Wimbledon 2022: Novak Djokovic beats Korea’s Kwon Soon-woo, wins 1st round

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20-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic on Monday defeated Soonwoo Kwon as he reached the second round of Wimbledon.

Djokovic secured a 6-3 3-6 6-3 6-4 victory against his world No. 81-ranked opponent, bringing him (Djokovic) to a 22nd consecutive win at SW19.

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 didnt have any lead-up or preparation tournaments prior to this so youre always going to feel a bit less comfortable than you would like, particularly if youre playing against someone as talented as Kwon who stays close to the line and hits really clean,” he said. “It wasnt easy. I had to put some variety in the game. The serve helped but at this level one or two shots decide a winner.”

Novak Djokovic

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 Polands Kamil Majchrzak. It was Djokovics 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.

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