IMAGES from Day 1 of the Wimbledon Championships played on Monday.
Rusty Djokovic sees off Korean Kwon to advance
Top seed Novak Djokovic overcame a dogged challenge from 81st-ranked Korean Kwon Soon-woo and his own grasscourt rustiness to reach the Wimbledon second round with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory on Monday.
The defending champion, bidding for his fourth Wimbledon title in a row and his seventh overall, looked out-of-sorts at times against Kwon, who brought a lively mixture of tennis, from booming forehands to delicate drop-shots, onto Centre Court.
Djokovic had not played a grasscourt warm-up tournament and he admitted that did not help his game against a tough opponent, 11 years his junior.
"I didn't have any lead-up or preparation tournaments prior to this so you're always going to feel a bit less comfortable than you would like, particularly if you're playing against someone as talented as Kwon who stays close to the line and hits really clean," he said.
"It wasn't easy. I had to put some variety in the game. The serve helped but at this level one or two shots decide a winner."
The 24-year-old Korean broke Djokovic's serve in the fourth game of the second set and went on to win it with a drop-shot and a big serve.
But the Serb, aiming to win a 21st Grand Slam title, recovered enough of his trademark consistency to see off the challenge.
He secured victory with an ace on his first match point and will next meet either Thanasi Kokkinakis of Australia or Poland's Kamil Majchrzak.
It was Djokovic's 80th Wimbledon win and he became the only man to have won 80 matches at all four Grand Slam tournaments.
The Serb, who won three Grand Slams last year, missed out the Australian Open in January after being deported because he was not vaccinated against COVID-19.
He lost in the French Open quarter-finals to eventual champion Rafa Nadal who is seeded second at Wimbledon.
Jabeur crushes Bjorklund to reach Wimbledon second round
Tunisian third seed Ons Jabeur proved far too strong for Mirjam Bjorklund of Sweden, sweeping past the qualifier 6-1, 6-3 on Monday to book her spot in the second round of Wimbledon.
After reaching a career-high ranking of second, 2021 quarter-finalist Jabeur served strongly and dominated from the baseline against the 125th-ranked Bjorklund who made her debut at the grasscourt Grand Slam this year.
Jabeur arrived in London having lifted a grasscourt title in Berlin two weeks back and was in an attacking mood in her first career meeting with the 23-year-old Swede on a cloudy day on Court One.
The Tunisian broke Bjorklund's serve three times to take the opening set and a single break was enough in the second for Jabeur to seal victory in 53 minutes.
Jabeur converted her first matchpoint when Bjorklund sent a backhand long and she will next meet Canadian Rebecca Marino or qualifier Katarzyna Kawa of Poland for a place in the third round.
Third seed Ruud seals maiden Wimbledon win at third attempt
Norwegian third seed Casper Ruud registered his maiden Wimbledon victory in his third main-draw appearance when he saw off experienced Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas 7-6 (1), 7-6 (9), 6-2 in the first round on Monday.
French Open runner-up Ruud failed to get past the opening hurdle in 2019 and 2021 and arrived at this year's grasscourt Grand Slam following a first-round loss at Queen's to world number 180 Ryan Peniston.
The odds were again stacked against the 23-year-old Ruud, who once joked that grass is for golfers, as he faced an opponent who had defeated him in three out of four career meetings -- though all the matches were on clay.
Ruud served strongly, dishing out 14 aces, and dominated the baseline battle against the left-hander during a rain-interrupted match.
Both players had opportunities in the first set but neither managed a service break before Ruud dictated terms in the tiebreaker to nose ahead.
The 34-year-old Ramos-Vinolas, ranked 34th, traded two service breaks with his opponent in the second and had four set points in the tiebreaker to level the contest but ended up losing it to fall 2-0 behind.
Ruud grew in confidence as the Spaniard's challenge melted away and after two breaks in the third set the Norwegian sealed victory to set up a meeting with Argentine Tomas Martin Etcheverry or Frenchman Ugo Humbert.
Davidovich Fokina seals topsy-turvy upset win over Hurkacz
Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina recovered from a mid-match meltdown to win a final-set tiebreak against Hubert Hurkacz on Monday and knock out the Wimbledon seventh seed and last year's semi-finalist in the first round.
