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Dylan Alcott will try to win his eighth consecutive Australian Open title on Thursday.

Dylan Alcott Named Australian Of The Year

Australian will play for the Australian Open title on Thursday

Dylan Alcott on Tuesday was named Australian of the Year and awarded an Officer of the Order (AO) in the Australia Day Honours List. The longtime wheelchair tennis star was recognised for his distinguished service to Paralympic sport and as a role model for people with a disability.

Alcott won his Australian Open quad wheelchair singles semi-final on Tuesday afternoon before flying to Canberra for the evening ceremony. The Australian did not expect to win, he told the media before his flight.

“If by the very odd chance you have a win, you cannot do that on Zoom. So many people with disability should have won that award over the years but haven’t,” Alcott said. “I would never forgive myself if I don't go, even though I don't think I'm going to get up. I'm going to go. I always do stuff like this.”

Alcott later added: “I’m always like, It would just be so cool for a person with disability to get up there and be able to have that. Been Young Australian of the Year, Senior, all that, just not many Australians of the Year. Also to be given that platform to talk about what you're passionate about is super cool.” 

Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley congratulated Alcott for his accomplishments on and off the court. 

“We are incredibly fortunate Dylan chose tennis as we’ve had the opportunity to see first-hand his great sense of humour, sharp intellect and his incredible work ethic and drive to succeed in all aspects of his life,” Tiley said in a statement. “His advocacy for people with a disability is a force to behold. He has the power to change the world and is not afraid to use it.

“For a long time we’ve known that Dylan’s influence reaches far beyond the tennis court or the sports stadium. He has a magnificent ability to engage with all people that transcends tennis, and sport.” 

Alcott will play Sam Schroder in the Australian Open final on Thursday. It will be his last competitive match before retiring.

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