Left: Carlos Alacaraz as a child hitting a backhand. Right: Alracaz laughs while holding the WImbledon trophy.

Photos : Le Soir

Carlos Alcaraz is a very, very fast learner.

Though he won’t be breaking the youngest ever records set by Boris Becker, Jennifer Capriati and Martina Hingis, he isn’t wasting any time, cramming his trophy case and cementing his status as a prodigious tennis superstar.

He’s the first player to win a lead-in and Wimbledon back-to-back, and he did it with a total of 14 matches on grass, including junior and qualifying events, under his belt.

Going into this season, Carlos was 10–4 on grass since 2019 (back when he was 16 years old). Only Andre Agassi had a better record before securing his first major on the surface.

Photo : Wimbledon

King Charles III was noticeably absent, but King Felipe VI applauded from the royal box as Carlito I was crowned king of Wimbledon 2023 and the ATP rankings.

Read also: Meet the ATP Top 10 for the National Bank Open

In his winner’s speech, Alcaraz lightheartedly called attention to the Spanish sovereign: “It’s special to play in front of royalty. King Felipe, I am really proud that you are here supporting me. When I played in front of you twice, twice I won. I hope you are coming more!”

Photos : Getty

Up against the most winning, most experienced and, above all, most feared player of them all, Carlos brought Djokovic’s 35 straight wins at Wimbledon to an end. In only his second Grand Slam final, he overpowered the man with the record-breaking winning streak at the All England Club.

The Spaniard also opened a brand-new chapter at Wimbledon, becoming the first men’s champion in 20 years who isn’t Djokovic, Federer, Nadal or Murray.

Montage : @JeuSetMaths

With his 6 titles this season and only 4 losses in 51 matches, Alcaraz has punched his ticket for the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin in November. 

Alcaraz in 2023


He may be under the legal drinking age in many countries, but he’s already a certified megastar. And he may not have a lot of years of service in the ATP, but he’s already a highlight reel in himself.

Take a look:

All you can play

Photo : DiscoverNewport.org

The close of Wimbledon marks the start of a brief but surprising two-week period in men’s tennis with events on three different surfaces.

First up is the rare US tournament on grass in Newport, Rhode Island, home of the Tennis Hall of Fame. In addition to the many Americans in the draw, Kevin Anderson has chosen the event to come out of retirement. Montréal’s own Gabriel Diallo will also be there. As chance would have it, he’ll be taking on the 6’8” veteran in the opening round.

Read also: Alcaraz Crowned at Wimbledon

The very same week, there’s clay court action in Gstaad, Switzerland, and Bastad, Sweden.

And during the week of July 24, there’s a hard-court event in Atlanta and two other tournaments on clay in Umag, Croatia, and Hamburg, Germany.

Source : ATP

It can be difficult to comprehend why players keep competing on courts whose seasons are over instead of preparing for the hard courts they’ll be spending most of their time on for the rest of the season.

Seems that there’s something for everyone. Like an all-you-can-eat buffet.

Photo : CroatiaOpen.hr

Much ado about nothing

Photos : South London Club & Wimbledon

Across the pond, a new iteration of the Shakespearean comedy could have been penned in the grand theater of the small town of Wimbledon.

Some 423 years later, Much Ado About Nothing could easily apply to the technological innovation touted by the esteemed All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) and IBM: tennis commentary generated by generative artificial intelligence (AI) in all the tournament’s recap videos.

Photo : Steve McCaskill/Forbes
Photo : Sportspromedia.co

Announced just two weeks before the start of the Slam, the news naturally created a stir, especially given the dazzling and concerning encroachment of AI in our lives since the start of 2023.

Read also: Post-Wimbledon

But it was all a tempest in a teapot. Head over to Wimbledon.com, and you’ll see that the results are far from stellar. It’s a novelty that elicits, at best, a wry smile and, at worst, a yawn of indifference.


But be forewarned that the choice of voices is limited and very traditional, to put it politely: a robotic male voice for the men’s matches and a robotic female voice for the women’s.

Read also: Notable Names Ready to Go in Granby

Before Wimbledon got rolling, the AELTC’s digital products lead Chris Clements emphasized how fans were hungry for new ways to enjoy their favourite sport: “Wimbledon when we were kids was when the whole family would gather in front of the living room TV. Now it is less common. We need to find another way to attract those who will embody the next generation of Wimbledon fans.”

He was likely referring to all the real-time statistics provided by IBM during the matches. And, in that regard, I agree with the strategy. But rare snippets of monotone sentences by the Watson computer system don’t thrill anyone.

Photo : VentureBeat.com / MrSeb

Ainsi, ce n’est pas de sitôt que l’on remplacera les humains au micro.

Et je pense notamment au Maître en la matière, l’ex-joueur sud-africain Robbie Koenig, probablement la quintessence de ce métier en termes de pertinence, connaissance, couleur et émotiAI won’t be replacing human commentators any time soon, especially masters like the legendary Robbie Koenig who embodies everything a truly great commentator should be in terms of relevance, knowledge, colour and emotion.

Photomontage : Reddit/Make_the_music_stop

There’s just no way any machine, no matter how advanced, could come up with such lyrical flights of tennis fancy.

“That’s an oil painting of a backhand!”

“Call 9-11, [Player name] just got out of jail!”

“That’s phenomeNadal! That’s what that is!”

“Federer getting betterer!”

“Like a mongoose on amphetamines!”

“It’s tennis nearer the gods!”

“Oh! You’ve GOT to be kidding me!”

“Ohhhhh! Stop it!”


Email: privard@tenniscanada.com

Twitter: @paul6rivard

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