It is only a "matter of time" until Carlos Alcaraz is the number one tennis player in the world, according to Richard Krajicek.

At the age of 20, Alcaraz has already won Wimbledon and the US Open, becoming world number one in September 2022.

He was defeated in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open to kick off this year's grand slams, though, failing to win any of the three tournaments in which he has played in 2024.

However, former world number four Krajicek believes Alcaraz is on his way to becoming the best, despite dropping to number two in the world rankings.

"His potential is very high," Krajicek told Stats Perform. "I think he's the future number one.

"I'm not saying anything special because he's beaten everybody. He beat Djokovic three times out of the last four times they played. He beat Medvedev from being two sets to love down, which shows how mentally and physically strong he is.

"So for me, it's a matter of time until he becomes number one. I think he can play on all surfaces, maybe clay is his worst surface but all the other surfaces you would say he's a title contender."

With the 'Big Three' of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic already retired or nearing the end of their storied careers, there's been much discussion over who will fill their boots.

Alcaraz has already proved his abilities, while 22-year-old Italian Jannik Sinner claimed Australian Open glory to kick off this year having reached the semi-finals of Wimbledon in 2023.

Krajicek feels those two will lead the way for the next era of men's tennis, saying: "It's difficult to say who the next generation will be, but I think Alcaraz and Sinner will have a good rivalry. They already have played unbelievable matches.

"Of course, Alcaraz has already been number one, won two Grand Slams. Sinner is now slowly coming also to that level. He is number four, maybe number three after this week."

However, Krajicek has reservations over whether the likes of Alcaraz and Sinner can reach the legendary status of the 'Big Three'.

"To really have the same kind of rivalry, I don't know if that's possible," Krajicek added. "I mean, together, Federer, Nadal and Djokovic won 66 Grand Slams. That's incredible. In every Grand Slam, they were in the final or winning. It's just amazing.

"I don't know if it's possible to have two players or three players that basically win every Grand Slam they play. But I believe those two are going to be the two biggest names for the next couple years."

Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner can join Novak Djokovic as members of a new 'Big Three' in men's tennis over the coming years, before taking up the Serbian's mantle when he retires.

That is the view of four-time grand slam semi-finalist Tommy Haas, who believes Sinner's sheer power will help him build on the Australian Open title he captured last month.

Sinner recovered from two sets down to beat Daniil Medvedev in a thrilling Australian Open final in January, claiming his first grand slam title at the age of 22.

The Italian's triumph made him the third-youngest man to win the event since it moved to Melbourne Park in 1988, older only than Djokovic in 2008 and Jim Courrier in 1992.

That breakout victory led to suggestions that Sinner could join Alcaraz in becoming a regular challenger to Djokovic, who has largely dominated men's tennis in recent years, with Roger Federer retiring in 2022 and Rafael Nadal beset by injury problems.  

While Haas believes Alcaraz is currently a more rounded player than Sinner, he feels the Italian has every chance of adding to his first major crown in the coming years.

"Maybe with Al, it's a bit more of an all-round game, but I think Sinner is going to continue to work on his," Haas told Stats Perform. 

"He's already done a great job on movement, on defence. Maybe he doesn't actually need to learn to get to the net and finish more, but I'm sure he's going to try because of his powerful groundstrokes.

"If he keeps playing like he does, it's just so powerful. You're going to be reacting pretty much all the time against him.

"He's going to try to improve his serve, he's going to try to improve physically. If he stays healthy, if Alcaraz stays healthy, these two are going to be the ones playing for a lot of the big titles."

However, Haas also thinks there are other contenders capable of pushing for major honours, adding: "Then you have Holger Rune, you have these other young players coming up.

"He now has to step it up a little bit. I think there's been lots going on with his team, with lots of chefs in the kitchen, but he's got the right mindset, he's got the will, he's got the potential.

"You have [Alexander] Zverev, who obviously still believes he can and should win a slam, so there's a lot of nice contrast there. 

"Medvedev, on hardcourts you can never count him out, and he's only 27. I think there is still potential for those guys to keep doing well.

"[Andrey] Rublev, I feel like he's getting better on defence as well. He pounds the ball like no other. So if he gets a little bit tougher mentally, don't count him out. There's a lot of good storylines there."

