NICK Kyrgios and Bernard Tomic always dominate the headlines in the lead-up to and during any Australian Open — it’s a guarantee.
Unfortunately, they’re not worthy of the mass coverage they receive when an Australian tennis legend is being completely shunned.
He has won the same number of grand slam titles as all other Australian men combined over the past 30 years and he’s only 27-years-old.
His name is Dylan Alcott and he’s preparing to play in his fourth straight Australian Open final on Saturday when he takes on American David Wagner in the Quad Wheelchair Singles.
You may know Alcott from the Fitbit ads that have been played several thousand times throughout the Open, but what you may not know is that he is aiming to win his fourth consecutive Australian Open title and if successful, it would become grand slam title number five.
Only three male players in Australian Open history have ever claimed the title in three or more consecutive years.
Roy Emerson did it in 1963 to 1966, Novak Djokovic achieved the feat in 2011 to 2013 and Dylan Alcott pulled it off from 2015 to 2017.
Of course if he can defeat World No. 1 Wagner in the final, he’ll eclipse a feat not even the great Djokovic could manage.
Prior to the Australian Open getting underway, Alcott had a staggering career record of 127 wins with only 19 losses.
That gives him a winning percentage of 87 per cent.
To put that into context, here are the win percentages of tennis’ big four:
— Djokovic: 82 per cent
— Rafael Nadal: 82 per cent
— Roger Federer: 81 per cent
— Andy Murray: 78 per cent
Alcott has represented Australia at the past three Paralympic Games but his first two trips, in Beijing 2008 and London 2012, weren’t for tennis.
His Paralympic trophy cabinet began filling up when he was part of the Australian basketball team that claimed the gold medal in Beijing before he added more bling in London with a silver medal.
He then returned to the court and used his incredible talents to claim a second and third gold medal at the Rio games in the singles and doubles format.
He made his way into the final by comfortably defeating Davidson in straight sets after being promoted to play on the Open’s main court.
“Heath and I were lying on the couch in player services, going ‘god, the bloody tournament director’s stuffed up, should’ve put us earlier’,” Alcott said.
“And then (tournament official) Wayne comes in and goes ‘uh, g’day boys, you’re on Rod Laver Arena in eight minutes. Get ready!’ Heath and I were like woah!
“I mean I love it out here. Thanks to everybody that stayed.
“Not even Roger Federer gets a grand slam tournament five minutes from his house,” Alcott added.
“But I do and I’m so lucky for that. I train here and it’s my favourite time of year. I bloody love Melbourne, I love the Australian Open and I look forward to coming back here on this court tomorrow, hopefully win another Australian for everybody who supported me.”
Alcott will take to Rod Laver Arena on Day 13 as the second final of the day.
No matter the outcome, he has proved more than worthy of receiving the same amount of attention we continue to heap onto athletes who don’t play with anywhere near as much heart.