The world number two able bodied tennis player, Novak Djokovic, hosted a charity night in Melbourne ahead of the Australian open. That event included playing a match, in a wheelchair, against Australian Quad Tennis Champion Dylan Alcott, in an effort to raise money for preschools in Serbia.
Despite being one of the best in the world without a wheelchair, Djokovic was really not up to the task in a wheelchair. Djokovic struggled to control his shots and push the chair, which led to plenty of souvenirs for the crowd in attendance, and plenty of laughs from the Croatian legend.
Eventually Djokovic was able to hit a ball, prompting cheers from the crowd after Alcott helped drive him in to the right position. The difficulty of Djokovic is something familiar to any able bodied individual that has attempted to match the skill of those competing in wheelchair tennis.
The event was free to the public with auctions and donation buckets being used to gather the money for Djokovic’s charity. Both Djokovic and Alcott were on a microphone through the match, allowing the crowd to really hear Djokovic’s struggles.
Djokovic also tried his hand at other Australian sports, including cricket with the Melbourne Cricket Stadium right next door to the venue. He also struggled at cricket prompting Alcott to remark that “he needs to work on his legspin bowling” after the event.
The packed Margaret Court Arena appeared to enjoy the show, and was generous in giving to Djokovic’s charity. The hope is that this will also translate to people coming to see the wheelchair tennis at the Australian Open.