Holger Rune believes he should be considered among the favourites to win a grand slam in 2024.

The 20-year-old Dane enjoyed a strong campaign last year, winning one title and reaching the finals of the Masters in Rome and Monte-Carlo.

Rune got this season off to a good start too, reaching the final of the Brisbane International, which he lost in straight sets to Grigor Dimitrov.

World number eight Rune will be aiming to go one further at the Australian Open, with his campaign starting against Yoshihito Nishioka.

While Opta's predictive model gives Rune just a one per cent chance of going all the way in Melbourne, he is confident he can claim his maiden major title this year.

"I believe that I am a contender to win a grand slam next year," he told Stats Perform.

"It's going to take a lot of work, but I've sacrificed a lot and I'm trusting the process every day and coming out of my comfort zone.

"Every practice is physical and trying to improve mentally also so if I do better next year it won't surprise me." 

It is not just the four majors on the cards this season, but a potential medal at the Paris Olympics.

Rune added: "Yeah, it's going to be a very exciting season. There's a lot of chances next year for grand slams, for the Olympics, and I'm going to go for it.

"I'm going to go to every tournament that I can.

"[The Olympics mean] a lot, everything. With the grand slams, it's the biggest thing in tennis. It's every fourth year, so it's very rare.

"I think if you ask me whether I'd rather win a grand slam or the Olympics, I think I'll still say a grand slam, but the second thing I would say is the Olympics. It's a massive event."

Coco Gauff's emergence as arguably the biggest star of American tennis since Serena Williams is great for the women's game, says former British number one Laura Robson.

Gauff captured the imagination of the American public by winning the US Open last September, the 19-year-old fighting back to beat Aryna Sabalenka in a memorable final at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

That made the teenager the first American – male or female – to win the tournament since Williams, who won the event for the sixth time in 2014. Gauff, Williams and her sister Venus are the only American women to claim the trophy in the 21st century.

Gauff will look to back up that success at the Australian Open when the first major of the year begins on Sunday, and Robson is delighted to see her thriving after being criticised earlier in 2023.

"I love what she's done in the last three months in particular, because over the clay courts and the grass-court season, everyone was writing her off," Robson told Stats Perform.

"She just went back to the drawing board, got a new team around her, played unbelievably at the Cincinnati Masters and came into the US Open with confidence. 

"You could tell, with the way that she played the longer matches, she just felt so good about her game. You could see how she was moving out there. 

"She is definitely the fastest out on tour at the moment on the women's side. I'm just super pumped for her. 

"To be in the stadium and to feel the energy when she won the US Open was crazy.

"I'd say 99.99 per cent of the stadium was going for her and it's going to be a huge boost for women's tennis to have an American superstar like her."

Asked whether Gauff was the natural successor to Williams – who finished her glittering career one major title shy of Margaret Court's record of 24 – Robson said other players' efforts to push American tennis forward should not be overlooked.

"I definitely feel like Jessica Pegula and Madison keys and people like that don't quite get enough credit for how much they've pushed American tennis," Robson continued. 

"Even going into the US Open, Pegula was the number one American, but Coco definitely had more attention on her, which is great because their different profiles are being raised, but at the same time they were still pushing each other along and playing doubles together almost every week. 

"It's just fantastic to see and the fact that there's now another name that you're throwing into the mix just makes everyone feel better."

Gauff currently sits a career-high third in the world rankings, though she has plenty of ground to make up on the top two, with Iga Swiatek currently edging out Sabalenka. 

Robson expects that duo to trade places often as they battle to dominate the women's game, saying: "You definitely struggle to see Swiatek losing at Roland Garros, with the way that she goes on clay.

"I think it's going to be quite nice because they each have different strengths. You would almost say Sabalenka goes slightly better on a hard court and Iga is better on clay.

"I can see it almost swapping back and forth over the next few years, but Iga is going to be right in there, for sure."

Coco Gauff has every chance of adding to her 2023 US Open triumph by winning further grand slam titles in the coming years.

That is the view of former world number four Johanna Konta, who also believes it is "only a matter of time" before the American rises to the top of the WTA rankings.

