Quad wheelchair tennis was on show in London last year but as an exhibition event only and this year marks its competitive debut at Wimbledon — making Alcott and Lapthorne the format’s inaugural winners.
They defeated American David Wagner and Japan’s Koji Sugeno 6-2 7-6 (7-4) in one hour 26 minutes in front of a raucous crowd on Court 14 as fans unable to get a seat stood outside the barriers, craning to get a look at the action.
Alcott was vocal throughout the match, encouraging his more softly-spoken partner and entertaining the crowd with more than just his racquet — but the moment of the final came after the result had been wrapped up.
Alcott wheeled around the court in celebration, high-fived his team and kissed his girlfriend before taking hold of the microphone at the post-match presentation.
WIMBLEDON CHAMPIONS— 7Sport (@7Sport) July 12, 2019
"In the end it was almost the will of @DylanAlcott, an Australian force of nature..."
Aussie Alcott + Brit Lapthorne win a historic #Wimbledon Men's Quads Double Finals. pic.twitter.com/0Ak8W4Nzty
“This was shown live on the BBC and live back home — that’s quality wheelchair tennis. It meant a lot for us to get here to play Wimbledon,” Alcott said.
“We’re professional athletes who train just as hard as the guys about to play on Centre Court.
“To get respected and be able to get a return on investment — you can’t tell me people don’t want to watch. There’s a line outside of people trying to get in.
“To Wimbledon, thank you so much for having us, we love it.
“To everybody that came down here, to my whole family, I love every single one of you, thank you for your support.
“Everyone watching at home, everyone watching here, please tell your friends. As I said, it’s not just wheelchair tennis, Paralympic sport is amazing all around the world and we want to leave the sport in a better spot for the next generation of young athletes to come and it’s an honour to be able to carry the torch.”
Lapthorne’s speech was just as emotional as he realised a childhood dream to not only grace the courts of Wimbledon, but hold up a trophy at the most sacred place in tennis.
“It means absolutely everything,” Lapthorne said.
“When I dreamt as a kid of playing here, it was like this. And tomorrow I believe we’re going to play on a bigger court because you guys have come out and shown support for us, so thank you so much for being here.
“It means the world to me. This means absolutely everything.
“I’ve been to Paralympics, I’ve been to other grand slams but this for me is the world.”
While Lapthorne and Alcott will celebrate together now, they’ll turn from friends to enemies on Saturday as they take their places on opposite sides of the net in the quad wheelchair singles final.
“To Andy, thanks for playing with me brother. We’re playing in the singles final tomorrow so I hope I pump you,” Alcott said.