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Road to the NBO...

Road to the NBO by 407 ETR: Alcaraz Coronated at Wimbledon

Welcome to the Road to the National Bank Open presented by 407 ETR. Every week, we will keep you updated on all the action on the ATP Tour as we build towards the National Bank Open in Toronto, which takes place from Aug. 5 to 13.


On Court Action

The third Major of 2023 has come to its conclusion and Carlos Alcaraz stands alone as Wimbledon champion. The 20-year-old handed Novak Djokovic his first defeat at the All-England Club since 2017 and his first loss on Centre Court in over ten years en route to the victory.

The highly anticipated final did not disappoint as Alcaraz prevailed in a grueling five-set match, 1-6, 7-6(6), 6-1, 3-6, 6-4 to capture the second Grand Slam title of his young and already impressive career.

Alcaraz is ushering in an exciting time in the sport on the ATP Tour and, along with 20-year-old Holger Rune and 21-year-old Jannik Sinner, is injecting some youth into the top of the men’s game. All three players are just at the start of what promises to be very captivating careers.

It’s hard to believe that Alcaraz, who has accomplished so much over the last year, has yet to even play a professional match here in Toronto where the National Bank Open is now less than three weeks away. In his Canadian debut last summer, he fell in his first match against Tommy Paul.

Look for a very different result for Alcaraz this time around as the Spaniard will make his debut at Sobeys Stadium during the evening session on Wednesday, Aug. 9. Expect a packed crowd to welcome the Wimbledon champion to the city for what we hope will be a lengthy stay!

Get your tickets to see the Wimbledon champion today!

Stories to Watch

The continued development of Carlos Alcaraz is going to be extremely enjoyable to watch in the coming months and years. When was the last time a 20-year-old had already accomplished as much as Alcaraz and in such a short amount of time?

At the start of 2022 he was ranked just outside the Top 30 in the ATP rankings. By September of that year, he was the No. 1 player in the world, a ranking he has shared multiple times now with Novak Djokovic. In fact, not since 1983 have there been as many changes in the No. 1 ranking in the men’s game through the first half of a season.

Over the course of his rise to prominence, Alcaraz has captured twelve titles, four of them at the Masters 1000 level as well as his maiden Grand Slam title last summer at the US Open and now of course his first title at Wimbledon as well.

Read also: Meet the ATP Top 10 ahead of the 2023 National Bank Open

With limited exposure to grass court tennis, many wondered if his success on clay and hard courts would translate to this somewhat niche surface. Alcaraz quickly laid those questions to rest with his performance over the last month.

First, he won the lead-up tournament to Wimbledon at the Queen’s Club with a victory over Alex de Minaur in the final. He carried that momentum to the best-of-five format at the All-England Club where he lived up to his top seeding (the youngest No. 1 seed there since Boris Becker in 1987) and made it all the way to the finals where he defeated one of the all-time greats on the surface in Djokovic.

Along the way, he also dispatched 2020 finalist Matteo Berrettini, fellow 20-year-old phenom Holger Rune and No. 3 seed Daniil Medvedev.

While it is impossible to predict what the future will bring, Alcaraz has already demonstrated that he has all the tools and mental fortitude to lay the foundation for a successful career on the ATP Tour.

Other Stories to Watch

Apart from Alcaraz, one of the biggest stories from the All-England Club was the surprising quarter-final run of Christopher Eubanks.

The 6’7’’ former Collegiate star was in the qualifying draw at Wimbledon for the fifth consecutive year and finally found his way into the main draw. Not content to stop there, Eubanks continued his impressive play by defeating the likes of 12th-seeded Cam Norrie and fifth-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas before falling in five sets to No. 3 Daniil Medvedev.

Eubanks had been displaying terrific grass court form this summer that included him winning his first ATP title in June in Mallorca. Somehow Eubanks had never previously felt comfortable on the grass despite his game seemingly designed to excel on the surface. A pre-Wimbledon pep talk from the great Kim Clijsters was one added confidence boost he admitted had helped him to get over the hump!

Eubanks was a guest on Match Point Canada earlier this year when he was ranked just outside the Top 100 and he had the following to say about his ranking and what helped him continue to push forward.

“My ranking kind of got a little stagnant. I still felt like I was a better player than I was the year before but the results just weren’t coming. And I think now, it’s just kind of embracing, not focusing as much on, certain benchmarks or goals but just enjoying the process, which is a very cliché saying but enjoying getting up and training and working on things and areas of my game that need to get better.”

Clearly the approach has worked for the American, who will be one to watch for sure at the National Bank Open in just a few weeks time!

The ATP's best return to Toronto this summer for the National Bank Open August 5 to 13 at Sobeys Stadium. Tickets are on sale. Get your tickets today!