Sportch at Wimbledon 2023

As Wimbledon comes to a close, we reflect on the best 2 weeks of the year. Wimbledon 2023 was a thrilling mix of surprises and triumphs. 20-year-old Carlos Alcaraz dethroned Novak Djokovic, signalling a changing of the guard in men’s tennis. Unseeded Marketa Vondrousova, at 24 years old, claimed a surprising victory on the women’s side, showcasing the depth of talent in women’s tennis.

Despite challenges such as heavy rain disrupting the schedule and climate activists interrupting matches, the tournament witnessed notable records being broken. Ukraine’s Lesia Tsurenko won the longest-ever tiebreak in a Grand Slam women’s singles match, and Princess Kate’s warm embrace of Ons Jabeur added a touching display of sportsmanship. Wimbledon 2023 left the tennis world buzzing with excitement and reflection, celebrating new talents and embracing the timeless traditions of this iconic Grand Slam event.

Over the course of the tournament, all 4 of our management team visited Wimbledon at different points in time. I asked each of our team what their individual highlights were:

Josh: Fave Match: Rublev vs Bublik. I was fortunate enough to be invited to the LTA president’s lunch. I had the pleasure of speaking with both Sandi Proctor (LTA President) and Scott Lloyd (LTA CEO). They expressed great interest in Sportch, particularly on our plans to expand the service to cover new ground in areas such as doubles and Padel. The enthusiasm for collaboration was great to see and we’re keen to build on this – we’ll be connecting with them over the coming months as we build out this functionality for release next year.

Noel: Fave Match: Djokovic vs Alcaraz (final!). The actual players were less exciting for me than the event itself. I’d never been to Wimbledon before. Exploring the grounds was a real thrill – the camera lens doesn’t do the atmosphere justice. It was such fun seeing all these different people from all over the world coming together in excitement for this event, each with their own unique sartorial expression. Seeing how well-kept the grounds were, with the flowers and creepers adorning the buildings. Seeing just how jam-packed it gets with throngs of crowds. Entering the stadium itself and seeing centre court for the first time. Watching the whole ceremony of preparing for the match and all the volunteers involved. Feeling the intimacy of the Centre Court stadium when compared to a place like the O2 centre – when the crowd is quiet it feels like you could hear a pin drop – I was nervous to open a packet of crisps for the noise it might make. Then when the crowd erupts in cheers, just how loud it gets – my Apple Watch had to warn me I was in a loud environment! Noticing how the crowd’s mood affects the players. Feeling just how tiring it is on the legs sitting for 4.5 hours! Then enjoying a nice walk up to Wimbledon village for pizza after the event. For me that was the joy of it. The actual result was almost peripheral to all of that. In other words I think Wimbledon stands as an amazing British tradition that brings people together and that’s far more important than any single match, no matter how historical that match may have been. In terms of the match itself. A moment that stood out for me was the Djokovic service game in the third set where he was down 4-1, the longest game of the match… Djokovic did everything he could to hold on there and eventually he just had nothing left. It felt like the moment where he crumbled in the face of Alcaraz’s relentless fitness and his fate was sealed.

Jamie: Fave Match: Alcaraz vs Berrettini. After work, I joined the queue with low expectations. We waited for 2 hours, but finally, we got in and caught the end of the Salisbury/Watson Mixed doubles, which was nice. Feeling adventurous, we decided to try our luck with centre court because, why not? After some charming, we managed to get seats to watch the final set of Alcaraz and Berrettini, and it was absolutely amazing! Seeing the champion was a thrilling experience.

Dom: Fave Match: Broady vs Ruud. My highlight was seeing the British underdog, Liam Broady, triumph over the 4th seed, Casper Ruud, in an intense 5-set match. The atmosphere on Murray Mound/Henman Hill was absolutely incredible, second to none.