The 7-6 (4), 6-4, 5-7, 2-6, 7-6 (8) victory was the first at the grasscourt Grand Slam for the 23-year-old Davidovich Fokina after his opening round defeat on debut last year.
Davidovich Fokina had three match points when he served at 5-3 in the third set.
He wasted the first attempting a between-the-legs "tweener" trick shot and the Polish player saved the next two before rain forced the players off.
Hurkacz returned after the interruption to win the set and the next to take the contest into a decider.
The 25-year-old Hurkacz was considered one of the dark horses for the title this year after he hammered world number one Daniil Medvedev 6-1, 6-4 to win the ATP 500 grasscourt tournament in Halle, Germany in the leadup.
The Pole also had the opportunity to close out the match in the final set when serving at 5-4 but Davidovich Fokina managed to dig deep to break back and force a 10-point tiebreak for the first time at Wimbledon.
Davidovich Fokina finally sealed the rollercoaster contest on his fifth match point when Hurkacz, who had pledged to donate 100 euros (about $106) for every ace he hits at the tournament to the Ukraine relief effort, found the net with a return after three hours and 28 minutes.
"There was a lot of tension," Davidovich Fokina said with a grin during his on-court interview. "Really, don't know how I won this match."
It was the first match at Wimbledon to be decided in the 10-point tiebreak format in the final set. The tournament previously featured a seven-point tiebreak when the score reached 12-12 in the final set of all matches at the All England Club.
Davidovich Fokina will meet Czech Jiri Vesely for a spot in the third round.
Raducanu delights Wimbledon crowd with triumphant Centre Court debut
Britain’s teenage US Open champion Emma Raducanu lived up to her star billing on her first appearance on Wimbledon’s Centre Court by overcoming the awkward challenge of in-form Belgian Alison van Uytvanck 6-4, 6-4 in the first round on Monday.
Having come into the tournament on the back of a wretched run of injuries and with barely any match practice on grass it was an impressive display by the 19-year-old.
Van Uytvanck is ranked 46th in the world but has a liking for grass having won 12 of her 14 matches on the surface this year, including two second-tier titles.
Her low slice made things difficult for Raducanu, who took a while to work out how to deal with the lack of pace coming her way, but the Briton grew in confidence and, lifted by the home fans, was a deserved winner.
She shrieked in delight after completing the victory, displaying the winning smile that has made her a sponsor's dream.
"It's an incredibly special feeling to be back at Wimbledon," Raducanu said.
"I felt the support the minute I walked out and walking around the grounds. I want to say thank you to everyone who has been here supporting, through the tough times as well, it's all worth it to play on Centre Court and come through with a win."
A year ago Raducanu reached the fourth round as an unknown wildcard before going on to win the US Open against impossible odds, but this time the 10th seed carried the hopes and even expectations of a nation who have not seen a home women’s champion since Virginia Wade in 1977.
Raducanu, understandably, and Van Uytvanck, less so after her run of grass success, looked rusty in the opening games, both struggling for consistency.
The action improved as Raducanu broke for the first time for 4-3, followed up by being broken to love, then broke to love herself. That put her in position to serve for the first set, which, having slipped to 15-40, she duly did to rouse the fans into the first notable roar of the fortnight.
The Briton looked buoyed by getting on the board but could not take advantage of early break points and it was Van Uytvanck who struck first, breaking for a 3-1 lead.
Raducanu, whose participation had been in doubt until a few days ago because of a side strain, broke back immediately as she got lower and lower to deal with the Belgian’s low-ball slice.
Growing in confidence and accuracy, Raducanu began to take charge and got the vital break for 5-4 courtesy of a double fault.
She served out strongly to give the home fans the victory they so desperately craved and set up a second-round meeting with Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia.
Britain's Norrie eases through after rain delay
Ninth seed Cameron Norrie made light work of Spain's Pablo Andujar to give Britain its first win at this year's Wimbledon, easing through 6-0, 7-6 (3), 6-3 on Monday.
With the home spotlight very much on Centre Court where fellow Britons Emma Raducanu and Andy Murray were in action later, Norrie opened proceedings on Court Two.
