MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) – The Latest on Saturday at the Australian Open (all times local):
Dylan Alcott has won his fifth Australian Open quad wheelchair singles title with a 6-4, 7-6 (2) victory over David Wagner of the United States on Rod Laver Arena.
It was a seventh Grand Slam quad wheelchair title for the 28-year-old Alcott, who also beat Wagner in last year’s U.S. Open final.
Wagner, a six-time Grand Slam quad wheelchair titlist, rallied from 5-2 down in the second set before Alcott dominated the tiebreaker.
Alcott is a popular figure in Australia as a multi-sport Paralympic gold medalist who regularly appears on television and in advertising for one the Australian Open’s sponsors.
“I remember I was 14 and I was lying in bed, and all I wanted to do was make it in the mainstream in some way,” Alcott told the crowd at Rod Laver Arena, the center court at Melbourne Park. “I wanted to show that people with disability can be elite at what they do. This match was broadcast into every single TV in Australia. That meant a lot to me.”
Alcott thanked the crowd and said it was a great way to celebrate Australia Day, the national holiday.
“It’s been great for me, but I want it to be great for a lot more people than just me.”
Top-seeded Clara Tauson of Denmark has beaten fourth-seeded Leylah Annie Fernandez of Canada 6-4, 6-3 to win the girls title at the Australian Open.
Tauson said she was inspired by Caroline Wozniacki’s run to the Australian Open title last year, which was the Danish player’s breakthrough at a Grand Slam tournament.
“I’ve practiced with her,” Tauson said. “She’s a big inspiration for everyone in Denmark playing tennis and other sports.”
Tauson has won 12 straight junior matches since her exit at the U.S. Open girls’ tournament in the round of 32.
Fernandez reached the semifinals at the French Open junior tournament last year and the quarterfinals at the U.S. Open.
Naomi Osaka and Petra Kvitova meet in the Australian Open final with a championship and the No. 1 ranking at stake.
Neither has ever won the title at Melbourne Park or been atop the WTA rankings.
Saturday’s matchup is also the first time they have played against each other.
Osaka is trying to win a second consecutive major trophy to go along with the one she earned at the U.S. Open last September. She also would be the first player from Japan to be No. 1.
Kvitova seeks her third Grand Slam title – and the first since she was stabbed in the hand by an intruder at her home in the Czech Republic a little more than two years ago.
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