17/04/2024

Dylan Alcott claimed the Golden Slam in straight-sets against Niels Vink Photo: ATP Tour - Twitter

Long thought impossible, Dylan Alcott completed the Golden Slam defeating Dutch youngster Niels Vink in straight-sets at the US Open.

Dylan Alcott has made history as the first men’s tennis player in any discipline to win a Golden Slam, defeating Niels Vink in straight sets.

Just five years ago a Golden Slam was an impossible feat for a Quad Wheelchair player with Wimbledon and the French Open yet to include a Quad Wheelchair Singles or Doubles competition but as the sport grew both tournaments were added to the roster in 2019.

Alcott has dominated the tour for years but his run in 2021 can only be matched by two other players in history Steffi Graf in the Women’s Singles in 1988 and Diede de Groot in the Women’s Wheelchair Singles in 2021, with de Groot completing the Golden Slam two hours before Alcott.

No one can keep Alcott from destiny

Alcott was first up to serve but didn’t get the comfortable start he would have wanted, losing the first three points of the final before he managed to hit a winner, however, Vink had two more break point opportunities in his pocket and was able to break the Australian’s serve in the first game.

Demanding a rev up from the crowd, Alcott was able to break back in the second game and he was more at ease on serve in the next game digging to stay on serve despite the 18-year-old taking him to deuce.

Vink managed to break Alcott again in the fifth game of the set, the Australian struggled with his serve, serving four faults in a row to give up two points. But once again Alcott was back in the next game, breaking Vink’s serve 40-0.

Nothing was coming easily on serve for either player with Alcott losing another break on serve, serving his third double fault for the match.

The 18-year-old looked to create a two-game buffer in his next service game and got out to an early lead before Alcott snuck back into the game following another double fault, Alcott built off the momentum following the double fault to break back, resulting in the sixth break of serve for the set.

Riding the high from the break, Alcott quickly got out to a 40-0 lead in his service game, with a shot from Vink going into the net to put Alcott one game away from winning the first set.

Vink managed to stay alive in the set in his next service game to bring it to 5-5 with the Dutchman hitting three winners and holding off a now firing Alcott.

Alcott served the first ace of the match in the next game putting the serve just out of Vink’s reach to take him to advantage in the game, ultimately taking the game due to a forced forehand error.

Serving to take the set to a tie-break Vink had a hard task ahead of him with Alcott getting to an early 30-0 lead but he was soon back into the game which eventually went to deuce, Alcott only needed one break point opportunity at advantage to take the set, finishing it off with a forehand winner.

Photo: US Open

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It was an easier start to the second set with both players holding serve in their first service games.

Alcott took off after winning his second service game despite going to deuce three times with Vink offered a break point opportunity it just seemed like something was different as the 30-year-old held his serve.

The Aussie followed up the tight game by breaking Vink’s serve 40-0. The Dutchman managed to break back in the next game but any relief was short-lived when Alcott once again put a two-game buffer between them.

Just two games away from a historic achievement Alcott briefly wobbled in his service game sending the game to 40-30 following a double fault but he didn’t blink hitting a backhand winner to take the seventh game of the set.

All it took was one championship point in Vink’s final service game of the match for Alcott to win the US Open title hitting a forehand winner out of Vink’s reach ending the match.

Dylan Alcott [1]76
Niels Vink52

It’s been a history-making US Open across all disciplines and Alcott’s victory came from years of hard work and dominance at the top, completing not only the Golden Slam but winning his 15th Singles Grand Slam Title.

The Australian got the final word in for the day thanking the tournament for allowing Wheelchair Tennis to be showcased on arena courts but the relaxed demeanour finally came down as Alcott confirmed just how much winning the Golden Slam meant to him.

“I can’t believe I just won the Golden Slam,” Alcott uttered in his speech following the match, not hiding his emotions.

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