For the first time this year, Roland Garrod and Wimbledon will bring in quad wheelchair events and no one is happier than five-time Grand Slam winner Dylan Alcott. The reigning five-time Australian Open champion is not only a tennis star but also a proud advocate on bringing disability “into the mainstream” and breaking down barriers.
Therefore it’s about time Roland Garros and Wimbledon got with the times and offered the quad wheelchair singles and doubles events, similar to the US Open and the Australian Open. “I’ve been lobbying to try and build the sport and to get our division in Wimbledon and to be here finally, it’s so cool,” Alcott said.
“First and foremost we have the ability and skill to play on grass. There was a misconception that it would be too hard, but it’s not true. It’s easy, and I loved it out here”. The All England Club had offered Wheelchair Singles events for men and women since 2016, but quad players had never played on the famous grass courts, aside from an exhibition match Alcott played in 2018 alongside South Africa’s Lucas Sithole.
“In terms of my campaign I am really excited that Roland Garros and Wimbledon have been added to the calendar,” Alcott told an Australian newspaper. “Chucking on the all whites will be a dream come true. Everyone wants to win Wimbledon.
If I do, I’d tear up straight away."
The difference between Wheelchair tennis and Quad tennis events is: Wheelchair tennis: Players do not have impaired upper body function. They may have a permanent, substantial or total loss of function in one or both legs.
Quad tennis: Players do have impaired upper body function. They have a permanent physical disability that results in a substantial loss of movement in one or both of their legs along with one or both of their arms. The US Open has offered Quad singles as an event since 2007 and the Australian Open has offered the event since 2008.