Wimbledon, England ( Associated Press) — Today, Novak Djokovic rewrites history every time he wins a tennis match. On Monday, the Serbian star was in charge of doing so at Wimbledon.
The six-time All England Club champion defeated Kwon Soon-woo 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 on center court, his 80th grass-court Grand Slam victory. With this, he became the first male or female tennis player to record the number of individual wins in each Grand Slam tournament.
“When you get a chance to play like the defending champions, it’s always unique,” said Djokovic, who has a 22-match winning streak in the tournament. “Now with the change that Wimbledon made this year to be able to train (on center court) before kick-off, you always had to go out with the field. It’s a very unique and special feeling in our sport “
This was Djokovic’s first match since losing to Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals of the French Open last month.
Not everything went smoothly on Monday.
With the roof closed due to sporadic rain, Kwon fought with his powerful right hand. His best moment came in the second set and he extended it in the third set. But Djokovic stepped up and played as he usually does in south-west London, always unstoppable.
Djokovic has been champion in the last three editions of Wimbledon and is looking for his seventh title overall. This would leave him second on the all-time list, tied with Pete Sampras and William Renshaw. Roger Federer is with the first eight.
Another title in a Major would leave him with 21 in his career. Nadal leads with 22 and Federer with 20.
Djokovic’s most singles titles at Slam have come at the Australian Open, where he has nine crowns. But he has been unable to defend his title in Melbourne this year after being relegated for failing to follow the Australian COVID-19 vaccination protocol.
Despite all the controversy arising from that incident, he was warmly welcomed at Wimbledon by the public on Center Court.
“I felt supported,” said Djokovic, who may have missed the US Open and another Australian Open because he had not been vaccinated.
After his debut, Djokovic indicated that he is not looking at New York right now, but added: “I hope things can turn around and I can go and compete. I would like to do it”.
After Djokovic finished her assignment, Emma Radukanu took to center court for the first time in her precarious career. The 19-year-old Briton, who won the US Open last year, appeared at the All England Club last year after being knocked out in the fourth round.
“It was an incredible feeling to be back at Wimbledon,” Raducanu told Belgium’s Alisson Van Uytvanck 6-4, 6-4.
Two-time champion Andy Murray defeated Australia’s James Duckworth 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 to reach the second round of the tournament for the 14th time. Murray, the champion in 2013 and 2016, has never lost in the first round of Wimbledon. His opponent on duty will be American John Isner.
—Colombian Camila Osorio had to miss her first-round match against Belgium’s Elise Mertens due to a pain in her right leg. During the sixth game of the third set, Osorio suffered a slip and was unable to continue. Mertens, seeded 24th, won 1-6, 6-2, 4-2.
—At her baptism at Wimbledon, Mexico’s Fernanda Contreras lost to Poland’s Magda Linette 6-1, 6-4. The 24-year-old Contreras had drawn the previous leg of the tournament to enter the main draw. He did the same at Roland Garros last month and managed to advance to the second round.
Chile’s Alejandro Tabilo defeated Serbia’s Laslo Jere 7-6(6), 6-2, 1-6, 4-6, 7-6(11) to enter the second round for the first time. In the fifth-set super tiebreak, Tabilo celebrated the victory ahead of time – complete with handshakes – but a video review forced the point to be replayed, but Chile won it again.
– Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz (seeded fifth) had to row a maximum of five sets to beat German Jan-Lenard Struff 4-6, 7-5, 4-6, 7-6(3), 6-4.
Roland Garros runner-up Casper Roode made his debut on Court 12 with brilliant colours. The third seeded Norwegian defeated Albert Ramos-Vinolas of Spain 7-6 (1), 7-6 (9), 6-2. ,
—The biggest surprise of the day in the men’s draw was the elimination of semifinalist Pole Hubert Herkaz in last year’s edition. Seventh seed went down to Spain’s Alejandro Davidovich Focina 7-6(4), 6-4, 5-7, 2-6, 7-6 (10-8).
In the women’s section, American Danielle Collins (seeded seventh) lost to Czech Marie Buzkova 6-0, 7-5. Annette Kontaveit (2), Ons Jabur (3) and Angelique Kerber (15) were among the seeded victors.