Left-hander Norrie, the highest-ranked home player in the men's draw, dominated the opening set against the 36-year-old who looked uncomfortable on the grass.
Anjujar, who had suffered six first-round defeats in his eight previous Wimbledon appearances, broke serve early in the second set but Norrie recovered and moved two sets ahead when he comfortably took a tiebreak.
Norrie was gifted a break to love in the third game of the third set and moved to the brink of victory at 3-5 on the Anjujar serve but failed to convert three match points before heavy rain forced the players off court.
On the resumption, Norrie completed the job with a backhand pass to move into round two.
"That was not easy. I saw the dark clouds coming and someone shouted out 'get it done before the rain' - I was like 'come on, I'm trying to get it done," Norrie said.
"A lot of waiting around and it wasn't the prettiest performance but I got it done in straight sets and I'll take that and move on."
Seventeen British players started out in the singles main draw, the most since 2001.
Jodie Burrage became the first of the home contingent to lose after going down 6-2, 6-3 to Ukraine's Lesia Tsurenko.
Burrage earned praise for helping out a distressed ball boy on Monday as she suffered a second successive first-round exit at Wimbledon.
Wildcard Burrage, comprehensively beaten 6-2, 6-3 by Ukraine's Lesia Tsurenko, reacted quickly at the start of the second set when the ball boy became unwell.
"He just said he was feeling really faint. He couldn't actually really talk. It was quite distressing to see," 23-year-old Burrage told reporters.
"Just tried to get him some sugar, gave him a Gatorade and a gel. The gel is not the nicest thing, so they managed to find some Percy Pigs (sweets) somewhere along the line in the crowd, which he got down and then started to feel better."
Burrage thought the young lad, one of 250 ball boys and girls from local schools rigorously trained for the tournament, had suffered a panic attack.
"He was not in a good spot and I just tried to help as much as possible," she said.
"I actually had a panic attack once in juniors here, so I've been where he is. I kind of know a little bit how he was feeling."
Londoner Burrage was one of 17 British players in the singles main draw, the most since 2001.
Alcaraz survives five-set whirlwind to reach second round
It might not have been the workout Carlos Alcaraz was hoping for as he nursed a sore elbow but the Spaniard showed why he is considered the next big thing as he toppled Jan-Lennard Struff 4-6, 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (3), 6-4 in the Wimbledon first round.
The 19-year-old has enjoyed an incredible season on clay and hardcourts -- winning titles in Rio, Miami, Barcelona and Madrid -- and on Monday he proved he has the skills and mental belief to succeed on the sport's slickest surface.
Despite still being a grasscourt novice, fifth seed Alcaraz did not let German Struff's 218kph hurtling serves or the disappointment of losing two of the opening three sets faze him.
Facing an opponent he described as "big serve, big shots", Alcaraz kept his nerve to fire down 30 aces and produced an assortment of breathtaking passing shots to secure only his second ever win on grass.
"I feel pretty good, playing here is amazing," the beaming teenager, whose debut appearance at Wimbledon ended in the second round 12 months ago, told the crowd.
"I didn't expect to move as well as I did today. I don't know how I did this (hit 30 aces) as this is probably my best match serving.
"This means I like to play on grass and I don't want to leave the court."
In their only previous meeting, Struff beat Alcaraz in straight sets in the third round at last year's Roland Garros. But since that showdown, their careers have headed in opposite directions.
While Alcaraz shot up 90 spots in the rankings to break into the top 10, Struff's fortunes have nosedived and this month he dropped outside the top 100 for the first time in five years.
But during Monday's opening exchanges, few would have guessed that Struff only classified as the 155th best player in the world.
With the balls flying off the lush green surface of Court One, Alcaraz was left rolling his eyes time and again as he kept coming off second best in the fast-paced exchanges with the 32-year-old German.
But what the grasscourt novice lacked in experience, he more than made up for with his determination to succeed.
"Here everything (is) going faster. I don't go fast to the net," said the youngest player in the men's draw who will next meet Dutch journeyman Tallon Griekspoor.
