‘Carlos Alcaraz invigorated tennis after people were upset at Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal absence’

Carlos Alcaraz after a match

Alexandra Stevenson believes Carlos Alcaraz has “really invigorated the men’s game” after people were “upset that Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are not playing.”

The former world No 18 – a tennis commentator and analyst for ESPN – thinks this year’s Wimbledon and US Open tournaments showed there is “more to men’s tennis than Federer, Nadal and Andy Murray.”

Alcaraz overcame Novak Djokovic in a thrilling five-set final at the 2023 Wimbledon Championships in July to claim his second Gran Slam title. The Spaniard became the first man outside the ‘Big Four’ of Djokovic, Nadal, Federer and Murray to triumph at the All England Club since Lleyton Hewitt in 2002.

The 20-year-old then reached the semi-finals at the US Open earlier this month, where his title defence was ended by Daniil Medvedev. Djokovic secured a record-extending 24th men’s major with victory over Medvedev in the final in New York.

The men’s US Open event was also notable for the run of 20-year-old rising American star Ben Shelton, who reached the semi-finals.

Speaking on an episode of the Match Point Canada podcast, Stevenson suggested the last two Grand Slam events showcased that tennis is in a good place on the ATP side.

“I think Wimbledon and US Open this year showed that there’s more to – now Roger and Rafa and Andy Murray, I mean Andy Murray is still playing and he’s still exciting to watch – but there is more to men’s tennis to watch than those three,” assessed the American.

“So I feel like this US Open was important for the tennis world again to see on the men’s side – there are lot of new characters and there are more and they are exciting and their personality – and I feel like Alcaraz is leading the charge obviously and he has really invigorated the men’s game after people being upset that Roger and Rafa are not playing.”

The former Wimbledon semi-finalist also openly reflected on her retirement from tennis, having had her progress significantly halted by a shoulder injury.

“I’ve never had that clarity (about retirement) and I’m not content (laugh) – and I’m being honest. I got hurt with my shoulder and I felt like I was about to break in. I was 18 in the world and I was really finding my game,” said Stevenson.

“I was beating [players] from 1-10, and I’d beaten [Jennifer] Capriati three times in a row and she was ranked 1. And I finally kind of found the rhythm, it took me four years to figure it out and I was finding my game.

“And then I hurt my shoulder. And then I got surgery and then I fought my way back to like 200 [in the world]. And I just really didn’t have the backing of a team and the building that you need.

“Once my shoulder got hurt, I lost – everybody in my tennis life, they kinda just walked away. They didn’t wanna help me out and that was difficult.”

READ MORE: Novak Djokovic ‘set to be handed key Ryder Cup role’ as he flies into Rome

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