WHEELCHAIR tennis champion Dylan Alcott says he couldn’t be more impressed with the redeveloped facilities at Bendigo’s Fosterville Gold Tennis Centre.
Alcott is in Bendigo this week for the Bendigo Wheelchair Tennis Open.
He’s played in Bendigo previously, but this week is Alcott’s first opportunity to experience the complex since its $6.2 million redevelopment was completed.
“I used to play in Bendigo every year when I was a junior, so it’s great to be back… the renovation looks awesome,” Alcott said on Thursday.
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“It’s unbelievable and I’m super impressed. It’s a great facility with super courts… it’s 10 out of 10.”
Outside of grand slam tournaments, the Bendigo Wheelchair Tennis Open is the highest graded event on the ITF calendar and continues through until Sunday.
Alcott is competing in both the singles and doubles with best mate Heath Davidson, who he won a gold medal with in the men’s doubles at the 2016 Rio Paralympics.
The tournament is serving as a lead-in event to the Australian Open Wheelchair Championships that get under way at Melbourne Park on January 23.
“All the best in the world and the players who are playing in the Open are here, so it’s a perfect hit-out to get match play,” Alcott said.
“You can train all you want, but you’ve got to be able to play matches to play on the big stage and this is the perfect preparation for the Australian Open.”
Alcott will be striving to win a fifth consecutive Australian Open men’s quad singles title this year.
“Five in a row sounds better than four, so, that’s what I’m aiming for,” Alcott said.
“I’m really excited about being able to showcase wheelchair tennis and inspire the next generation of people with disabilities to get out and have a go.”
As well as competing on court at the Australian Open in the second week of the tournament, Alcott, 28, will spend the first week as part of the commentary team for Channel Nine, which has this year taken over the TV broadcast rights.
“I’m going to be commentating with some big names like John McEnroe and Jim Courier as part of Wide World of Sports, so it’s a huge opportunity that I’m really looking forward to,” Alcott said.
Following her win over world No.1 Simona Halep at the Sydney International on Wednesday, Alcott says Australian Ash Barty has shown she has the ability to take out the women’s title in Melbourne, while his tip in the men’s is Roger Federer to win for a seventh time.
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