Even Djokovic knew he wasn’t at his best in Wimbledon debut
Serbia’s Novak Djokovic slips over as he plays Korea’s Kwon Soonwoo in a men’s first round singles match on day one of the Wimbledon tennis championships in London, Monday, June 27, 2022.
WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — Novak Djokovic’s play was not particularly, well, Djokovic-esque, at Wimbledon on Monday.
Even he acknowledged as much.
He got broken early and trailed 3-1 as he began his bid for a fourth consecutive championship and seventh overall at the grass-court Grand Slam tournament. He recovered to take that set, then dropped the next. He slipped and fell to the grass. He accumulated more unforced errors than his opponent.
Maybe he was a bit under the weather; he grabbed tissues from a black box on the sideline and blew his nose. Maybe he was simply a bit off, not having played a match that mattered in nearly a full month.
This, though, is the top-seeded Djokovic, and there’s a reason he extended his winning streak at the All England Club to 22, and his career victory total there to 80 — making him the first player in tennis history with at least that many at each major — by beating Kwon Soon-woo of South Korea 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 at Centre Court under the retractable roof.