Thu, 18 Feb, 2021

Tennis fans slam Dylan Alcott's brutal snub

Tennis fans slam Dylan Alcott's brutal snub

Aussie wheelchair tennis star Dylan Alcott was ecstatic to be playing in prime time on Rod Laver Arena on Wednesday night - until he wasn't.

Alcott won his seventh straight Australian Open quad singles crown by beating Dutchman Sam Schroder 6-1 6-0 in the final, but Rafael Nadal and Stefanos Tsitsipas didn't exactly help him out.

Alcott was expected to arrive on centre court after Nadal and Tsitsipas' quarter-final, which started at 7.30pm. But the match went on longer than expected forcing organises to shift Alcott and Schroder off Rod Laver Arena and onto Margaret Court Arena instead.

Both players arrived on court at around 11.15 pm which meant the game took place when most Aussie fans were fast asleep.

While Alcott is not one to complain, he did express his disappointment that his match wasn't scheduled for prime time as promised.

Before the schedule change was announced, many fans on social media were already complaining about putting Alcott’s final on after a match that had every chance of going to five sets.

The criticism kept coming after Australian Open officials made their crunch call.

Journalist Rachel Riley tweeted: “Disappointed I won’t get to see @DylanAlcott play tonight because it’s on so late. An Aussie champion playing in the final of the #AusOpen should be prime time to entertain/inspire so many. Take nothing away from the game on now. Just want to see the best of all abilities.

“Should have been playing at the same time, prime time, on a different court, broadcast on other 9 channel. Disappointing for fans and surely players too.”

AFL reporter Tom Browne tweeted: “Sending Alcott out at 11.13 pm is so strange.”

Tennis writer Ben Rothenberg wrote: “Bummer to move the quad final to MCA ... would have preferred it got delayed to another day, especially with fans arriving tomorrow.”

Damien Peck added: “Obviously no one can foresee a 5 set match beforehand, but Alcott should be livid that it’s not being played in Australian prime time.”

Jake Bozinovski said: “What a pathetic decision for @TennisAustralia to reschedule tonight’s Dylan Alcott’s game to be played at Margaret Court Arena, it should’ve been for tomorrow so the fans could be there to witness the final, absolutely disgraceful.”

Even though hitting the court for his singles final so late probably wasn’t his ideal scenario, Alcott knows he’s lucky to be playing at all.

“We are so lucky to be playing tennis at the moment,” he said on Tuesday. “We aren’t taking that opportunity for granted.

“I feel very grateful to be here. When other people can’t do their jobs, have lost loved ones, lost their jobs, can’t travel, are in lockdown … when you are grateful for the moment, I think you can relax.

“Win, lose or draw, who cares. I’m just lucky to be here. I’m thinking like that.”