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Wheelchair tennis star Dylan Alcott wins historic Golden Slam

Kamahl Cogdon, September 13, 2021 7:00PM Kids News

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Dylan Alcott with his US Open trophy after defeating Niels Vink of the Netherlands to complete a Golden Slam in wheelchair quad singles. Picture: Getty Images media_cameraDylan Alcott with his US Open trophy after defeating Niels Vink of the Netherlands to complete a Golden Slam in wheelchair quad singles. Picture: Getty Images

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Australia’s Dylan Alcott has become the first man ever to win a “Golden Slam” after victory in the US Open wheelchair tennis.

The 30-year-old champ’s historic win in the US Open singles final completed a perfect year on the court, with earlier wins in the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon.

These four victories in one calendar year are called a Grand Slam, but Alcott went one better by also winning gold at the Tokyo Paralympics. Winning all four Grand Slam events plus the Paralympics in the one year is known as a Golden Slam.

2020 Tokyo Paralympics - Day 11 media_cameraAustralian Dylan Alcott with the gold medal he won in the men’s quad singles tennis at the Paralympic Games in Tokyo on September 4 this year. Picture: Getty Images

Only two other people have achieved a Golden Slam. Germany’s Steffi Graf was the first when she completed the feat in the women’s singles in 1988, while Dutch player Diede de Groot wrapped up the women’s wheelchair Golden Slam with victory at the US Open just before Alcott won the men’s final.

“I can’t believe I just won the Golden Slam,” Alcott said following his US Open win in New York.

“I used to hate myself so much, I hated my disability, I didn’t even want to be here any more.

“I found tennis and it changed and saved my life.

“Now I’ve become the only male ever in any form of tennis to win the Golden Slam, which is pretty cool.”

2021 US Open - Day 14 media_cameraDylan Alcott holds his trophy aloft after his US Open victory made him the first man to achieve a Golden Slam in tennis. Picture: Getty Images

Alcott defeated Dutchman Niels Vink 7-5, 6-2 in 75 minutes in the quad singles wheelchair final.

He was totally dominant* throughout the tournament, not dropping a set* on his way to the title.

His victory on September 12 came after fellow Australian Samantha Stosur won the US Open doubles title with friend Shuai Zhang of China.

Dylan Alcott celebrates winning the US Open. media_cameraDylan Alcott celebrated his win with a drink from his US Open trophy while watching the men’s final between Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev.

Alcott celebrated his win by drinking from his trophy as he sat in the stands watching the next match, the men’s final between Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev.

Medvedev won that match in a straight sets upset 6-4, 6-4, 6-4, denying* Djokovic a Grand Slam for 2021.

RICCIARDO’S DROUGHT BREAKING WIN

It was a great day for Aussie sports stars, with Formula One driver Daniel Ricciardo breaking a three-year drought to win the Italian Grand Prix.

F1 Grand Prix of Italy media_cameraAustralian Daniel Ricciardo (right) celebrates his win in the Italian Grand Prix with his second place McLaren teammate, Lando Norris of Great Britain. Picture: Getty Images

Ricciardo, 32, led from the first corner to the end of the race, screaming in jubilation* when the chequered flag was waved as he crossed the finish line.

“Deep down I knew this was gonna come,” he said after claiming victory. “So thanks … thanks for having my back.

“And for anyone who thought I left, I never left. I just moved aside for a while. Thanks guys.”

It was Ricciardo’s first win in more than three years, or 1204 days to be precise. It was also his McLaren team’s first race win since 2012.

GLOSSARY

  • dominant: more powerful than others
  • set: a collection of games in tennis. When a player wins six games or more and is two games ahead of their opponent, they win a set. Players must win the best of three or five sets to win a match
  • denying: refusing to let someone have something they want or need
  • jubilation: feeling of great happiness and triumph

EXTRA READING

Dylan Alcott wins sixth straight Open title

Aussie Dylan Alcott wins third French Open

Barty repeats her idol’s Wimbledon feat

QUICK QUIZ

  1. What four events make up a Grand Slam?
  2. What additional victory creates a Golden Slam?
  3. Besides Dylan Alcott, how many male tennis players have won a Golden Slam?
  4. How many female tennis players have won a Golden Slam?
  5. What Formula One race did Daniel Ricciardo win?

LISTEN TO THIS STORY

CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES
1. Golden Slam illustration
Dylan Alcott’s Golden Slam is quite the feat. He is truly an Australian champion. Write a congratulatory card to Dylan sending him your best wishes and include an illustration of Dylan representing his Golden Slam. It could be a cartoon, logo or any illustration representing the four tennis major grand slams (Australian Open, US Open, French Open and Wimbledon) and the Tokyo Paralympic gold medal.

Your teacher will help you forward your cards and illustrations on to Dylan.

Teacher note: You could send or email the children’s card and illustrations to:

Dylan Alcott Foundation
Level 5, 570 St Kilda Rd
Melbourne VIC 3004

info@dylanalcottfoundation.com.au

Time: allow 30 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: The Arts, English, Critical and creative thinking

2. Extension
Dylan states in the article: “I used to hate myself so much, I hated my disability, I didn’t even want to be here any more. I found tennis and it changed and saved my life”.

How does sport have the ability to change your mood, mindset and life goals? How does playing or watching sport help improve the enjoyment of your life?

Time: allow 15 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Health and Physical education

VCOP ACTIVITY
I’ve always wanted to know
If you had the opportunity to talk to Dylan Alcott and ask him five questions, what would you ask?

Come up with five different questions. Challenge yourself to use different question stems (question opener words) to write your questions, and don’t forget to end with a question mark.

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