Shaking off some early rust in the first set, Novak Djokovic's quest for a third straight Grand Slam tournament title began with a 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 win over Jack Draper in the first round at Wimbledon.
The win extends Djokovic's winning streak at the All England Club to 15 straight matches dating back to 2018. He is also riding a 15-match winning streak in Grand Slam events this year.
Start as you mean to go on…<a href="https://twitter.com/DjokerNole?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@DjokerNole</a>’s pursuit of a third consecutive Wimbledon title is off to a winning start, beating Jack Draper 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Wimbledon?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Wimbledon</a> <a href="https://t.co/soTVGWBze4">pic.twitter.com/soTVGWBze4</a>
Draper, a 19-year-old Englishman, was making his first-ever appearance in the Wimbledon main draw as a wild card entry. He stunned the top seed early by breaking Djokovic's serve to steal the first set.
Pamela Maldonado @pamelam35
Jack Draper is 19 years old. This is his 5th ATP tour match and it's against World No. 1 Novak Djokovic on one of the most prestige stages in all of tennis, Center Court at Wimbledon in his Grand Slam debut.<br><br>And he just won the opening set. <a href="https://t.co/Jnd9GtZ42j">pic.twitter.com/Jnd9GtZ42j</a>
ESPN UK @ESPNUK
British wildcard Jack Draper, ranked 253rd, takes the first set off World No. 1 Novak Djokovic.<br><br>Earning a standing ovation from the Centre Court crowd at <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Wimbledon?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Wimbledon</a> ￼ <a href="https://t.co/fmVHdZ9I2n">pic.twitter.com/fmVHdZ9I2n</a>
Coming into this tournament, Draper had a 2-2 record in singles matches on the ATP Tour this season. He was nine years old when Djokovic won his first Wimbledon title in 2011.
His last appearance on the top men's circuit was at the Queen's Club Championships earlier this month, where he advanced to the quarterfinals before losing to Cameron Norrie.
“What an opportunity for me to play against the best player in the world. I’m definitely going to relish the opportunity and I’m really looking forward to it," Draper told reporters in a prematch press conference on Sunday. "To be on Wimbledon Centre Court opening the Championships with him is something that’s amazing.”
One reason for Draper's success in the opening set was because of his ability to hold serve. Djokovic had break-point chances but was unable to convert on any of them. He also went just 2-of-5 on net-point opportunities.
Even though Draper looked to have some measure of control coming out of the first set, Djokovic wasted no time in getting his momentum back.
The second and third sets combined took a total of 53 minutes. Djokovic only lost three games total in those two sets, and he clocked up 13 aces and just 10 unforced errors.
46-second game. 4 aces. <a href="https://twitter.com/DjokerNole?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@DjokerNole</a> is not hanging about...<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Wimbledon?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Wimbledon</a> <a href="https://t.co/0Ao6amVPTj">pic.twitter.com/0Ao6amVPTj</a>
Tennis Accent @accent_tennis
Djokovic in total control now. Serving numbers are great despite the only break in the first. 20 aces, 71% winning second serves, has created 14 BP looks and been to the net 22 times. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Wimbledon?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Wimbledon</a>
Djoker didn't slow down at all in the fourth set. He had seven more aces, hit 19 of his 22 first serves in play and won 11 of 25 receiving points.
Monday marked Djokovic's first match since his memorable five-set win over Stefanos Tsitsipas in the French Open final on June 13. The initial adversity against Draper may have been a case of rust, but it didn't last very long.
The draw broke nicely for Djokovic in his pursuit of a sixth Wimbledon title. He won't face a ranked opponent until at least the third round. Gael Monfils and Cristian Garin are the only top-20 seeds in his section of the bracket.
Djokovic's second-round match will be played on Wednesday against the winner of Marcelo Tomas Barrios Vera vs. Kevin Anderson.