Having lost the French Open final to Iga Swiatek as an 18-year-old in 2022, Gauff went one step further on home soil last September, becoming the first American teenager to win the US Open title since Serena Williams in 1999.

Gauff is looking to add to that triumph when the Australian Open begins on Sunday, and she is considered one of the favourites to claim the trophy after making a flying start to 2024.

The teenager captured her second straight Auckland Classic title on Sunday, fighting back to beat Elina Svitolina and make it seven wins from eight tour-level singles finals in her career.

Konta believes last year's US Open victory was just the start for Gauff, telling Stats Perform: "She's already a grand slam champion. So, she's got every possibility to win multiple grand slams. 

"Once you're winning those tournaments, then it's only a matter of time before you get to world number one."

Gauff is up to third in the world rankings – the highest position of her career – though she has work to do to overhaul world number one Swiatek, who has won three of the last seven grand slams and is targeting her first Australian Open success after going out in the fourth round last year.

Konta, who failed to win a major during her own career despite reaching the last four at Melbourne Park, Roland Garros and Wimbledon, thinks the 22-year-old will be a force to be reckoned with for the foreseeable future. 

"I think she's an incredibly consistent player, the level is just very consistent," Konta said of Swiatek.

"I think she will be one of the ones that will be there for a long time if she's just able to sustain that. I think she'll be one of the top handful."

Novak Djokovic is still setting "unbelievable" standards and remains the man to beat heading into the 2024 campaign, according to Holger Rune.

Twenty-four time grand slam winner Djokovic added another Australian Open, French Open and US Open crown to his collection this year.

The 36-year-old won a Tour-best seven singles titles in 2023 and finished top of the ATP Rankings for a record-extending eighth year in a row.

"I think it's great to see that Novak can still play at this level. It's unbelievable what he's doing," Rune said.

Only Carlos Alcaraz stopped Djokovic from landing a career first calendar Grand Slam with his triumph in the Wimbledon final.

However, if the next generation are to truly take the mantle from Djokovic, Rune accepts they need to start bloodying the Serbian's nose more regularly.

Alcaraz was closest to Djokovic in 2023 with six tour titles, while Daniil Medvedev won five and Jannik Sinner four.

For all the talk of someone new potentially dominating the male game, though, Rune does not believe Djokovic's era of dominance is over yet.

"Alcaraz won a slam this year. Sinner finished in the top four. I was number four for the first time this year," he said. 

"I think the next generation is very interesting. I think we are trying to compete with Novak and to see if we can match him. 

"Still, he's winning three out of four grand slams - it's kind of tough. Before we can say that, we need to start winning more regularly against him."

 

Rafael Nadal's return from injury will be "great for tennis", says world number eight Holger Rune, as the Spaniard builds towards an appearance at next month's Australian Open.

Nadal will return after close to a year on the sidelines at the Brisbane International, which runs from December 31 to January 7, as he targets a bid for a 23rd grand slam title at Melbourne Park later in January.

The 37-year-old has not competed since this year's edition of the Australian Open, having suffered a hip injury during a surprise second-round defeat to Mackenzie McDonald.

Nadal attempted to recover from his injury before the start of the French Open in May, only to be forced to withdraw from that tournament and undergo season-ending surgery.

The 'King of Clay' has said 2024 will likely be his final year on the tour, and while Rune accepts it will be difficult for Nadal to recapture his best form, the Dane is excited to see how he fares.

"It's great for tennis that Rafa is coming back," Rune said. "It brings even more fans to the tournaments and more excitement for the sport. I think this is good. 

"We're going to have Novak [Djokovic], Rafa, [Carlos] Alcaraz, [Jannik] Sinner and more guys for the Australian Open. That's going to be super fun and it's exciting to see how it's going to go.

"You see some videos where he's practicing hard, but of course it's always difficult to come back and play after so long. But I'm excited to see it."

Jack Draper was the last player to lose to Nadal, going down in four sets in the first round of the 2023 Australian Open, and he is keen for a chance to avenge that defeat next year.

"I mean, I think it's amazing for tennis. Obviously, he's put in a lot of hard work to be back on tour, I'm seeing lots of videos of him training very intensely," Draper said.

