Wimbledon: Novak Djokovic defeats Kwon Soon-woo in four sets to make winning start | tennisnews

Novak Djokovic is aiming to become the fourth player to win four consecutive Wimbledon titles along with Roger Federer (2003-06, Pete Sampras (1997-2000) and Bjorn Borg (1976-80); Djokovic progresses through the first round with a 6- 3 3-6 6-3 6-4 victory

Last Updated: 06/27/22 5:45pm

Novak Djokovic was made to work hard for his first-round victory at Wimbledon on Monday

Novak Djokovic began his Wimbledon title defense with a rusty four-set win against Kwon Soon-woo on Center Court on opening Monday.

Djokovic is a six-time winner of the Wimbledon Championships and has won the last three editions of the grass-court major.

Despite dropping the second set, the Serb found his feet as the match went on and secured his 80th Wimbledon match win 6-3 3-6 6-3 6-4 in just under two-and-a-half hours.

The victory makes him the first man or woman to have won at least that many singles matches at each of the four major tournaments.

Djokovic will take on either Thanasi Kokkinakis or Kamil Majchrzak in the second round.

“I’ve said this a few times before, but this court is truly special for me,” Djokovic said post-match on Center Court.

“It’s always been the court I dreamed of playing and winning on. All of my childhood dreams came true here on this court at this tournament, so of course, it’s an absolute honor and pleasure to come back.”

Match Statistics

Novak Djokovic Kwon Soon-woo
fifteen Aces 7
two Double faults 5
63/104 (61%) First serve in % 60/102 (59%)
54/63 (86%) Win % on first serve 45/60 (75%)
20/41 (49%) Win % on second serve 19/42 (45%)
17/26 net points won 13/19
4/8 Break points won 2/6
31 Winners 31
29 unforced errors 26
112 Total points won 94

This was Djokovic’s first official match on grass since winning last year’s final against Matteo Berrettini and afterwards, he paid tribute to world No 81 Kwon, who had been an awkward opponent.

“Credit to Kwon for playing some really high-quality tennis,” Djokovic said.

“I didn’t have any lead-up, preparation tournaments or matches prior so you’re always going to feel a little bit less comfortable than you would like to, particularly playing against someone as talented as him who stays close to the line and hits very cleanly on both sides.

“It was really difficult to hit through him, so I had to figure out a way tactically to get in control of the point. It wasn’t easy.”

In the third and fourth sets, Djokovic progressively increased the percentage of first serves he got in and produced 10 aces over the course of the final two sets.

As the match went on, he hit the same number of winners (12) in the third set as he had done during the first two combined.

After being made aware his victory handed him another piece of tennis history – being the first male or female player to have 80 wins or more at every major – he reiterated his dedication to the sport.

Djokovic said: “This sport has given me everything, I owe a lot to this sport. I love it still with all my heart, have a lot of passion for it and am as dedicated as anybody out there.

“I’m not one of the youngsters anymore, things change a little bit, but the love and flame for this sport still burns in me,” he continued.

“At this stage of my career, I try to always play my best tennis at the Grand Slams and really deliver the best time on the most significant courts our sport has.

“Now that we’ve got to 80…let’s get to 100!”

Elsewhere in the men’s draw on day one, Casper Ruud earned his first main draw victory at the All England Club by defeating Albert Ramos-Vinolas 7-6 (7-1) 7-6 (11-9) 6-2.

Ruud hit 14 aces and 46 winners overall during the contest and capitalized on Ramos-Vinolas’ greater double fault count (seven to three).

Nikoloz Basilashvili and Lukas Rosol delivered the first five-set match of the Championships, with the 22nd seed from Georgia prevailing 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (8-6) 3-6 6-3 6-3.

Basilashvili will meet France’s Quentin Hayes in the second round, after Halys overcame his compatriot Benoit Paire in four sets 4-6 6-1 6-2 6-4.

Francis Tiafoe started his fifth Wimbledon appearance with a straight-sets result against Andrea Vavassori 6-4 6-4 6-4 and spend just under two hours on court. The 23rd seed will now take on qualifier Maximilian Martererwho overcame Aljaz Bedene 4-6 7-5 6-4 7-5.

tommy paul could also take on a qualifier in the second round after his 6-1 6-2 7-6 (7-4) win over Fernando Verdasco. Qualifier Max Purcell must beat Adrian Mannarino to make that happen.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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