Wednesday, September 21, 2022

#168 Carlos


#168 Blog Post - Tuesday 20 September 2022


Posted by Denny Hatch


Watch the World's Greatest Athlete:

"Blowing Our Minds Since Day 1!"

                                                     —YouTube Copywriter


The Ultimate Antidote to Despair

When I wake up these days, what immediately sets me brooding? Lemme count the ways:


COVID-19... Ukraine War and the threat of nuclear disaster—either from the power plant or a frustrated Putin... Republican vs. Democrat hatred...  470+ mass shootings so far this year...  January 6th riots and convictions... our retirement nest egg seriously depleting... food prices off the charts... immigration tragedy at the borders... cabin fever from not daring to travel in three years... unable to sleep through the night sans Ambien coupled with fear of addiction... where will it ever end?


This past March we happened upon the Miami Tennis Open on TV and stumbled onto the 19-year-old Spaniard, Carlos Alcaraz.


We were gobsmacked!


Neither Peggy nor I had never seen more dazzling, high-intensity tennis. We started to slavishly follow every tournament Alcaraz entered. Even in defeat (always narrow losses) he played with unbelievable brilliance. He was (and is) mesmerizing!


Memories of Championship Tennis as a Kid

Every September when I was growing up, the world's greatest tennis players from the U.S., UK and Australia descended on New York for the National Championships. These were held at the intimate little stadium and grass courts of the West Side Tennis club in Forest Hills, a suburb of New York City. This was the forerunner of the current US Open now held at the glitzy new complex built on the site of the old 1939 New York World's Fair. Back then the U.S. tournament was played on grass courts as the seedy little American cousin of legendary, elegant Wimbledon.


West Side Tennis Club Stadium, Forest Hills, NY


One problem: Forest Hills was a private tennis club. The annual influx tennis players and crowds of spectators was an inconvenience (aka a big pain in the ass) to the membership. As a result, while the club reluctantly agreed to host the championship, the officers and members were damned if they'd allow their gorgeous grass courts to be out of commission for grueling practice sessions in preparation for the tournament.


I grew up on Polo Lane in Cedarhurst, Long Island. Our 1923 house was built by my grandfather and abutted the second fairway of the Rockaway Hunting Club (second oldest country club in America). What made it unique were the 18 grass tennis courts on Ocean Avenue across from the clubhouse. While lightly used by members and guests, they were meticulously maintained. 


The Rockaway Hunt members were a bunch of insecure WASP celebrity hounds who were thrilled to rub elbows with the world's greatest tennis players and dine out on the experience throughout the year. (Oh yeah, BTW the club made pots money in the bar and dining room). So once a year, the greatest tennis players in the world descended on our little neighborhood to get in shape for the tournament rigors ahead


Every summer in my early teens I would commute by train to some menial job in Manhattan (e.g., American Express Co. mail room and the LOOK Magazine mail room (where my Aunt Gertie was executive assistant to Fleur Cowles). At the end of the day I would take the train home and make a beeline for the Hunt Club to join stockbrokers and lawyers and their wives having cocktails (Coca-Cola for the children) sitting on the sidelines to watch the great players practice within spitting distance—Jack Kramer, Tony Trabert, Lew Hoad, Pancho Gonzales, Vic Seixas, Frank Sedgman, Ken Rosewall, et. al. Every now and then in mid-point some member's shaggy dog would wander across the court and pee on the grass to the amusement of all.


The Plight of Amateur Athletes
Back in those days, tennis was an amateur sport—as were the American Olympics. The rich men (no women in those days) who ran those sports expected athletes to pay their own way. Players who turned professional were no longer eligible to play at Wimbledon and Forest Hills. Endorsements were not allowed. Even though the participation of these great champions boosted box office sales mightily, there were no purses for players to win. And they were forced to pay all their own expenses. A number of them gave high priced tennis lessons. 


 Example: my mother, a tasty Texas belle (and one-time extra in Marx Brothers movies) wheedled my father into buying her a lesson from the greatest tennis champion of the age, Bill Tilden. She dined out on that story for years.


And there was out-and-out graft. A standard ploy to persuade a great amateur to enter a tennis tournament was for a very rich backer to bet him $5,000 he could not jump over a tiny child's chair. Holding their noses, the player would jump over the chair and the benefactor would pay up in cash. Ergo, the player could pay his way and have some bucks left over. (And not be accused of playing for money.)


Avery Brundage, U.S. Olympic Committee President.
He Fought Savagely to Keep All Athletes Amateurs.

Avery Brundage, President, Art Collector.
Net worth in today's dollars: $21 million.