"It's just good for the spectators, the players, that someone of his calibre – one of the greatest of all time – is back playing.

"I hope I get a chance to play him again because I think I was one of the last people to play him. It'll be amazing to have him back on the tour."

World number 32 Alexander Bublik echoed those sentiments, adding he was excited to see who will have the honour of being Nadal's final opponent if – as expected – he retires next year.

"Of course, it's very exciting that Rafa is coming back," Bublik said. "He's a legend of our game.

"But I just discussed it with Holger… I'm more excited to think who is going to play him in his last match, who he's going to finish such a legendary career against. 

"So for me, it's an exciting time. We'll see how he comes back but he's going to bring a lot to the game."

Novak Djokovic could still win three majors next year but Gilles Simon reminded tennis fans the world number one is not "eternal" as he heads towards the end of his career.

Djokovic triumphed in three of the four majors in 2023, with September's US Open success taking him level with Margaret Court's record 24 grand slam triumphs.

Defeating Daniil Medvedev in the final, Djokovic – aged 36 years and 111 days – became the oldest winner of the men's singles title at the US Open, as well as winning a trio of majors in a year for the fourth time.

That saw him surpass Roger Federer – who won three grand slams in a year on three occasions.

Simon, though, warned that Djokovic cannot play on forever.

He told Stats Perform: "I think he can win some [majors, but] I think he's getting to an age where it is going to become difficult.

"Most of the observers want to believe that a player is eternal but none are more eternal than the others.

"I think he can win a lot next year; will he win one, two or three? Next year he can do one more big year, but I also think that it will be his last."

 

The 36-year-old Djokovic acknowledged the retirement speculation after his US Open victory, asking how long he can continue.

Simon likened the twilight of Djokovic's career to fellow great Federer, whose playing days were curtailed by injury and fitness issues.

"At one point like every player there's going to be a break, that was the case for Roger Federer, remember when he won in Australia at the age of 37 playing incredible tennis," Simon added.

"At Wimbledon, he could have won because he lost against Novak Djokovic on match point. Time never had a grip on him, he had never been injured, he played really well, and then all of a sudden he disappears."

Another of tennis' 'Big Three', Rafael Nadal has not played since January 18 at the Australian Open – again owing to injury problems as years of toiling on the court takes its toll on even the best.

"We have Rafael Nadal who we hope to see again next year, who got us accustomed to more traditional injuries, longer injuries and with doubts," Simon continued.

"Once again he wins the Australian Open, he wins at Roland Garros even with his history with his foot, he again has a semi-final at Wimbledon.

"We say no about Novak because he is more careful, but we said the same about Federer, he expends less energy, he has a more fluid game and technique, he preserved himself from injury.

"I think next year will be very interesting because it’s a year where he can again win, where he still has an advantage [ahead of the rest] but we saw him lose against [Carlos] Alcaraz at Wimbledon.

"I thought he would have more advantage on grass because of the experience he has compared to others and his game works so well on grass – but he is beatable."

Age has shown no sign of slowing Djokovic down yet after he lifted the Paris Masters trophy for a seventh time on Sunday, defeating Grigor Dimitrov in straight sets.

That victory marked his second hard-court ATP-1000 title of 2023, Djokovic managing multiple Masters titles in a single season for the ninth time in his career. Only Federer, having won multiple such events in a year six times in his time, can get near to that feat.

Yet Simon suggested 30 major triumphs may be out of Djokovic's reach due to the emergence of Alcaraz, who won at Wimbledon this year, and a gruelling schedule.

"He's so strong he knows how to prepare himself, but he can't do a series of tournaments," said the Frenchman, who won 14 career titles and reached a high of number six in the ATP rankings.

"If everything was going well he would be playing every week like when he was 25 years old, so that is what is missing.

"He looks after himself, ultra-professional and very strong. The US Open was important for him, I see him maybe doing one or two next year, but I am waiting to see for the next few years after that.

"I can't see him reaching 30 [majors] for example when Carlos Alcaraz could win two or three a year – I wish it for him but I don't see it like that."

