Sign Up for Sports World News’ Newsletter and never miss out on our most popular stories.
LONDON, ENGLAND – JUNE 28: Novak Djokovic of Serbia stretches to play a forehand in his Men’s Singles First Round match against Jack Draper of Great Britain during Day One of The Championships – Wimbledon 2021 at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 28, 2021 in London, England. (Photo : AELTC/Simon Bruty-Pool/Getty Images)
Grand Slam tennis finally returned at the All-England Club after a one-year hiatus, and Day 1 of the 2021 Wimbledon Championships duly delivered its fair share of drama and excitement.
Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray barged into the second round of the tournament with four-set wins. At the same time, world no. 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas and former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova both crashed out on the opening day.
Djokovic, Murray advance to the second round
Novak Djokovic overcame a slow start to beat British teenager Jack Draper, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2, on Centre Court. Draper, who was given a wildcard for the event, stunned the world no. 1 as he handed Djokovic his first dropped set in the opening round of the Wimbledon Championships since 2010. Djokovic failed to convert each of his seven break point opportunities during that set which Draper won 6-4.
Djokovic, however, settled down after that rough start, dropping just five games the rest of the match. Djokovic, who is looking to equal Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal’s all-time men’s record of 20 Grand Slam titles, banked on his serve in this matchup. He recorded 25 aces in the first-round win against Draper, the most aces Djokovic has hit in a match at Wimbledon.
Andy Murray also made a triumphant return on Monday, recording a dramatic, 6-4, 6-3, 5-7, 6-3, victory over 24th seed Nikoloz Basilashvili under the lights on Centre Court. The two-time Wimbledon champion avoided a titanic meltdown, winning his first singles match in the SW19 since 2017.
Murray was on his way to a comfortable win as he led, 6-4 6-3 5-0, against the Georgian at one stage. He failed to convert two match points in the third set, however, as he lost seven consecutive games to lose the set, 5-7. He was broken four times during this period and saw his first-serve percentage drop to 47 percent.
After wasting another match point in the fourth set, Murray finally converted on his fourth try, much to the delight of the partisan home crowd. He will next face either Germany’s Oscar Otte or France’s Arthur Rinderknech, whose match was suspended with the fifth set delicately poised at nine games apiece.
Tsitsipas and Kvitova suffer shock exits
After reaching his first Grand Slam final at the French Open earlier this month, many expected Stefanos Tsitsipas to soar to new heights at the Wimbledon Championships. The Greek star, however, failed to deliver on those high expectations as he crashed out in the first round against unseeded American Frances Tiafoe.
Tsitsipas was soundly beaten by the world no. 57 Tiafoe, losing in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4, 6-3. Tsitsipas has yet to master the grass courts of the All England Club, now exiting the first round of Wimbledon in three of his four stints here. Tiafoe will next face in the second round Canada’s Vasek Pospisil.
Another stunning upset occurred in the women’s draw as former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova also crashed out in the first round. American Sloane Stephens recorded just her second win over a top-10 player since 2018, beating Kvitova in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4.
READ MORE ON SWN:
© 2018 Sportsworldnews.com All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.