Novak Djokovic became the first player to win 80 matches at all four Grand Slams as he made a successful start to his Wimbledon title defence on Monday, while teenage star Carlos Alcaraz battled over five sets to make the second round.
Six-time champion and top seed Djokovic saw off South Korea’s Kwon Soo-woo 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.
But the 20-time Grand Slam winner was made to work after falling a break down in the opening two sets against his 81st-ranked opponent.
“Now we have got to 80 wins, let’s get to 100,” said Djokovic.
Djokovic, 35, is attempting to win a fourth successive Wimbledon title and join a select group.
In the Open era, Bjorn Borg, Pete Sampras and Roger Federer are the only men’s singles players to have managed such a streak at the All England Club.
Next up for Djokovic is Thanasi Kokkanikis. “Novak is kind of a brick wall,” said the Australian.
Alcaraz, a potential quarterfinal opponent for Djokovic, came back from two sets to one down to defeat Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff.
The 19-year-old fired 30 aces and 73 winners in a dazzling display of shot-making to win 4-6, 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (3), 6-4.
“Last year, I played five sets in the first round here as well so this shows how much I like grass,” joked Alcaraz.
‘Lunch or siesta’
Spain’s Alejandro Davidovich Fokina knocked out 2021 semi-finalist Hubert Hurkacz courtesy of the tournament’s first final-set 10-point tiebreak.
World No 37 Davidovich Fokina triumphed over the seventh-seeded Pole 7-6 (4), 6-4, 5-7, 2-6, 7-6 (8) in a match interrupted twice by rain.
“When the rain came at 5-5 in the third set, I didn’t know whether to have lunch or take a siesta,” admitted 2017 junior champion Davidovich Fokina, who needed five match points to seal the win.
Two-time champion Andy Murray also made it through, coming from a set down to see off Australia’s James Duckworth, who hasn’t registered a single win in 2022.
Murray won 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4.
“I’m getting on a bit now so don’t know how many more chances I’ll get to play on Centre Court,” said the 35-year-old.
Around two hours of play was lost on Monday due to rain – and 10 matches cancelled – but that did not faze new women’s World No 2 Ons Jabeur.
The Tunisian, a quarterfinalist in 2021, eased past Swedish qualifier Mirjam Bjorklund 6-1, 6-3 in just 54 minutes under the Court One roof.
World No 3 Anett Kontaveit began her bid to reach the second week for the first time with a 7-5, 6-1 win against Bernarda Pera of the United States.
US Open champion Emma Raducanu beat Alison van Uytvanck 6-4, 6-4, much to the delight of a partisan home crowd on Centre Court.
The 10th seed became the first British female player to win a Grand Slam singles crown since Virginia Wade at Wimbledon in 1977 when she triumphed in New York last year.
“It’s an incredibly special feeling to be back at Wimbledon,” said the British No 1, who reached the fourth round last year.
Australian Open finalist Danielle Collins was the day’s biggest casualty as the seventh-seeded American was knocked out by Marie Bouzkova of the Czech Republic.
The World No 66 clawed back from a break down in the final set to win 5-7, 6-4, 6-4.
Casper Ruud won a match at Wimbledon for the first time with a straight-sets victory over Albert Ramos-Vinolas.
Third seed Ruud, who was runner-up to Rafael Nadal at the French Open, came through 7-6 (1), 7-6 (9), 6-2.
John Isner fired 54 aces and 97 winners to knock out French qualifier Enzo Couacaud 6-7 (6), 7-6 (3), 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 and will next face Murray.
Cilic tests positive for Covid-19
However, Marin Cilic, the 2017 runner-up, withdrew before hitting a ball after testing positive for Covid-19.
Beatriz Haddad Maia, who arrived with a season-leading 12 match wins on grass with title runs at Nottingham and Birmingham, fell at the first hurdle.
The 28th-ranked Brazilian lost 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 to Slovenia’s Kaja Juvan.
After a cancelled edition due to the pandemic in 2020 and a reduced-capacity tournament last year, Wimbledon has returned to full crowds for 2022.
However, missing from the line-up are a host of Russian and Belarusian players who were banned following the invasion of Ukraine, including men’s World No 1 Daniil Medvedev.
Eight-time champion Federer is also absent as he recovers from knee surgery.
However, Serena Williams will play her first singles match since last year’s championship as she bids again to equal Margaret Court’s record of 24 Grand Slams.
The American star, a seven-time champion at Wimbledon, gets her campaign under way on Tuesday as does Rafael Nadal.
The Spaniard has already collected the Australian Open and French Open this year to put himself halfway to a first men’s calendar Grand Slam since 1969.
