Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic are ‘reaching out internally’ in a bid to support wheelchair tennis stars after it emerged the US Open had cancelled the wheelchair event.
That’s according to Dylan Alcott, the 10-time Grand Slam singles champion, who also spent 30 minutes on the phone with Britain’s Andy Murray discussing the issue.
US Open chiefs announced that the Grand Slam would take place in New York, starting on August 31, but while men’s and women’s singles and doubles would take place, mixed doubles, junior and wheelchair events were cancelled.
Alcott, one of the most recognised Paralympic athletes on the planet, claimed the decision was a result of ‘disgusting’ and ‘blatant’ discrimination in a series of social media posts, which were shared by Murray on Instagram.
And he confirmed that he and the wheelchair tennis community have the support of many of their high-profile able-bodied counterparts.
‘This sets a really dangerous example around the world that we are second-rate citizens,’ Alcott told The Today Show. ‘That we aren’t worth as much as our able-bodied counterparts.
‘The wheelchair players have had ZERO communication or consultation from either the ITF or the Grand Slam around this decision.’
The International Paralympics Committee (IPC) have also asked the US Open to reconsider their decision.
‘The IPC is disappointed at the US Open’s decision not to include wheelchair tennis in this September’s event, a decision that has left a lot of the athlete community rightly upset and angered,’ IPC president Andrew Parsons said in a statement.
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