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Wimbledon: Djokovic, the historic 80th

Published on : 27/06/2022 – 21:54Modified : 27/06/2022 – 21:52

Wimbledon (United Kingdom) (AFP) – It is a bit far-fetched, but it is historic: Novak Djokovic offered himself a difficult 80th victory at Wimbledon on Monday, which makes him the only player, men and women alike, to have reached this bar in the four tournaments of the Grand Slam.

“Let’s now aim for the 100th!”, Launched the world No.3 before leaving the Center Court, the roof of which had been closed on this first day of the tournament, disturbed by the rain.

The triple title holder has not lost at Wimbledon since 2017, a series of 22 consecutive victories. But for his first official match on grass since his 6th title last year, the Serb did not only do good things against the South Korean Soon-woo Kwon (81st) whom he beat 6-3, 3 -6, 6-3, 6-4 in 2h27.

Fortunately, he was able to rely on his service (15 aces for 2 double faults, 61% of first balls passed and 86% success after his first ball).

“I did not play at my best level, but I made the right shots at the right times. And my service got me out of trouble at key times”, he analyzed, assuring “to be able to do better”.

decline

At 35, Djokovic is looking for a seventh title on the London turf which would bring him closer to the record of 22 Grand Slam titles held by Rafael Nadal.

Novak Djokovic against Kwon Soon-woo for his entrance to Wimbledon, July 27, 2022 Adrian Dennis AFP

He knows, however, that he will drop in the ATP rankings at the end of the tournament regardless of his result since he will lose his points from last year and that the 2022 edition does not distribute any points by decision of the ATP (and of the WTA among the ladies) in reaction to the refusal of the organizers to accept Russian players (including the world No.1 Daniil Medvedev) and Belarusians because of the war in Ukraine.

For his part, Carlos Alcaraz (7th) got scared before finally dismissing the German Jan-Lennard Struff (155th) 4-6, 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (7/3), 6 -4.

Last year, for his first participation in the Major on grass, the Spaniard received a wild card and was eliminated in the second round by Medvedev.

This time, after an exceptional spring which saw him transform from a very promising player to a phenomenon, he is expected at the turn.

Carlos Alcaraz vs Jan-Lennard Struff at Wimbledon, June 27, 2022

Carlos Alcaraz vs Jan-Lennard Struff at Wimbledon, June 27, 2022 SEBASTIEN BOZON AFP

Expected, the Pole Hubert Hurkacz (10th) was also: the humiliation inflicted last year in the quarters on the master of the place Roger Federer, sent back to the locker room on a 6-0 in the third and last set and who did not not played since, made him one of the outsiders of this edition.

“Leader”

But the Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich (37th), playing for the second time in his career at Wimbledon after a first-round elimination last year, immediately ended Polish hopes by winning 7-6 (7/ 4), 6-4, 5-7, 2-6, 7-6 (10/8).

Another outsider left the men’s draw prematurely: Croatian Marin Cilic, 2017 finalist, forfeited after testing positive for Covid, he said on Instagram.

In the women’s draw, the world No.2 Ons Jabeur, who had given up on injury four days ago in her doubles semi-final at Eastbourne which she was playing with Serena Williams, quietly qualified.

Ons Jabeur carefree against Sweden's Mirjam Bjorklund at Wimbledon, June 27, 2022

Ons Jabeur carefree against Sweden’s Mirjam Bjorklund at Wimbledon, June 27, 2022 SEBASTIEN BOZON AFP

The 27-year-old Tunisian dominated Sweden’s Mirjam Björklund (125th and qualified) 6-1, 6-3 in 53 minutes.

Eliminated in the first round at Roland-Garros, she explained with a smile that she “didn’t like to make the same mistake twice”.

“I learned a lot from this first round at Roland-Garros. I feel more ready”, she explained, stressing that the two matches played with Serena Williams had helped her improve her attitude on the court.

“I’m starting to behave like a leader on a court. I’m trying anyway,” she noted.

Jabeur reached the quarter-finals of the Major on grass last year, equaling his best result in a Grand Slam tournament obtained in Australia in 2020.

Caroline Garcia victorious over Britain's Yuriko Miyazaki at Wimbledon, June 27, 2022

Caroline Garcia victorious over Britain’s Yuriko Miyazaki at Wimbledon, June 27, 2022 Glyn KIRK AFP

In the French clan, Caroline Garcia (55th) won the super tie break of the deciding set against British guest Yuriko Miyazaki (204th) 4-6, 6-1, 7-6 (10/4), two days after winning his first tournament on the grass of Bad Homburg since 2019, the eighth of his career.

It also goes for Diane Parry, Adrian Mannarino, Ugo Humbert and Quentin Halys.

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