"I would say my level on grass has to improve a little bit. I'm not experienced player on grass. For me ... (it) is more difficult to move on grass than the other surfaces."
Being forced to skip the Wimbledon warm-up tournaments with an elbow injury did not help the Spaniard's cause, but the way he hung in for four hours and 11 minutes to keep alive his Wimbledon dreams proved a point to him -- and his rivals.
"Great battle, four hours ... I enjoyed (it). For me playing on grass is so beautiful. I like to play on grass."
Italian Sinner's first tour-level win on grass sends Wawrinka out
Italian 10th seed Jannik Sinner won a clash of generations against three-time Grand Slam winner Stan Wawrinka on Monday, defeating the Swiss wildcard 7-5, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 in the Wimbledon first round for his maiden victory on grass.
Widely considered as one of the future stars of men's tennis, Sinner has made the quarter-finals of the Australian and French Opens but had yet to win a Tour-level match on grass before Monday.
The Italian lost his opening match on his main draw debut at the grasscourt major last year and came into this year's tournament having gone down to American Tommy Paul in the opening round at the Eastbourne tune-up event last week.
But he hit his stride early under overcast skies against Wawrinka, pinning the Swiss to the back of the court with his powerful groundstrokes.
"It feels amazing, obviously," Sinner said in his on-court interview.
"It took a little bit, but I'm happy to be in the second round here.
"Against Stan, it was a very tough match because he is an incredible champion and he showed it so many times. I wish him all the best to come back stronger."
The 37-year-old Wawrinka won the last of his three major titles at the 2016 U.S. Open and returned to the tour in March after a year on the sidelines due to two surgeries on his left foot in 2021.
He came into Monday's contest having won both previous meetings in 2019 against Sinner, who is 17 years younger, but the pair had never met on grass previously.
After the Italian bagged the opening set with a crucial break of serve in the 12th game, Wawrinka showed glimpses of his old self in the second and an early break saw him level the match at 1-1.
Sinner struggled with the sun in his face and also with the slippery conditions due to rain during the day but found his footing to cruise through the next two sets and seal the contest with his ninth ace.
"In the beginning it was tough, and with the sun also," he said.
"But I'm very happy that, in the end, I played better, I served better. So hopefully it can give me confidence for the next round."
For a place in the third round, Sinner will play the winner of the match between Daniel Altmaier and Mikael Ymer with the latter leading 6-3 ,7-5 when bad light stopped play.
I was praying to avoid Court 18, says Isner after five-set win
Twelve years after winning the longest tennis match in history, John Isner admits he still has nightmares whenever he goes to five sets at Wimbledon's Court 18 where he beat Enzo Couacaud 6-7 (6), 7-6 (3), 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 on Monday.
Isner is best remembered for the 11-hour epic in 2010 against Frenchman Nicolas Mahut on Court 18 where the final set of their first round match finished 70-68 to the big-serving American after they slugged it out over three days.
When jokingly asked if he had post-traumatic stress disorder playing on Court 18 again, Isner told reporters: "Good question. A lot!
"Everybody asked me about my memories on that court and it's nightmares. I lost in five sets last year on that court, I won one today. I've spent a lot of hours playing on that court.
"I'm a nobody. I can't go request what court to play on at Wimbledon, let's be honest. No, I just was kind of praying I wouldn't be on that court. The schedule came out and I go, 'Shit!'. It happens."
Isner fired 54 aces past Frenchman Couacaud and he is now close to breaking the record for most aces on the tour in tennis history.
The 37-year-old American has 13,688 aces and is just 40 aces shy of Ivo Karlovic's all-time record, although the Croatian reached his mark in fewer matches.
Collins becomes highest women's seed to fall on day one
American Danielle Collins was the highest women's seed to fall on day one at Wimbledon as she went down 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 to Marie Bouzkova on Monday.
Australian Open runner-up Collins, seeded seven, looked on course for the second round after taking a tight opener but came unstuck against the 66th-ranked Czech player.
Bouzkova faces another American next in the form of Ann Li.
Another seed to fall in the women's draw was number 22 Martina Trevisan, a French Open semi-finalist this month, who was thrashed 6-2, 6-0 by fellow Italian Elisabetta Cocciaretto.