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Carlos Alcaraz' Wimbledon win and a new era of tennis

Carlos Alcaraz with his shiny new trophy.
Patrick Smith
/
Getty Images
Carlos Alcaraz with his shiny new trophy.

Who is he? Carlos Alcaraz is a 20-year-old tennis player from El Palmar, Spain, and the newly crowned Wimbledon 2023 champ.

  • This is his first Wimbledon win, and his second Grand Slam trophy overall.
  • What's the big deal? Alcaraz' win did not come easily, but the third youngest winner in the history of the tournament pulled through in the end.

  • His opponent, 36-year-old Novak Djokovic is one of the most decorated tennis players alive. He's won an all-time record 23 Grand Slam men's singles titles, and 7 Wimbledon trophies. He also hadn't lost a match at the London-based tournament since 2017.
  • Alcaraz struggled through most of the first set, but regained his momentum in the second, winning in a tiebreak. He won the match after a grueling five sets.
  • Three tennis greats, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic, have dominated the men's sport for decades. At just 20 years old, Alcaraz represents a new generation of talent. 

  • Want more on sports? Listen to Consider This on the efforts to reverse the decline of Black players in Major League Baseball



    What's he saying?

    Here's Alcaraz moments after securing his victory:

    It's a dream come true for me. It's great to win, but even if I had lost, I would be really proud of myself, making history in this beautiful tournament, playing a final against a legend of our sport.

    His post-game thoughts on the match:

    I fought until the last ball, every ball. We made great rallies, great points. It was a long match, long sets and it was the mental part that allowed me to stay there during the five sets. To stay good physically and mentally for five hours against a legend, making history like I did today, it's the happiest moment of my life. I don't think that's going to change for a long time.

    And his motivation for winning:

    I did it for myself , not for the [next] generation, honestly. Beating Novak at his best, in this stage, making history, being the guy to beat him after 10 years, and beating him on that court is amazing for me. It's something I will never forget. But it's great I think, for the new generations as well, to see me beating him, and making them think that they are capable of doing it as well.

    As well as his feelings post-tournament:

    Right now at 20, I haven't been through too many moments like this. Beating Novak and winning Wimbledon is something I've dreamed of since I've started playing tennis.

    So, what now?

  • Alcaraz' stunning win is tied into a larger, growing legacy of Spanish tennis superstars.
  • As for the celebrations he's planning? "I have the official dinner, like every year. And then I don't know, I'm going to spend time with my family, that's for sure. But I don't know where yet."
  • Learn More:

  • Tour de France teams ask fans to behave better after a mass pileup in latest stage
  • Marketa Vondrousova, ranked 42nd in the world, wins Wimbledon
  • Northwestern baseball coach Jim Foster is fired days after football hazing scandal
  • Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

    Manuela López Restrepo
    Manuela López Restrepo is a producer and writer at All Things Considered. She's been at NPR since graduating from The University of Maryland, and has worked at shows like Morning Edition and It's Been A Minute. She lives in Brooklyn with her cat Martin.