Superb Alcott wins 11th grand slam title

Dylan Alcott has added to his unsurpassed quad wheelchair tennis record with an 11th grand slam triumph at the French Open, outplaying old rival Andy Lapthorne.

Dylan Alcott has enhanced his reputation as one of the all-time greats of wheelchair tennis with an 11th quad singles grand slam triumph at the French Open at the expense of his old rival and doubles partner Andy Lapthorne.

And the man who has become one of Australia's great sporting ambassadors and pioneers was thrilled that he was able to achieve his 6-2 6-2 victory on one of the sport's great stages, Court Suzanne-Lenglen at Roland Garros.

"Putting us on a high stage today was really cool. It really was. I was shocked. I didn't know that was going to happen," said the ever effervescent Alcott, who continued his domination over his British friend Lapthorne to retain the crown a day after the pair had lost as a team in the doubles final.

"To the organisers, thank you. I love the clay. I didn't think I liked clay, to be honest. I hate getting dirty. I play well on it. I think I like it now!"

Alcott was instrumental in getting the US Open to make a U-turn on its decision to exclude the wheelchair tournament in New York recently, his angry comments about "disgusting discrimination" prompting a wave of support from some of the sport's biggest names.

"Oh, mate, it's cool," said Alcott. "I can't believe it. When we missed out on the US Open originally, I just wrote those tweets because I was really sad, to be honest. As someone with a disability not to be included just because of our disability was tough.

"I didn't think anyone would listen. The next thing it's on the third page of the New York Times, Andy Murray has called me on the phone. The support from the world of tennis has been amazing.

"I get to play on Rod Laver Arena back in Australia, 10,000 people there, a million people watching on TV, that kind of stuff. My match was live on Australian TV today, which is so cool."

Alcott reckoned the news that he would be playing on Lenglen really spurred him on to his best tennis.

"I'm bloody happy, to be honest. It's awesome. It's been obviously such a crazy year. As soon as I saw that (we were going to put on the main court for the first time), I had a spring in my step, to be honest. I like a big, big occasion."

The triumph made handsome amends for Alcott's shock defeat to Sam Schroder in the US Open final, which was his only defeat in a grand slam final and his only loss in his 19 matches this year, as he added this second French title to his six Australian Open crowns, two US Open victories and last year's first Wimbledon championship.

"I stuffed up the US Open, lost in the final. I think winning today made the trip worthwhile, you know what I mean? I'm really proud of how I played. I had a really good time out there."

The double Paralympic gold medallist from Melbourne had only an early moment of concern in his 51-minute triumph, as he lost the opening two games to Lapthorne only to immediately strike back.

Once he had recovered the break and then grabbed another in a tough sixth game, the 29-year-old took firm control of the match to annex the set in 27 minutes.

Lapthorne finally broke a run of seven straight games lost in the second set but after the pair had exchanged breaks, Alcott raced away with the last three games to win the 37th singles title of his glittering career.

What made Alcott happiest was putting his sport on the map again.

"The media, to the public, people want to watch because it's entertaining sport. It means a lot to me, more so for not just us but the next generation of young people with a disability," he said.

"I love winning Grand Slams, but it's not the reason I get out of bed. It's not. It's to provide opportunities and try and change perceptions."