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Dylan Alcott has announced that he will retire from professional tennis after the Australian Open at the start of 2022.
The 30-year-old is one of Australia's favourite athletes of all-time, not just for his incredible ability on the court, but also for his spirit off it.
Now, after a decorated seven-year career, the great man himself is saying goodbye to the game which he says saved his life.
"I feel like I've done everything I need to do on the tennis court," Alcott said at a press conference.
The last dance :flag_au: :trophy: :raised_hands: @DylanAlcott has officially announced his retirement and will play his final tournament at #AO2022.
One last ride for the 7x #AusOpen singles champion. pic.twitter.com/zadSwoREGm
- #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) November 9, 2021
"I've known this day was coming for a while.
"It's been an incredible ride and I think the time has come to move onto other things that I do.
"In saying that, I'm going to train my arse off for the next two months and try and go out on a high.
"I used to hate myself so much. I hated my disability. I didn't even want to be here any more.
"I found tennis and it changed and saved my life.
"Now I've become the only male ever in any form of tennis to win the Golden Slam, which is pretty cool."
Post tennis I'm thinking of becoming a wheelchair tradie... Might need some help with the upstairs and roof painting but HIT ME UP #TheBlock :moneybag::moneybag:
- Dylan Alcott (@DylanAlcott) November 7, 2021
In recent months after the Paralympic Games, Alcott has voiced his interest in retiring but insists he will remains focused on winning his eighth-successive title on home soil at the Australian Open.
"It's perfect to finish at the top, and for Dylan to have the chance to go to the Australian Open and receive the accolades that he deserves," Australian tennis legend Todd Woodbridge told Nine.
"I've seen Roger Federer manage his time and the stress and still achieve great things, but Dylan takes that to another level.
"To be able to cope with the attention that Dylan gets in Melbourne, while not losing focus, or getting angry or tired, it shows what an amazing person he is."
Alcott has had a stellar career, but this year - in particular - was a standout one.
Just a few months ago, the loveable larrikin won the prestigious Golden Slam after clinching all four major titles as well as his Paralympic gold medal in Tokyo.
His trophy cabinet at home would be looking pretty full.
Alcott now has an impressive 23 Grand Slam titles to his name and five Paralympic medals, three for tennis and two for wheelchair basketball.
"For me he is one of our greatest athletes, for what he's opened up for so many other people. He's proven to every athlete what they're capable of doing," Woodbridge added.
"Just being around Dylan is so motivating, he's been an extraordinary role model for so many people."
Alcott will undoubtedly go down as arguably the greatest wheelchair tennis player in history, but it's his actions off the court which have seen him become a fan favourite among sports fans around the globe.
"Dylan's personality has driven that sport to the highest levels internationally," Woodbridge noted.
"He has helped to create better equality, better prizemoney and better exposure.
"The weren't going to play the wheelchair events at last year's US Open, and with a statement from him he was able to get that decision overturned, and get the organisers to realise it was the wrong thing to do.
"He has given so many people the opportunity to make a career out of wheelchair tennis.
"His biggest contribution to show the community that having a disability shouldn't hold you back."
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