Dylan Alcott's brilliant act of class amid Paralympics heartbreak

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·Sports Editor
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Dylan Alcott, pictured here helping volunteers dry the court at the Paralympics.
Dylan Alcott helps volunteers dry the court at the Paralympics. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

He may not have won the gold medal, but Dylan Alcott certainly won the hearts of Australia on Wednesday night at the Paralympics.

A lean day for Australia at the Tokyo Games extended all the way to the tennis as Alcott's bid for a quad doubles gold medal fell short.

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Alcott and Heath Davidson won the gold in Rio in 2016, but suffered a straight-sets loss to Dutch duo Sam Schroder and Niels Vink in a rain-affected match on Wednesday.

Play was stopped during the first set when the roof had to be closed, with volunteers taking to the court to dry it with towels.

And in a classy moment that sums him up perfectly, Alcott was also out with a towel trying to dry the surface.

Alcott and Davidson were also gracious in defeat, hugging their jubilant opponents at the net.

"We got pumped tonight," Alcott said afterwards.

"No excuses - no rain, no roof closure, no me being tired - they were better than us and they deserved it.

"Our level wasn't there. Win, lose, or draw - Heath's my best mate. Medals come and go, but that friendship stays forever.

"I'm gutted and I wanted to win gold, but I'm still so proud of Heath, and I know he's proud of me."

Sam Schroder and Niels Vink, pictured here embracing Dylan Alcott and Heath Davidson at the net.
Sam Schroder and Niels Vink embrace Dylan Alcott and Heath Davidson at the net. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

Dylan Alcott looking to complete rare 'Golden Slam'

The 6-4 6-3 defeat for the Aussies ensured Australia failed to win a gold medal for the entire day, settling for two silvers and four bronzes.

However Alcott will have a chance to earn a slice of revenge when he takes on Schroder in the quad singles final on Thursday night.

The Aussie star is bidding to complete a 'Golden Slam' by winning all four majors and Olympic singles gold in the same year.

He has already captured the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon titles in a stellar year so far.

Novak Djokovic was also looking to secure the rare feat at the Olympics, but lost in the semi-finals and eventually missed a medal altogether.

Dylan Alcott, pictured here helping to dry the court during the quad doubles gold medal match.
Dylan Alcott helps dry the court during the quad doubles gold medal match. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

The only player in tennis history to complete the feat is German legend Steffi Graf.

Alcott advanced to the singles final by beating Vink in a marathon three-set semi-final on Tuesday.

The Aussie hero had already sent a special message to Vink for his 18th birthday before the Games, and again showed his class on the court with a magical moment of sportsmanship.

Going over to congratulate his rival after the thrilling semi-final performance, Alcott and Vink shared a lengthy embrace that left one Paralympics commentator particularly emotional.

“Great show of sportsmanship that is from both of them,” she said.

“Huge amount of respect there. It’s making me come to tears here. What a great, great show of sportsmanship.”

with AAP

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