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Wheelchair Tennis Champion Slams Pay Disparity Between Disabled And Able-Bodied Players

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Wheelchair Tennis Champion Slams Pay Disparity Between Disabled And Able-Bodied Players

By Daisy Phillipson

Dylan Alcott has criticised the pay disparity between disabled and able-bodied winners of the Australian Open tennis tournament.

The 31-year-old was hoping to win his eighth Australian Open title before retiring from tennis.

However, his goal sadly wasn't realised, and he lost to Sam Schröder in the men's quad singles final on Rod Laver Arena on Thursday (27 January) in straight sets 7-5 6-0.


The disability advocate, who was named Australian of the Year last week, has now hit out at the pay divide between the singles and wheelchair winners and said inequalities still need to be addressed in the sport.

As reported by, winners of the men's and women's singles trophies at Melbourne Park each earn AU $2.875 million (£1.4m), while the runners-up get AU $1.575 million (£820k).

Meanwhile, semi-finalists take home AU $895,000 (£467,000) and competitors who lost in the first round still bag AU $103,000 (£54,000).


Alcott said: "I won the lead-in tournament here and it was like $1,300. How much is a flight from Europe, $3,000?

"It's not just Australia, it's all around the world. We don't get $3.5 million for winning.

"We get less than half the first-round loser ($103,000) that the able-bodied get at all slams.

"That's way better than it was. We used to get a firm handshake and a cold Powerade. So it's better, but we've got to keep building it so it gets better and better."


The wheelchair tennis champion went on to say that the sport still has a way to go to provide the same rights and opportunities to all players.

Alcott continued: "We have the best Paralympic sport in the world because of the integration with the able-bodied tour. It's unbelievable. And we do a poor job of leveraging that all year.

"But people internally sometimes don't do as good a job to understand how good the product is.


"People think we're lucky to be here; get stuffed. We deserve to be here. We're selling tickets, sponsors are making money and people are loving it.

"So start thinking like that and then it will all change. That's what I was lucky enough to do."

LADbible has contacted Tennis Australia, which manages the Australian Open, for a comment regarding the alleged pay disparity.


Following his latest performance at the Australian Open, Alcott fronted the media to answer all sorts of questions about his glittering career on the court, as well as how he felt about his final performance.

Alcott mentioned how his first professional match was played in front of only a handful of spectators.

However, on Thursday his final match was played in front of a packed arena at Melbourne Park with a million people watching on TV.

To drive home just how far he has come since that first game, he received a message from Andy Murray.

"This just sums up how it's changed," he said. "I hope he doesn't mind this but Andy Murray just messaged me: 'I don't know if I've articulated that well but you're an absolute rock star and inspiration. Thanks for everything that you've done.'

"That kills me. Makes me want to cry. Special. Like you're just apart of it... they don't even care you're in a wheelchair.

"They don't give a s***. Sorry to swear. It's special. So nice. It's like that everywhere. I never thought that would happen, like it's cool. It's really cool.

"That's better than winning a tennis tournament. There's a legend of the sport getting around wheelchair tennis."

Featured Image Credit: Twitter/ATP/Alamy

Topics: Dylan Alcott, Australian Open, Australia

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