"As President of the American Olympic Committee, Brundage fought strongly for amateurism and against the commercialization of the Olympic Games, even as these stands increasingly came to be seen as incongruous with the realities of modern sports. The advent of the state-sponsored athletes of the Eastern Bloc countries further eroded the ideology of the pure amateur, as it put the self-financed amateurs of the Western countries at a disadvantage. The 1972 Olympics at Munich, West Germany, were Brundage's  final Games as president of the IOC. The event was marred by tragedy and controversy when eleven Israeli team members were murdered by Palestinian terrorists. At the memorial service, Brundage decried the politicization of sports and refused to cancel the remainder of the Olympics, declaring "the Games must go on." Although those in attendance applauded Brundage's statement, his decision to continue the Games has since been harshly criticized, and his actions in 1936 and 1972 seen as evidence of antisemitism. In retirement, Brundage married his second wife, a German princess. He died in 1975 at age 87."
—From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Circling Back to "The Wunderkind" — Carlos Alvarez

In 9 months (January-September 2022), 18-turned-19-year-old Carlos entered 15 tournaments.

Won 6: Madrid, Rio, Miami, Barcelona, Davis Cup, US Open.

Runner-up in 7: Cincinnati, Croatia, Wimbledon, France, Monte Carlo, Indian Wells, Australia.

Ranking at the end of 2022: #1 in the world.

$ Earnings in 2022 (so far): $7.4 million


Takeaways to Consider

• What has any of this have to do with Marketing? Everything!


• People buy for four reasons only:

      1) Price.
     2) Service.

     3) Exclusivity.
     4) Quality


• Discard 1-3 above.


• You will never in your lifetime see such quality as that of Carlos Alcaraz.


Highest quality sells itself.


• That's why court side tickets for the U.S. finals were scalped for $6,000 a seat.


• Beyond that, I am Speechless.

The Wizardry of Carlos Alcaraz on YouTube

Go to YouTube and type in "Carlos Alcaraz." You'll find dozens and dozens of videos, each more mind blowing than the prior one.


Two Notes About YouTube

1. It's imperative to watch Alcaraz on your full screen. Here's the quick drill. Do this immediately.


2. Yeah, there are interruptive ads. YouTube (Google) deserves to make money on this extraordinary service. Sit tight and the Video will resume. (Or click on "Skip Ads")



Carlos Alcaraz - Behind the Back   


Carlos Alcaraz vs. Stefanos Tsitsipas and Rafael Nadal




Word Count: 1219

292pp     6" x 9"
Hardcover:     $39.95
Paperback:     $29.95
ebook/Kindle: $19.95


Barnes & Noble


At age 15, Denny Hatch—as a lowly apprentice—wrote his first news release for a Connecticut summer theater. To his astonishment it ran verbatim in The Middletown Press. He was instantly hooked on writing. After a two-year stint in the U.S. Army (1958-60), Denny had nine jobs in his first 12 years in business. He was fired from five of them and went on to save two businesses and start three others. One of his businesses—WHO’S MAILING WHAT! newsletter and archive service founded in 1984—revolutionized the science of how to measure the success of competitors’ direct mail. In the past 55 years he has been a book club director, magazine publisher, advertising copywriter/designer, editor, journalist and marketing consultant. He is the author of four published novels and seven books on business and marketing.


Note to Readers:  
May I send you an alert when each new blog is posted? If so, kindly give me the okay by send
ing your First Name, Last Name and email to I guarantee your personal information will not be shared with anyone at any time for any reason. The blog is a free service. No cost. No risk. No obligation. Cancel any time. I look forward to being in touch!

Google owns and this Comment Section. If you do not have a Google account — or if you find it too damn complicated — contact me directly and I will happily post your comment with a note that this is per your permission. Thank you and do keep in touch.

Invitation to Marketers and Direct Marketers: 
Guest Blog Posts Are Welcome. 
If you have a marketing story to tell, case history, concept to propose or a memoir, give a shout. I’ll get right back to you. I am:
215-644-9526 (rings on my desk). 

You Are Invited to Join the Discussion.



  1. To speak of Avery Brundage in the same breath as Carlos Alcaraz is sinful. Avery, a noted anti-Semite, was gobsmacked when Jesse Owens prevailed in the 1936 Olympics. Alcaraz is pure; Brundage an insult. Thanks for your reporting!!!

  2. Jeffrey, Thanks for taking the time to comment.
    I purposely did not speak well of Avery Brundage, He was an icky, insensitive plutocrat who had no business in the sports world à la a number of today's NFL owners. Do keep in touch.

  3. There is no question about it Denny, your enthusiasm could sell the proverbial ice to eskimos (or better and more politically correct, Indigenous peoples of artic climes).

    But from another tennis enthusiast, your citing the impressive speed and brilliance of Alcaraz as the 'World's Greatest Athlete' is perhaps a slight, even a great exaggeration.

    You may be forgiven for having served this to your readers before Friday night's final doubles match of the Lever Cup when, by my estimate, the world's truly greatest athlete, Roger Federer, played his career-ending final tournament match.

    What's so exciting is the fantastic crop of young and brilliant players, male and female, who guarantee we'll see great tennis from this next generation. When I wrote a recent piece, (anyone is welcome to a copy by asking about Serena's last match, perhaps I was too nostalgic but I too was admiring players like the graceful and elegant Ajla Tomljanović who bested Williams, not because she was better but because her youth triumphed over Williams' past greatness.