The Rolex Paris Masters became the first Masters 1000 to broadcast its qualifying matches on Twitch, live on Rivenzi's channel.

Feliciano Lopez has doubts whether Spain's golden generation led by Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz will ever be replicated.

With Nadal's glittering career nearing its end, the torch for Spanish tennis has been passed on to Alcaraz, who at just 20 has already won Wimbledon and the US Open.

The pair have now combined for over half of Spain's grand slam titles, and while Lopez feels his nation will have more success in the future, the former world number 12 has concerns whether it will match the levels that Nadal produced. 

"I believe that we are not going to experience the generation of Spanish tennis players that we lived through again," Lopez told Stats Perform. "People have to be clear about that.

"But that does not mean that there will not be other great tennis players that will represent the country very well in the coming years.

"I don't know Spanish tennis in the minor categories, beyond some names that have been told to me, but I know that there are kids of 16 or 17 who play well.

"In the end, I think Spanish tennis has been in a place that is very difficult to get back to, but I'm sure that apart from Carlitos, there will be other young players who will bring us joy during the next four, five or six years."

Alcaraz has reached at least the semi-finals in the last four grand slam tournaments he has played, winning two of them, and Lopez has faith that he can carry the torch for Spanish tennis once Nadal calls it a day.

"Spanish tennis is in the hands of Carlitos and when Rafa announces his retirement, the entire country will want him to win," Lopez added. 

"He has already won two grand slams and has been number one. It is a blessing to have a player like Carlos at a time when Rafa has a year left to retire."

Nadal's decorated career has coincided with a great era of Spanish sport, with the nation's male and female football teams both winning World Cup titles while they have also enjoyed success in the likes of basketball and motorsport.

Lopez takes pride in his country's sporting achievements, explaining: "A country like Spain that is not a world power, and sport does not have the aid that neighbouring countries invest, in the last 20 years, has not stopped winning titles in all disciplines: Tennis, football, and basketball."

Rafael Nadal is unlikely to match Novak Djokovic's haul of 24 grand slam titles, but the Spaniard is capable of capping his remarkable career with one last Roland Garros triumph next year. 

That is the opinion of Feliciano Lopez, who hopes to see Nadal overcome his injury woes to enjoy a triumphant send-off in 2024.

Nadal's total of 22 grand slam titles is only bettered by Djokovic among male players, with the Serbian matching Margaret Court's overall record by winning the US Open.

Djokovic has won three of four grand slams in 2023, with injuries leading Nadal to miss the last three majors after he was eliminated from the Australian Open by Mackenzie McDonald in January.

Nadal confirmed earlier this year that 2024 would "probably" be his last year on the tour, and former world number nine Lopez is desperate to see his compatriot go out on a high.

Asked if Nadal could add to his 14 French Open titles – a single-slam record – next year, Lopez told Stats Perform: "With Rafa, you never know, because he has shown on other occasions that he was able to come back stronger, even when he had significant injuries. 

"It will depend a lot on how he feels physically, that will be key. I wouldn't be surprised to see him competing at a good level next year and I would love for him to say goodbye by winning Roland Garros. 

"It would be a dream for me and many people to see him lift that cup once again.

"It is very difficult for me to talk about Rafa, because he has changed the way we see sport in Spain. Before Rafa we had great athletes, but none transcended sport the way he has.

"Rafa's figure in Spanish sport and in the lives of Spanish people… there will be none like him. 

"There have been many joys that he has given us. He has given us examples in many situations outside of sports. There will be a before and after [Nadal] in Spanish sport."

While Nadal now looks highly unlikely to match the evergreen Djokovic for total grand slam titles, Lopez does not believe that will concern the 37-year-old.

"The issue of numbers and who is bigger than who fuels the media a lot," Lopez added. "At this moment in Rafa's life, I don't think he is thinking about that.

"With the numbers, we can see who won the most things, but that is not the question. I want him to return so he can compete again for one last year at the highest level. 

"Hopefully he wins one or two more grand slams, but right now, his goal is to recover and be physically competitive. 

"That is what Rafa needs and wants, because if he is not feeling well enough to compete, it will be very difficult for him to be able to play many tournaments next year." 

