Sunday, May 28, 2023

Novak Djokovic begins Wimbledon defense, Carlos Alcaraz and Andy Murray Day 1 preview | ATP Tour

Defending champion Novak Djokovic, #NextGenATP Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz and home favorite Andy Murray started their campaigns at Wimbledon on Monday. Hubert Herkaz, Janik Sinner, Stan Wawrinka, Reilly Opelka and Cameron Norie will also be seen at the All England Lawn Tennis Club in first-round action at the grass-court Grand Slam. looks at some of the matches to watch on the first day in the UK capital.

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[1] Novak Djokovic (SRB) vs Soonwoo Kwon (KOR)

Djokovic began proceedings on center court with his second Tour-level meeting against South Korean Soonwoo Kwon. Not only is the top seed defending his 2021 crown, but the six-time champion is also chasing his fourth consecutive title in the grass-court major. This would put him on a par with the great American Pete Sampras.

“I would like to be in [final] To finally make history,” Djokovic said in his pre-tournament press conference. “Pete Sampras winning his first Wimbledon was the first tennis match I’d ever seen on TV. So there is definitely a lot of association with this tournament. Pete has won it seven times… hopefully I can do the same this year.”

Novak djokovic begins wimbledon defense, carlos alcaraz and andy murray day 1 preview | atp tourNovak Djokovic” />

Photo Credit: Julian Finn / Getty Images

Djokovic will take to court against Kwon not losing at Wimbledon since 2017. The world No. 3 may not have played a competitive match since his quarter-final loss to Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros on 31 May, but his rival Kwon has only played at the ATP Challenger Tour event in Surbiton and at the Libema Open in ‘s-Hertogenbosch. Two matches at that time after a loss in the opening round.

With the added motivation of winning his 21st Grand Slam title to go within one of record holder Rafael Nadal’s 22 major titles, Djokovic will look to get off to a fast start as he pushes his record to 17-0 in Wimbledon first-round matches. Trying to increase. The pair’s last Tour-level meeting was in 2021 on clay in Djokovic’s hometown of Belgrade, when the Serbian was knocked out by straight sets winners. History may be against him, but can Kwon harbor an opening day for the ages?

Andy Murray (GBR) vs James Duckworth (AUS)

Two-time champion Murray reached the final at the Boss Open in Stuttgart three weeks earlier, a run that included impressive victories against Stefanos Tsitsipas and Nick Kyrgios, before a three-set loss to Matteo Berrettini. As he prepares to take on James Duckworth at Wimbledon, where the Briton holds a 59-11 match record, the former world No 1 believes his exploits in Germany show he is still a force to be reckoned with.

“I think I showed up a few weeks ago [in Stuttgart] That I still had good tennis left in me,” Murray said at his pre-tournament press conference. “I beat a boy [Tsitsipas] Top five in the world. I was with Berrettini, one of the best grass-court players in the world, before his injury. I played well against Kyrgios as well.”

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Duckworth is seeking his first Tour-level win of the year against Murray. The 30-year-old reached his career-high Pepperstone ATP ranking of number 46 on January 31, before his season was derailed by a hip operation that kept him out of action until May. The Aussies may have fallen short of recent victories, but their second-round victory against proven grass-court performer Sam Querrey at Wimbledon last year is proof that they have posed a threat to Murray.

“He [Duckworth] There’s a guy who’s had a few operations,” Murray said. “He’s had a lot of injuries over the years. He is a reasonable hard worker. He ended last year very well, the second half of the year… Obviously I wish him a come back from surgery, and I’m sure we will have a good match on Monday.

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[5] Carlos Alcaraz (ESP) Vs. Jan-Lenard Struff

Can Carlos Alcaraz bring his brilliant 2022 form to the grass? The Spaniard faced a difficult start to his campaign against the dangerous Jan-Lenard Struff on Court 1. Alcaraz has not played since his quarter-final loss to Alexander Zverev at Roland Garros, the same incident where his only Tour-level meeting with Struff took place in 2021.

On that occasion, the German exited straight sets winners, but the fifth-seeded Spaniard has since enjoyed a rapid rise to No. 6 in the Pepperstone ATP rankings, winning the ATP Masters 1000 titles in Miami and Madrid. Alcaraz lost to Daniil Medvedev in the second round at the start of the tournament a year earlier, but a record of 3-4 in 2022 and his adaptability to the game show there is no reason the 19-year-old should take his charge on the lawn in the South. cannot continue. -West London.

Struff will try to take advantage of Alcaraz’s lack of experience on the grass, but the German has never progressed past the third round at Wimbledon. His big-serving, high-powered game must nonetheless adapt to the fast-paced nature of the surface. Can he make it count on Monday afternoon?

[10] Genetic Sinners (ITA) Vs. [WC] Stan Wawrinka (SUI)

The opening-day blockbuster clash on Court 2 is guaranteed to feature some of the fortnight’s heaviest hitting at the All England Lawn Tennis Club.

Although the 10th-seeded sinner fell to Marten Fuskovics in the first round on his main draw debut in 2021, the 20-year-old is a consistent performer on the big stage. This year’s Australian Open and quarter-final runs in Miami, Monte Carlo and Rome show that form is not a problem for the Italian, but he has yet to win a tour-level match on the grass.

His opponents on Monday are vastly more experienced on the surface – Wawrinka reached the quarterfinals at Wimbledon in 2014 and 2015 – but the former world No. 3 is playing his fifth tour-level tournament in 13 months with a foot injury. Her opening win against Frances Tiafoe at The Queen’s Club two weeks ago was Wawrinka’s first win on the grass since Wimbledon 2019.

Wawrinka leads the pair 2-0 in the ATP Head2Head series, but hasn’t played a sinner since 2019 when the 18-year-old was a rookie on the Italian Tour. Now number 13 in the Pepperstone ATP rankings and with five Tour-level titles under his belt, Sinner will be hoping the time has come for a grass-court success in one of the opening round matchups.

even in action

Hubert Harkaz arrived at Wimbledon on the back of one of the season’s best appearances in his straight-sets win against Medvedev at the Terra Wortmann Open in Halle. However, the 2021 semifinalist will have to pass a tough opening test at Alejandro Davydovich Fokina.

British number 1 Cameron Nori begins the action on Court 2, where ninth seed will take on Pablo Andujar. Norrie reached the third round for the first time in 2021 before falling to eight-time champion Roger Federer, and he reached London in 2022, adding already two ATP Tour titles to his collection. Wild card Ryan Penniston, who upset Casper Roode en route to the quarterfinals at Eastbourne, opens against Henri Laaksonen.

Third seed Ruud looks to respond strongly to that shock defeat against Albert Ramos-Vinolas. The Norwegian is seeking his first main draw win at Wimbledon, while Spaniard Ramos-Vinolas is chasing his first win on London grass since reaching the third round in 2017. 2014 semifinalist Grigor Dimitrov is also in action with Steve Johnson. ,

The four seeded Americans also opened their campaign on Monday, led by the great serving pair of Reilly Opelka and John Isner. 15th seed Opelka will face Carlos Taberner, while 20th seed Isner will face French qualifier Enzo Coucaud. His countryman Frances Tiafo, seeded 23, will take on Italian qualifier Andrea Vavassori, while Tommy Paul, seeded 30, will meet Fernando Verdasco.

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