Wimbledon Open: Djokovic starts title defence with win

London, Jul 1 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 7/1/2019 11:47:33 AM IST

Novak Djokovic began the defence of his Wimbledon title with an assured 6-3 7-5 6-3 victory over Philipp Kohlschreiber.

Djokovic, who is seeking a fourth Grand Slam victory in the past five tournaments, is the top seed and took just over two hours to dismiss his opponent. The world No 1 and four-time Wimbledon champion was broken in the first game of the match on Centre Court before he re-grouped well.

He pressed out into a 4-1 advantage and stayed focused to secure the first set of his title defence. Kohlschreiber pushed hard in second but Djokovic gained the required break in the 11th game and took the set 7-5 after a hold to love.

In the last, the defending champion continued to force errors off his opponent’s racket and the straight sets victory will have no doubt will have pleased the newest member of his coaching team watching from the stands, Goran Ivanisevic.

Meanwhile, Stan Wawrinka was barely mentioned in the Wimbledon build-up with all the focus on the men’s “big three” and the young guns hoping to shake things up but the Swiss means business.

Outside of eight-time champion Roger Federer, twice winner Rafael Nadal and defending champion Novak Djokovic, Wawrinka is the only other multiple Grand Slam champion in the draw.

The 34-year-old needs a Wimbledon title to complete his career Grand Slam and while, for whatever reason, he has never thrived on the All England Club lawns, he looked razor sharp as he began his 15th successive appearance.

On a sunny Court Two against Belgian qualifier Ruben Bemelmans he belted 26 winners in a 6-3 6-2 6-2 victory that took less than an hour and a half.

Admittedly left-hander Bemelmans, ranked 171, was having a decidedly ordinary day with his forehand misfiring completely but it was a powerful statement by Wawrinka nonetheless.

Pliskova, Svitolina reach second round
Third seed Karolina Pliskova made it through to the second round at Wimbledon, beating China’s Zhu Lin 6-2, 7-6 (7/4) on Monday.
Czech former world number one Pliskova, fresh from winning the Eastbourne grass-court tournament, beat the world number 101 on the 4,000-seater Court Two.
She will face either Olympic champion Monica Puig of Puerto Rico or Slovakia’s Anna Karolina Schmeidlova on Wednesday for a place in the last 32.
Meanwhile, Elina Svitolina, Madison Keys and Sofia Kenin also made relatively light work of their opponents to reach the second round as Heather Watson kicked off the British campaign with a win.
Eighth seed Svitolina initially found Daria Gavrilova tough to break down, but then the Australian unravelled and the Ukraine raced to a 7-5, 6-0 victory.
Former US Open finalist Madison Keys was the first player to reach the second round on day one at the All England Club as the 17th seeded American brushed aside Luksika Kumkhum 6-3, 6-2.
The 27th seed Sofia Kenin was too good for Astra Shami as she beat the Australian 6-4, 6-2 while Dayana Yastremska beat 2018 quarter-finalist Camila Giorgi 6-3, 6-3.
Meanwhile, wildcard Watson gave the British campaign off to a good start as she celebrated her 10th consecutive Wimbledon appearance with a 7-6 (7-3), 6-2 win over debutant Caty McNally from the United States.
It was double celebration for the 27-year-old Watson as it was her first WTA Tour level win since July last year.

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