Djokovic Ups Wimbledon Streak To 22, Hurkacz Out, Alcaraz Wins; Nadal Tues.
Novak Djokovic had a good but not great start to his 2022 Wimbledon campaign easing past Soonwoo Kwon 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 under the roof in the first round.
Djokovic wasn’t at his supreme best against the overmatched Kwon how broke Djokovic early in the second then had a break chance in the middle of the third to really make things interested.
The Serb fought off a break chance in the fourth then rolled on his serve, reeling off four straight love holds to win his 22nd set match on grass.
“I’ve said this before but this court is truly special,” said Djokovic on court. “For me it has always been the court I dreamed of playing and winning, and all my childhood dreams came true here so it’s an honor and pleasure to be back on Centre Court.”
The win is also Djokovic’s 80th at Wimbledon, making his the first man to win at least 80 matches at all four Grand Slam events.
Carlos Alcaraz had another harrowing 5-setter. The 19-year-old kept his run of going the distance in Majors coming from 2 sets to 1 down to defeat Jan-Lennard Struff 4-6, 7-5, 4-6, 7-6(3), 6-4 in 4 hours, 11 minutes.
“I enjoyed a lot,” Alcaraz said of the match. “Great battle over four hours. For me play on grass is so beautiful. I like to play on grass. I would say my level on grass has to improve a little bit. But I’m happy with my level today.”
Two-time champion Andy Murray overcame a sluggish start against James Duckworth then got into gear to win it 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 and earn his 60th career Wimbledon win.
“I thought I did well to rebound after the first set. He likes playing on the grass. He’s come back from a hip surgery himself in January and was playing very well,” Murray said. “Once I started to find my returns a little bit more as the match went on, I felt a bit more comfortable. Did well to get through it.”
Murray will now meet the dangerous American John Isner who smacked 54 aces on Enzo Couacaud in a 5 set 6-7(6), 7-6(3), 4-6, 6-3, 7-5. Murray leads Isner 8-0 in their series.
Also advancing were British No. 1 Cameron Norrie and French Open finalist Casper Ruud who earned his families first Wimbledon win and Americans Tommy Paul and Frances Tiafoe.
The big upset was handed out by Alejandro Davidovich Fokina who won a rollercoaster with 2021 semifinalist Hubert Hurkacz 7-6(4), 6-4, 5-7, 2-6, 7-6(10-8).
Davidovich Fokina held three match points up two sets and serving 5-4, 40-0 in the third but after a failed tweener and a resurgence from the Pole, the match was level. After an 80 minute rain delay Hurkacz would take the third and the fourth, and then served for it at 5-4 in the fifth. But he too couldn’t finish.
In the first-ever deciding set 6-all breaker at Wimbledon, Hurkacz went ahead 7-4 but crumbled as the Spaniard won six of the last seven points for his first Wimbledon win and avoid a second straight 0-2 collapse at the club.
“It means a lot. I had a lot of matches that I played against Top 10 and I didn’t win,” said Davidovich Fokina. “Here on grass I could prove that I could beat anyone.”
Tomorrow, Rafael Nadal opens playing along with defending finalist Matteo Berrettini, Mallorca champion Stefanos Tsitsipas, Nick Kyrgios and Taylor Fritz.
CENTRE COURT – 1:30PM
1. Iga Swiatek v Jana Fett
2. Francisco Cerundolo v Rafael Nadal
3. Serena Williams v Harmony Tan
NO.1 COURT – 1:00PM
1. Matteo Berrettini v Cristian Garin
Not Before: 2:30pm
2. Tamara Korpatsch tied Heather Watson
3. Karolina Muchova v Simona Halep
4. Alexander Ritschard v Stefanos Tsitsipas
NO.2 COURT – 11:00AM
1. Steve Johnson v Grigor Dimitrov
2. Coco Gauff v Elena-Gabriela Ruse
3. Jasmine Paolini v Petra Kvitova
4. Jason Kubler v Daniel Evans
NO.3 COURT – 11:00AM
1. Maria Sakkari v Zoe Hives
2. Paul Jubb v Nick Kyrgios
3. Felix Auger-Aliassime v Maxime Cressy
4. Garbine Muguruza v Greet Minnen
Not Before: 5:00pm
5. Tereza Martincova v Karolina Pliskova
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