Wimbledon results from Monday, Day 1 of the 2022 Championships at the All England Club (x denotes seeded player):
Men’s singles first round
Novak Djokovic (SRB x1) bt Kwon Soon-woo (KOR) 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4
Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS) bt Kamil Majchrzak (POL) 7-6 (7/5), 6-2, 7-5
Alejandro Tabilo (CHI) bt Laslo Djere (SRB) 7-6 (8/6), 6-2, 1-6, 4-6, 7-6 (13/11)
Miomir Kecmanovic (SRB x25) bt John Millman (AUS) 6-3, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4
Nikoloz Basilashvili (GEO x22) bt Lukas Rosol (CZE) 6-7 (4/7), 7-6 (8/6), 3-6, 6-3, 6-3
Quentin Halys (FRA) bt Benoit Paire (FRA) 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-4
Tim Van Rijthoven (NED) bt Federico Delbonis (ARG) 7-6 (9/7), 6-1, 6-2
Jannik Sinner (ITA x10) bt Stan Wawrinka (SUI) 7-5, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2
Andy Murray (GBR) bt James Duckworth (AUS) 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4
John Isner (USA x20) bt Enzo Couacaud (FRA) 6-7 (6/8), 7-6 (7/3), 4-6, 6-3, 7-5
Oscar Otte (GER x32) bt Peter Gojowczyk (GER) 6-1, 6-2, 6-1
Tallon Griekspoor (NED) bt Fabio Fognini (ITA) 5-7, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4
Carlos Alcaraz (ESP x5) bt Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) 4-6, 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (7/3), 6-4
Casper Ruud (NOR x3) bt Albert Ramos Vinolas (ESP) 7-6 (7/1), 7-6 (11/9), 6-2
Ugo Humbert (FRA) bt Tomas Etcheverry (ARG) 6-3, 3-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4
Frances Tiafoe (USA x23) bt Andrea Vavassori (ITA) 6-4, 6-4, 6-4
Maximilian Marterer (GER) bt Aljaz Bedene (SLO) 4-6, 7-5, 6-4, 7-5
Alexander Bublik (KAZ) bt Marton Fucsovics (HUN) 6-1, 6-2, 6-4
Dusan Lajovic (SRB) bt Pablo Carreño-Busta (ESP x16) 3-6, 6-4 - retired
Cameron Norrie (GBR x9) bt Pablo Andujar (ESP) 6-0, 7-6 (7/3), 6-3
Jaume Munar (ESP) bt Thiago Monteiro (BRA) 6-2, 6-4, 7-5
Tommy Paul (USA x30) bt Fernando Verdasco (ESP) 6-1, 6-2, 7-6 (7/4)
Adrian Mannarino (FRA) bt Max Purcell (AUS) 6-3, 7-6 (7/0), 4-6, 4-6, 6-4
Jiri Vesely (CZE) bt Federico Coria (ARG) 6-3, 6-2, 7-6 (7/3)
Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (ESP) bt Hubert Hurkacz (POL x7) 7-6 (7/4), 6-4, 5-7, 2-6, 7-6 (10/8)
Women’s singles first round
Marie Bouzkova (CZE) bt Danielle Collins (USA x7) 5-7, 6-4, 6-4
Ann Li (USA) bt Lucia Bronzetti (ITA) 6-1, 6-4
Maja Chwalinska (POL) bt Katerina Siniakova (CZE) 6-0, 7-5
Alison Riske (USA x28) bt Ylena In-Albon (SUI) 6-2, 6-4
Caroline Garcia (FRA) bt Yuriko Miyazaki (GBR) 4-6, 6-1, 7-6 (10/4)
Emma Raducanu (GBR x10) bt Alison Van Uytvanck (BEL) 6-4, 6-4
Angelique Kerber (GER x15) bt Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) 6-0, 7-5
Magda Linette (POL) bt Fernanda Contreras Gomez (MEX) 6-1, 6-4
Panna Udvardy (HUN) bt Tamara Zidanšek (SLO) 6-4, 7-6 (7/1)
Elise Mertens (BEL x24) bt María Camila Osorio (COL) 1-6, 6-2, 4-2 - retired
Diane Parry (FRA) bt Kaia Kanepi (EST x31) 6-4, 6-4
Mai Hontama (JPN) bt Clara Tauson (DEN) 4-1 - retired
Katarzyna Kawa (POL) bt Rebecca Marino (CAN) 6-4, 3-6, 7-5
Ons Jabeur (TUN x3) bt Mirjam Bjorklund (SWE) 6-1, 6-3
Sorana Cirstea (ROM x26) bt Aleksandra Krunic (SRB) 7-6 (7/5), 7-6 (7/1)
Elisabetta Cocciaretto (ITA) bt Martina Trevisan (ITA x22) 6-2, 6-0
Irina-Camelia Begu (ROM) bt Ekaterine Gorgodze (GEO) 6-4, 6-1
Dalma Galfi (HUN) bt Maddison Inglis (AUS) 5-7, 6-3, 6-4
Kaja Juvan (SLO) bt Beatriz Haddad Maia (BRA x23) 6-4, 4-6, 6-2
Anhelina Kalinina (UKR x29) bt Anna Bondar (HUN) 4-6, 6-2, 6-4
Lesia Tsurenko (UKR) bt Jodie Burrage (GBR) 6-2, 6-3
Jule Niemeier (GER) bt Wang Xiyu (CHN) 6-1, 6-4
Anett Kontaveit (EST x2) bt Bernarda Pera (USA) 7-5, 6-1