Novak Djokovic is just one grand slam away from becoming the most decorated player in history and Feliciano Lopez believes "the numbers don't lie" when it comes to debating tennis' greatest.

Serbia's Djokovic equalled Margaret Court's record of 24 grand slam triumphs after defeating Daniil Medvedev in straight sets at the US Open earlier in September.

That made the world number one, aged 36 years and 111 days at the time, the oldest winner of the men's singles title at the US Open.

It was also Djokovic's third major crown of 2023, winning a trio of grand slams in a calendar year for the fourth time in his career,

Davis Cup tournament director Lopez, who had previously hailed Djokovic for featuring at the "unique" competition, suggested no one in history compares with the 36-year-old.

Asked by Stats Perform if Djokovic was the GOAT – greatest of all time – Lopez said: "According to the numbers, yes. The numbers don't lie.

"If you look at the stats, Novak is the best. So, I mean, what can I say?

"I think the numbers are very clear, not only by the fact that he's won 24 slams, but also there are other numbers and other statistics that clearly show he's the best player who ever played the sport.

"According to the numbers, I cannot say anything different."

Djokovic triumphed at the Australian Open, French Open and US Open, only missing out on a clean sweep of the majors after losing the Wimbledon final to Carlos Alcaraz.

As for Djokovic's chances for more major success going forward, Lopez believes the sky is still the limit.

"It's very difficult to predict honestly, but as long as he's feeling physically strong I think it's clear that his will in the last three or four years is to keep winning grand slams," Lopez added.  

"If he is able to sustain his physical condition for the next two years, I can fairly say that he can win, I don't know, two, three or four, but it's very difficult to say one number because this year, for example, he could have won all four.

"He won in Australia, he won in Paris, he was very close to winning Wimbledon because of that second-set tie-break, and he just won the US Open.

"You ask me how many grand slams you think he will win in the future when he just won three of them in the same year!

"I don't know, maybe three or four more is fair to say, but it's very difficult to predict."

Novak Djokovic competing in the "unique" Davis Cup so soon after winning the US Open comes as an honour for tournament director Feliciano Lopez.

Serbia's Djokovic defeated Daniil Medvedev to equal Margaret Court's record of 24 grand slam triumphs after a straight-sets victory earlier in September.

At 36 years and 111 days, Djokovic became the oldest winner of the men's singles title at the US Open, as well as winning three majors in a year for the fourth time in his career.

That saw him surpass Roger Federer – who won three grand slams in a year on three occasions – but unlike the Swiss star, Djokovic has shown no signs of slowing down.

The 36-year-old was straight back into action just five days later, overcoming Alejandro Davidovich to help Serbia into the Davis Cup quarter-finals with victory over Spain.

Former Spanish tennis player and now tournament director Lopez hailed the endeavours of Djokovic for appearing in Valencia in such a short period after victory in the United States.

"As you can imagine having Novak here in Valencia this week is such an honour first of all," Lopez told Stats Perform.

"I personally appreciate a lot what he's done by coming here after winning the US Open because I know how tough it is to win a slam and then three or four days after put yourself in a position to compete again at the highest level.

"I don't think I can thank him enough that he's here ready to compete, ready to represent his country.

"I have to take my hat off and say thank you and wish him all the best for the rest of the week."

Djokovic has reiterated his commitment to helping Serbia to a second title in the men's Davis Cup, a tournament that Lopez believes is different to any other.

"I think the fact that you're representing your country is one of the things that I wanted to say [about what makes it special] because tennis is an individual sport where you normally play for yourself," he added.

"Whenever you have the chance to play for your team-mates, for your country and for a lot of people that you know, they put in a lot of efforts during that particular week to make everything happen.

"For me, it's the most special thing and unique."

Novak Djokovic made history with a record-equalling 24th grand slam title at the US Open.

The 36-year-old Serbian tied Margaret Court’s tally with a 6-3 7-6 (5) 6-3 victory over Daniil Medvedev.

Here, the PA news agency looks back at day 14 at the US Open.

Pic of the dayShot of the dayQuote of the dayStat of the dayNumbers gameBrit watch

There was guaranteed to be British success in the men’s wheelchair singles with Alfie Hewett facing compatriot, and doubles partner, Gordon Reid.

