, a very posh party (laughter). So it’s cool to see the different dynamics.
“Obviously I love the Australian Open because it’s our home slam, but it’s also pretty unbelievable to get to experience this as well.”
Davidson’s recent career-high ranking of No.4 came too late for him to qualify to slip on the whites and line up next to Alcott on the court. Instead, he watched from the coaches box, narrowly missing the entry cut-off for the four-player event.
“I actually jumped up the rankings three days after the invitations come out so it was a bit shattering,” he said.
“Dylan asked me to come over and be his coach for the week. It’s the first time we’ve ever been here so I figured it would be a very good idea to come and an opportunity I couldn’t miss.
“Hopefully next year we can make this an official tournament and my ranking stays this high and I can actually play it.”
Official quad wheelchair singles and doubles tournaments are already part of the program of events at the Australian and US Opens.