Aussie wheelchair tennis star Dylan Alcott fought back tears at times as he delivered an emotional victory speech following another Australian Open triumph on Rod Laver Arena.
Just minutes after his 6-0 6-4 win over England’s Andy Lapthorne in the final of the men’s quad wheelchair singles on Saturday evening, Alcott took the microphone and revealed he has personally raised $40,000 for the bushfire relief fund.
Alcott on the eve of the tournament pledged to donate $100 per ace during his singles and doubles campaigns — and revealed after his victory that several of his sponsors have also jumped on board.
The contributions from his sponsors kicked the donation pledge up to $800 per ace.
Alcott entered today’s final sitting on 41 aces.
The amount @DylanAlcott and his team are donating to the #Aces4BushfireRelief fund 👏#AO2020 | #AusOpen pic.twitter.com/M7vCc9lLo4
Despite only serving up one ace in the tournament final, Alcott asked spectators to simply pretend that he was actually serving grenades.
“I think I served one today. But let’s say I served nine (taking the tally to 50),” Alcott said.
“We will be donating $40,000 to help people with a disability affected by bushfires.
Dylan Alcott did it again.Source:Getty Images
“And I know it’s been a pretty tough time in Australia and, you know, to try to help out in any way that we can, I was donating $100 per ace at the Australian Open and then all my team actually came on board.
“So, we actually donated $800 per ace coming in to today.”
Clearly emotional, Alcott’s voice failed him at times as he declared tennis “saved his life” during a speech that was received with warm applause from the crowd inside Rod Laver Arena.
His emotions had shifted from pure joy to excited with victory by the time he reached his post match press conference where he revealed why he was so overcome with emotion during the ceremony.
Dylan Alcott needed to compose himself.Source:Getty Images
“That broke my heart, saying that,” Alcott said of his donation.
“Same as any Australian. To donate $40,000 is pretty epic. We want to specifically help people with a disability.
“We’ll also be launching my music festival, Ability Fest, in a couple weeks, that’s to help people with a disability affected by bushfires as well.
Dylan Alcott of Australia is congratulated by Novak Djokovic.Source:AAP
“Obviously all Australians losing their houses and things like that, if you magnify that and times that by having a disability where you then have to retro fit your house again and all that, it’s pretty gnarly.
“Hopefully, some people got to watch it today and put a smile on their face. I can’t compare or understand the pain that it caused. So anything we can do to help, that’s what we wanted to do.”
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