It was Hewett who triumphed 6-4 6-3 to take his fourth US Open crown and eighth grand slam singles title.

Ons Jabeur will bounce back from her second straight Wimbledon final defeat by winning a "deserved" grand slam, according to Iva Majoli.

Jabeur was beaten 6-4 6-4 in the Wimbledon showpiece match by Marketa Vondrousova, who claimed her first grand slam and became the first ever unseeded champion at SW19.

The loss was Jabeur's second Wimbledon final defeat in as many years, with the Tunisian world number six still yet to win a grand slam despite reaching three finals in the last two years.

However, Majoli, who won the French Open in 1997 when she beat Martina Hingis in the final to deny her Swiss opponent the Grand Slam, is confident Jabeur will get over her recent disappointment by finally winning a major final.

"I think this loss was tough," Majoli told Stats Perform. "I'm sure everyone was expecting Ons [to win] and I love Ons.

"I think in the end there was maybe too much pressure on her. But from the beginning, I said that it was going to be a tough match.

"I think this loss was probably tougher than the one last year and I think she was expecting a lot from herself and I think she was expecting that she's going to win it. But life writes stories and it's not always how you expect.

"I think she will come back and I really wish she's going to win a slam because she deserves it."

Vondrousova's victory was historic, as she became the lowest-ranked player to win the Wimbledon ladies' title.

She also became the first unseeded woman to reach the final in 60 years.

Asked whether Vondrousova's unlikely triumph was a sign of strength or weakness in the women's game, Majoli replied: "There have been a lot of ups and downs, there have been a lot of wins and then disappearances and then wins again.

"But I think there is a strong young generation coming up. It was great to see Marketa Vondrousova winning.

"Marketa being a lefty is very dangerous. She was playing amazingly the whole tournament. And I always think the left-handers are a danger, like Petra Kvitova. So I would love to see them doing much, much better in the tournaments and in the rankings."

Iva Majoli sees shades of both Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic within Carlos Alcaraz.

Spaniard Alcaraz cemented his place as world number one by beating Djokovic in five sets to clinch the Wimbledon title earlier in July.

That marked Alcaraz's second major title following his US Open triumph last year, his sixth crown of 2023 and his 12th tournament win overall.

Alcaraz is often compared to his compatriot Nadal, but Majoli – who won the French Open in 1997 – believes there is an element of Djokovic to the 20-year-old's game too.

Asked which of the 'big three' of Nadal, Djokovic and the retired Roger Federer that Alcaraz can be most compared with, Majoli told Stats Perform: "Rafa was his idol growing up and he's a Spaniard, so I would probably put him as closest to Rafa, but I think he also has some touches from Novak.

"Maybe the least from Federer, but I would say between Rafa and Novak there are many amazing things."

Alcaraz is the figurehead of a new generation of talents.

Majoli added: "Holger Rune is another youngster also in the top five or top six in the world. So I think this could be an amazing battle in the next couple of years.

"But of course, there is also Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev and Casper Ruud, there are so many players, who are still very young. It's an amazing generation that's going to be led by Carlos Alcaraz."

Djokovic's defeat to Alcaraz at Wimbledon ended the 36-year-old's hopes of sealing the Grand Slam this year, but Majoli still sees him as the greatest.

"He is the GOAT. He is unbelievable. And what he has achieved, I don't know if anyone can ever achieve on all the surfaces of all the tournaments," she added.

"He broke most of the records and he's just from another planet, I say. I still feel that he has a few more grand slams in him.

"[The Wimbledon final] was just an amazing final, very close. It could have gone both ways. I think at the end, Carlos showed the guts and went for the shots.

"I'm sure he was nervous, but he wasn't showing it to us. But the US Open is coming up soon and I think Novak will be another hard one to beat there."

Nadal, meanwhile, is likely to retire next year.

"Where do I start? Winning 14 Roland Garros, I don't think anyone will ever break that record," Majoli said of Nadal's impact on tennis.

"That's probably going to stay in the history of tennis and just what a humble and amazing person he is, and how much he contributes to the world of tennis. It will be his legacy."

Page 1 of 87
© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.