WIMBLEDON, England — These days, Novak Djokovic makes history almost every time he wins another match. On Monday, the highest-ranking Serb did just that at Wimbledon.
Djokovic, a six-time All England Club champion, defeated Soonwoo Kwon 6-3 3-6 6-3 6-4 on Center Court, his 80th victory on grass-court major. He became the first man or woman to win as many matches at each of the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments.
Djokovic played in the French Open quarterfinals for the first time since losing to Rafael Nadal last month.
On Monday, however, not everything went according to his wishes.
With the roof closed due to sporadic rain, Kwon was able to pick his points with his booming forehand. It all came together in the second set and even continued in the third, but Djokovic reinforced it and played as he usually plays in south-west London – unbeatable.
Djokovic has won the last three Wimbledon titles and is targeting his seventh overall. That would put him second with Pete Sampras and William Renshaw. Only Roger Federer has more with eight.
Another major title would also earn him 21 for his career. Nadal has 22 and Federer has 20.
Most of Djokovic’s singles Grand Slam championships have come at the Australian Open, where he is a nine-time champion. But he failed to defend his title in Melbourne that year after being deported over Australia’s vaccination protocols.
The first player to reach the second round was Alison Riske. The 28th-seeded American defeated Switzerland’s Ylena In-Albon 6-2, 6-4.
Other seeded women who advanced were No. 3 Ons Jabeur of Tunisia and No. 29 Anhelina Kalinina of Ukraine. Kalinina will face another Ukrainian Lesia Tsurenko in the second round.
Tsurenko’s match was halted for about 10 minutes when her opponent, British wild card competitor Jodie Burrage, stopped to help a ballboy who was feeling weak.
Burrage gave the boy a sports drink and a nutritional gel before someone in the crowd handed her a chewy candy. The boy was soon helped off the pitch.
French Open finalist Casper Ruud won his opening match on court 12. The third-seeded Norwegian defeated Albert Ramos-Vinolas 7-6 (1), 7-6 (9), 6-2.
Also in the men’s draw were No. 9 Cam Norrie of Great Britain, No. 22 Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia, No. 23 Frances Tiafoe of the United States and No. 30 Tommy Paul of the United States.
https://www.espn.com/tennis/story/_/id/34156460/novak-djokovic-overcomes-2nd-set-stumble-win-wimbledon-opener Novak Djokovic overcomes 2nd-set stumble to win Wimbledon opener