Djokovic starts slow but begins title defense with four-set victory
Defending champion Novak Djokovic is the first man through to the second round of the 2021 Wimbledon Championships after defeating Jack Draper in four sets on Monday.
WIMBLEDON 2021, FIRST ROUND
NOVAK DJOKOVIC (No 1) d. JACK DRAPER (WC) 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2
- Main information: Novak Djokovic kicked off his Wimbledon title defense with a four-set victory.
- You will also learn: In the first set, Djokovic fell twice and was 0-for-7 on break points.
- Why you should read this article: Draper created early drama in front of the home crowd with a surprising set win.
Slow starts certainly didn’t stop Novak Djokovic at the French Open. It looks like they won’t be much a problem for him at Wimbledon, either.
Djokovic recovered from a set deficit to defeat British wild card Jack Draper 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 on Monday afternoon. The defending champion, who once again had the tradition of playing the first match on Centre Court, raced away with what became a routine victory after exactly two hours.
Djokovic slipped twice
For a brief moment it wasn’t so simple. Djokovic slipped twice on the grass early in the first set and sustained hard falls, which seemed to rattle him. He still managed to generate seven break points throughout the opening frame of play, but Draper did well to save every single one. The 19-year-old, who upset Jannik Sinner at Queen’s Club earlier this month, held serve the whole way following an early break to improbably take a set.
At Roland-Garros, Djokovic lost the first two sets to Lorenzo Musetti in the fourth round, did the same against Stefanos Tsitsipas in the title match, and in between those matches dropped the opener against Rafael Nadal in the quarters. The Serb came back emphatically on all three occasions, so it was no surprise that he worked similar magic on Monday at the All-England Club. Djokovic dominated the next three sets at Draper’s expense while dropping a total of five games.
Djokovic on Draper : “He definitely deserves a round of applause”
“It feels great being back at probably the most sacred and most special court in the world,” the top seed said during his on-court interview, a feature that is new at Wimbledon in 2021. “Obviously alongside many other players I was very sad that Wimbledon was cancelled (in 2020). I’m very glad the sport is back.”
When asked about Draper, Djokovic continued, “He definitely deserves a round of applause. He’s only 19. I hadn’t seen him play too much prior to Queen’s. Walking on to Wimbledon Centre Court for the first time, I think he has done extremely well. He deserves credit for that.”
Djokovic will go up against either Kevin Anderson or qualifier Marcelo Tomas Barrios Vera in the round of 64. A Djokovic-Anderson showdown would be a rematch of the 2018 final.
- Seeds who won on Monday: Novak Djokovic (No 1)
- Seeds who lost on Monday: Stefanos Tsitsipas (No 3)
- Notable men on the Monday schedule (1st round): Andrey Rublev (No 5), Roberto Bautista Agut (No 8), Diego Schwartzman (No 9 ), Denis Shapovalov (No 10), Gaël Monfils (No 13), Alex De Minaur (No 15), Cristian Garin (No 17), Jannik Sinner (No 19), Dan Evans (No 22) , Nikoloz Basilashvili (No 24), Karen Khachanov (No 25), Fabio Fognini (No 26), Reilly Opelka (No 27), Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (No 30), Andy Murray
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