US Open: Dylan Alcott criticises Grand Slam for 'discrimination' over wheelchair omission
British duo Andy Lapthorne and Gordon Reid have also come out in support of Alcott
Last Updated: 18/06/20 3:31pm
Australian Paralympic tennis champion Dylan Alcott says the omission of the wheelchair tournament from this year's US Open is "disgusting discrimination".
Alcott, who won the 2015 and 2018 wheelchair singles titles at Flushing Meadows and is the reigning doubles champion, said players were not consulted and posed no greater health threat than able-bodied entrants.
With the coronavirus still rife in the United States, the Grand Slam to be played from August 31 to September 13 has been given the go-ahead without fans or a qualifying tournament for able-bodied players.
"I thought I did enough to qualify - 2x champion, number 1 in the world," Alcott wrote on Twitter.
"But unfortunately I missed the only thing that mattered, being able to walk. Disgusting discrimination."
The organisers have also eliminated the mixed doubles and juniors competitions while reducing the number of teams in men's and women's doubles events by half.
Melbourne man Alcott has won 10 wheelchair Grand Slam singles titles and took the singles and doubles gold at the 2016 Paralympic Games at Rio.
"And please do not tell me I am a 'greater risk' because I am disabled," the 29-year-old wrote.
"I am disabled yes but that does not make me SICK.
"It is blatant discrimination for able-bodied people to decide on my behalf what I do with my LIFE AND CAREER just because I am disabled. Not good enough," he wrote.
British duo Andy Lapthorne and Gordon Reid have also come out in support of Alcott.
Lapthorne won the US Open doubles title alongside the Australian in 2019, while he is also the reigning singles champion.
"The @ITF_Tennis make my head hurt on a regular basis; considering having @usopen wheelchair event off site now. Talk about missing the whole point," Lapthorne wrote on Twitter.
"SPEAK TO THE PLAYERS PLEASE JUST SPEAK TO THE PLAYERS. How can u discuss potential approaches without consulting with the players. This is painful at this point. Who is in charge this is a farce."
Reid, who is a paralympic gold medallist and two-time singles Grand Slam champion, wrote: "Massively disappointed to find out on twitter this morning that the @usopen plan on cutting wheelchair tennis from this year's tournament. The wheelchair players have had ZERO communication or consultation from either the ITF or the Grand Slam around this decision."